Trade exhibitions offer one of the best opportunities to gauge the overall changes that are taking place within an industry, and IMB 2000 was no exception to this rule. Staged every three years in Cologne, Germany, this was the tenth event in its history and confirmed the tremendous global shift that has occurred in clothing production. As a result it was a very different platform from previous shows. International companies accounted for 64 per cent of exhibitors, and their stands were dominated by products aimed at meeting the short-term needs of manufacturers around the world. Innovation was notable by its absence.