Starting in 2008, the giant International Hardware Fair/Practical World will open its doors to skilled trades and do-it-yourselfers. However, admittance will be restricted to halls six and nine – the Builders and Home Improvement/DIY Supplies section. The rest of the exhibition centre – 14 halls in total – will, as in the past, be open exclusively to trade visitors and buyers from the industry. The next International Hardware Fair/Practical World will be held from March 9-12, 2008. Oliver P. Kuhrt, Executive vice-president of Koelnmesse, outlined this new approach at the German retail trade organization BHBs DIY Centre Conference in Berlin. “We are pointing the way to the future with this new strategy,” he said. “The DIY industry will get direct feedback from the private do-it-yourselfers regarding new products and the trade can make good use of the various trends in selecting its product line-up. Nevertheless, the focus on specialists and trade visitors that characterizes the largest part of the fair will be unaffected.” The show, which is now held every other year, will be replaced in 2007 by Asia Pacific Sourcing, which features Asian exhibitors offering a wide range of hardlines products.