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Creativeworld is the undisputed leader in the DIY sector

1 Feb 2019

The three consumer-goods fairs in Frankfurt – Christmasworld, Paperworld and Creativeworld – successfully opened the new business season with future-oriented topics and the latest trends. 3,119 exhibitors from 68 countries[1] inspired the national and international trade with innovations from the fields of seasonal and festive decoration, paper, office supplies and stationery, and hobby, handicrafts and artists’ requisites.

More than 87,000 visitors from 161 countries2 made their way to Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre to discover highlights and new products for their businesses at the three leading international trade fairs. “The high level of internationality is one of the most decisive qualitative factors of our events. The outstanding visitor quality and the personal contacts are also unique features whereby interactivity, emotionalization and intelligent links between the analogue and digital worlds are the main driving forces for the coming business season. And our trio of fairs generate the right impulses for this”, says Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt. The trade-fair trio confirmed its role as the international market place for innovations and an indispensable business platform for the exchange of information.

Creativeworld 2019 / Foto: Messe Frankfurt
A creative and positive vibe at Creativeworld 2019 / Photo: Messe Frankfurt

Creativeworld maintains its top position in the DIY market

With stable visitor numbers, Creativeworld fulfils its role yet again as the most important platform for the hobbies, arts & crafts and artists’ requisites sector. "As always, the creative world comes together in Frankfurt am Main", as Charlotte Lynn Nielsen, Export Director, Creativ Company, sums up. 362 manufacturers from 44 countries3 filled the Frankfurt exhibition halls, and showcased what the creative heart desires. The exhibitors inspired 9,152 trade visitors from 104 countries4 with their product innovations, trends and new techniques, so ensuring an excellent atmosphere. "Creativeworld sets the pace for the year. This is where we present new products and find out how the innovations are received by our customers. It’s a very good driver for the business year and for the latest products to be accepted", says Eric Chaveau, Managing Director, Pébéo.

numbers of visitors and exhibitor at Creativeworld 2019

"No other trade fair combines creativity and business in such a unique way as Creativeworld", Stephan Kurzawski, Board of Management, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH, corroborates. "We welcome many visitors from abroad every year; this year they made up 69 percent. They come to us because we offer them the worldwide DIY market in one place over four days." All in all, 6,306 visitors came from abroad. In addition to German visitors, many retailers from the Netherlands, Spain, Great Britain, France and Italy were present at the fair. From outside Europe, the USA, Russia, Australia and Turkey were strongly represented. In particular, large increases were recorded for the Netherlands, the USA, Great Britain and Greece. This is reiterated by Karl-Heinz Hartmann, Head of HQ Services, Event Manager Staedtler: "Here at Creativeworld we meet a great many customers from Germany and Europe, but also from Australia and the USA. The mood is good and we are very satisfied." Piero Frova, Marketing Director at FILA, also explains: "We’ve been coming here for 20 years and it’s the right decision time and time again. You meet customers and colleagues from all over the world here."

Most of the trade visitors came from the retail sector, but numerous visitors from wholesale and foreign trade also placed orders at Creativeworld. Visitor quality remains at a very high level: 75 percent of the trade visitors are senior executives, and they thus bring a particular purchasing and decision-making competence with them. "Creativeworld is increasingly in the focus of our industry. We can see this in the very good contacts that we meet here and the new contacts that we make", as Nils Knappe, Managing Director, H. Schmincke, explains. And Harold Kruis, Marketing Director, Royal Talens, adds: "The quality of the visitors and the meetings is very high – more than 90 percent of our visitors are decision-makers."

The buyers are most interested in products from the hobbies and craft sector. But there is also a strong demand for graphics and art supplies, as well as handicrafts and textile design.

"The manufacturers are very happy with Creativeworld and pleased with the strong frequency", says Gerlinde Karg, Chair of the Board and Managing Director, Creative Hobby Association (Verband Hobby-Kreativ e.V.) and she also underlined the role of the Creativeworld Forum: "I haven’t experienced the forum so fully booked as it is this year. Workshops like this are enormously important for retailers and manufacturers."

Complementary programme: a shopping experience as far as the eye can see

"Every year, I look forward to visiting Creativeworld. I’ve been attending the fair for five years now and it’s an experience every time. Direct contact with my suppliers is very important to me. I can experience the different items right up close here and examine the product innovations carefully. The workshops in the Creativeworld Forum are also a must", says Sabine Denz, a specialist retailer from Kehl. Whether in the Creativeworld Forum, the Street Art special presentations or the Creativeworld Trends: the focus everywhere was on the shopping experience and the advice provided. The main concern here was how retailers can meet the growing challenges at the point of sale and become more attractive to customers.

Carlos Lorente of the Style Scout Graffiti Academy brought the Urban Art Lab to life with a unique design. He inspired and fascinated the trade visitors with the history, the present, and the future of street art. A large number of artists encouraged trade visitors to engage with the hip and trendy art form and to discover it for themselves and their business. "The trade visitors were very interested. We answered many questions about product applications and we were delighted with the positive response", says Carlos Lorente, Managing Director, Style Scout Graffiti Academy. "In the retail sector, demand for street art products is growing, so manufacturers need to react to it. Many are already incorporating the theme into their portfolios."

In the Retail concept 4.0 – Upgrade your store, the main focus was on the shopping experience at the point of sale. The team conveyed expert knowledge in a clear and practical way, showing trade visitors how important competent advice is and what the customer’s needs are. Using the example of street art, the sales professionals demonstrated the use of POS displays and the integration of street art items in the retail store. A large number of visitors used the knowledge exchange and practised architectural lettering on the try-out-table. "Traditional fine art stores can tap into new target groups with this product segment, and thus generate more sales. Because only those who keep their finger on the pulse, recognise the trends and provide expert advice on how to implement them, will win through", says Nicola Luigi Schwarzwälder, Product Manager, Schneider Schreibgeräte. Thomas Jaenisch, Managing Director of Myboshi, backs this up: "If you’re only selling goods, the internet can do this more cheaply, quickly and around the clock. But when a specialist retailer positions itself and says: "I’m selling ideas, creativity, an experience, and the haptic feeling" – then it’s recognising the advantages of stationary retailing. Specialist retailers are important for inspiring people to be creative, and to support them with friendly advice."

The Creativeworld Forum, a permanent fixture at Creativeworld, also plays a formative role. "A few years ago, we realised the trade visitors want to take an active part in the proceedings. They want to try out the manufacturers’ latest products, tools and techniques. So we are now offering workshops throughout the day. The response is fantastic", as Michael Reichhold, Creativeworld Director, explains. For trade visitors, this practical orientation is what makes Creativeworld so attractive. It is only here that they can find manufacturers from all over the world and also work with the latest products. As Martin Erler, Managing Director of Efco comments: "Creativeworld is, of course, about business, but at the same time, it’s also about a wealth of creativity. People don’t just want to be shown the techniques, they also want to take part. You can do that in the Forum. In addition to this, the Creativeworld Trends are particularly interesting."

The Creativeworld Trends delivered an almost limitless abundance of creative ideas. Under the motto 'Welcome friends', the style agency bora.herke.palmisano transformed the trend space into a stage for creativity. "The particular benefit for the visitors lies in the design of the individual themed tables. They can take away from here some inspiration for decorating their own shops. In our installation, the presentation of the products, materials and tools is particularly positively received", says Claudia Herke, designer at the bora.herke.palmisano style agency. DIY is embraced in the trends: all the exhibits were produced specifically for Creativeworld and they’re unique pieces that have been created using the latest products from the exhibiting companies.

The Creative Impulse Award presented for the 14th time

At Creativeworld you can feel that the DIY industry is constantly on the move. It enchants us again and again with new trends and lively ideas, and it yields a multitude of innovative products. This is demonstrated every year by the submissions for the Creative Impulse Award, which Messe Frankfurt awards in cooperation with publishers bit-Verlag . The formal awards ceremony took place on 26 January 2019.

In first place were:

  • Creative Product of the Year: myboshi with 'myboshi favourite colours'
  • Creative Tool of the Year: Dremel with 'Dremel Stylo+'
  • Creative Kit of the Year: Marabu with 'Soft Linol Textil Print & Colouring'
  • Creative Book of the Year: Kremer Pigmente with 'Kremer Pigments Recipe Book'

"We were delighted to receive the award and immediately added it as a decoration on our kit, so that everyone can be a part of it and see that we made it to first place", as Kerstin Winkler, Marketing, Marabu, is pleased to say.

The trends from Creativeworld 2019: Home is where the (he)art is

This year’s Creativeworld has shown yet again that trade means change, but that one thing stays the same: people want to be creative. Whether it’s to give ourselves and others joy with pictures and objects, or to design our own homes – as a place for personal retreat, but also for meeting friends for relaxed times and merry celebrations.

In the desire to make our own living space unique and stylish, yet warm, fabrics play a major role – and they can be adorned with pompoms and decorative tassels if desired. There is a whole range of new and innovative, but also traditional and revived techniques for textile design: screen printing, punch needle embroidery, macramé or wall hangings made from thick yarn.

In addition, it is evident with increasing numbers of manufacturers that nature and sustainability are playing an important role: easy-to use dyes made of natural colours, sustainably manufactured products such as papier maché from recycled newspapers, palettes made from waterproof cardboard and eco-certified highlighters. To go with this, there’s the trend motif of the Swiss cheese plant (monstera), also known as the window-leaf plant. The striking silhouette is rediscovered as a motif for textile printing, on stickers, stamps and patches. Together with other green plants and cacti, the monstera plant creates a feeling of nature in all our homes.

The trend towards personalisation is particularly strong. In this respect, hand lettering is unsurpassed, as before. With a brush and pencils on paper and porcelain, with chalks on glass, with masking fluid markers on watercolour pictures or with handy soldering irons on wood and leather. Another popular form of calligraphy is street art: away from the street and straight into the living room. Acrylic markers and aqua brush pens are of course just as much part of the graffiti trend as spray paints in all different colours, from classic shades, to neon colours and metallics with a mirror effect.

Not to be forgotten – acrylic pouring: the mixing technique where acrylic colours are combined with a medium in a vessel and then poured over a surface. The technique allows for endless colour plays; the marbled result is sometimes reminiscent of pop art, sometimes of minerals.

In terms of colours, no particular trend colour can be seen for this year: it’s all there - from watercolours to decorative colours in violet, green and blue shades. Muted and earthy shades, from ochre and sepia to terracotta and moss, are also popular and highlight the trend towards naturalness. Delicate pastel shades are indispensable in the creative world, and can be combined with neon and copper accents.


Forthcoming dates:
Next year the consumer goods trade fairs will take place again towards the last Saturday in January:
Christmasworld: 24 - 28 January 2020
Paperworld and Creativeworld: 25 - 28 January 2020

You can find further statements, information, images and video material at:

1 2018: 3,017 exhibitors from 69 countries (FKM certified / audited), figures for 2019 before auditing
2018: 86,503 visitors from 160 countries (FKM certified / audited), figures for 2019 before auditing
2018: 339 exhibitors from 39 countries (FKM-certified / audited) , 2019 figures before audit
2018: 9,266 trade visitors from 104 countries (FKM-certified / audited), 2019 figures before audit

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With over 2,500* employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €715* million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.
With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
Further information is available at:
* provisional figures 2018