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Creativeworld increases its lead as the foremost trade fair for the international DIY sector

Feb 8, 2018

3,023 exhibitors from 69 countries[1] made a successful start to the new business season at the Christmasworld, Paperworld and Creativeworld consumer-goods fairs, and at the Floradecora floral market place, in Frankfurt am Main. At Creativeworld, 336 manufacturers presented their latest products and innovations to more than 9,000 trade visitors from all over the world.

Visitors design and tinker at the workstation of the Creativeworld Trend Show 2018
Creative design at the Creativeworld Trend Show workstation.

Altogether, around 87,000 visitors from 162 countries (2017: 85,448) made their way to Frankfurt to discover the latest trends and top themes, and to boost their businesses in the fields of festive and seasonal decorations, fresh flowers and plants, paper, office supplies and stationery, and hobby, art and craft supplies. This represents an increase of two percent in the number of visitors. “Stimulated by a good economic climate, five intensive days at the consumer-goods fairs ended with full order books, new business impulses and a great atmosphere”, said Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt. “The further increase in exhibitor and visitor numbers confirmed that the relevant segments of the world’s consumer-goods markets are at home at Christmasworld, Paperworld and Creativeworld in Frankfurt am Main.

Creativeworld continues to grow with seven percent more visitors and an even higher level of internationality

Creativeworld 2018 was characterised by an unrivalled spectrum of manufacturers and products and was able to consolidate its position as the leading international trade fair for the hobby, art and craft supplies sector. A total of 336 exhibitors from 39 countries[2] transformed Halls 4.1 and 4.2 of Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre into the creative centre of the world. This was also given impressive confirmation by the interest of the 9,266 trade visitors from 104 countries[3]. “Creativeworld is the most important fair for us. This is where we built up our company. Before we came to Creativeworld, you could only find us in Scandinavia. Now, we have branches throughout Europe and beyond. All this we achieved thanks to our presentation and the new contacts made in Frankfurt”, said Charlotte Lynn Nielsen, Export Director of Creative Company

One of the most important factors in the Creativeworld success story is its outstanding level of internationality. “We noted yet another increase in the level of internationality on both the visitor and exhibitor sides”, said Julia Uherek, Group Show Director Consumer Goods, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH. “Companies from 39 nations presented their latest products and services in Frankfurt. Moreover, 67 percent of visitors came from abroad.” In addition to those from Germany, there were many retailers from France, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy and the United Kingdom. From outside Europe, Russia, the USA, Israel, Turkey and Australia were particularly well represented. “Thanks to Creativeworld, we don’t have to travel to South America, South Africa and Australia to meet our customers. We find them all here in Frankfurt”, said Giuseppe Prezioso, Marketing Director, Fabriano/Fedrigoni.

The large number of visitors, the high customer standard and the level of internationality ensured a positive atmosphere in the exhibition halls. This was also reflected by the high level of exhibitor satisfaction with 86 percent of exhibiting companies saying they were satisfied to extremely satisfied in terms of targets achieved and visitor target groups reached. Kirsten Rohde, Vice President Marketing, Marabu GmbH & Co. KG said, “This year’s Creativeworld has been sensational with a super audience of trade visitors from all over the world. The visitors were exactly right for us in terms of both quality and quantity. I can only say that we love this fair.” These results can only be topped on the visitor side where, according to the visitor poll, 98 percent of retailers were satisfied to extremely satisfied with Creativeworld. For example, visiting the fair was worthwhile for Joanna Masiuk, DaWanda GmbH. She said, “Every year, Creativeworld surprises us anew and demonstrates that it really deserves its reputation as the most important and international trade fair for the creative sector. Creativeworld reflects the creativity and innovativeness of the sector more than any other fair.”

Although most of the trade visitors came from the retail trade, numerous visitors from the wholesale and import / export trades also placed orders at Creativeworld. The visitor standard increased once again: 78 percent of trade visitors are executives with a high degree of decision-making authority for their companies’ purchases. The bulk of buyers were interested in products from the hobby and arts & crafts segment (65 percent). Additionally, there was a high level of demand for graphic and artists’ requisites (44 percent) and handicrafts and textile design (31 percent).

Top themes for the specialist trade: street art, trend show and complete solutions

As the impulse generator for the sector, Creativeworld once again offered the trade a variety of ways to hold its own at the fiercely competitive point of sale. “The biggest contingent of trade visitors comes from the retail trade. Accordingly, we focus our complementary programme of events on subjects that are important for the bricks-and-mortar trade”, said Creativeworld Director Michael Reichhold, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH. “For example, we have been following developments in the street-art segment attentively for many years. Given that more and more manufacturers are including products of this kind in their assortments, we decided to devote a special show to this fascinating subject”, added Reichhold. Thus, visitors could see a unique exhibition showing how retailers can present street-art products attractively in their shops and gain new customers. Akim Walta, street artists and curator of the special show, brought numerous national and international graffiti artists to Creativeworld. “With artists from Germany, China, India, Japan and Russia, we created authentic and innovative shop presentations and gave live artistic demonstrations. There was something for everyone: from calligraffiti to hand styles; from manga graffiti to urban script. And, this year, we also arranged a performance on the outdoor area for the first time.”

Another must for all manufacturers and visitors was the Creativeworld Trend Show where, on behalf of Messe Frankfurt, the designers of Stilbüro bora.herke.palmisano, showed the complete spectrum of self-made lifestyles: from clothing, fashion and home accessories, via creative ideas for the home, to ideas for gifts and wrapping. Designer Claudia Herke explained: “This year, we integrated the tools and materials used into the special show, so we could show trade visitors how the individual pieces of the special show are made. In this way, we revealed new display and sales options for the trade because the new products and applications can be adapted for use in shops.” For the 2018/19 DIY season, the designers created three trend worlds characterised by a mixture of material combinations, natural influences and pure colours. The creative interpretation of the three trend themes – ‘The Colourist’, ‘The Gardener’ and ‘The Purist’ – were sources of inspiration for both trade visitors and manufacturers.

Exhibitors such as Stephan Rayher, CEO of Rayher Hobby GmbH, also support their retailers and present a wide variety of ways for them to attract customers. “Some years ago, we developed branch concepts that enable us to plan complete assortments with both specialist retailers and key accounts. We offer a complete package, from shop fitting, via assortment compilation, to staff training. For me, these concepts represent the future. Today, customers look not for individual products but rather for thematic worlds. Therefore, we have adopted a holistic approach.” Another exhibitor, Colart, also concentrates on concepts: “At the fair, we not only show our latest products but also offer our customers tools, with which they can attract and inspire potential customers. Our aim is to take account of artists’ requirements and to continue optimising our products, so they always come up to people’s high expectations of them”, explained Colart’s Global Communications Officer, Sophia Olver.

Workshops and the Creative Impulse Award provide inspiration

Creativeworld is inspiring, lively and future-oriented. There, trade visitors can be sure of finding a huge variety of things the creative heart desires. And, for four days, they have the chance to be creative, paint, cut things out, design jewellery and hold discussions with colleagues at the exhibition stands and in the Creativeworld Forum. Moreover, the most innovative products of the fair are honoured with the Creative Impulse Award.

As in the past, the creative heart of this year’s trade fair was the Creativeworld Forum with a host of workshops and product demonstrations. “Our varied and interesting workshop programme is a genuine trade-visitor magnet. The 40 places were always fully occupied, and, on occasions, we even had to find additional seats to meet the demand”, said Creativeworld Director Michael Reichhold. The programme was presented by designer and television personality Martina Lammel: “The workshops in the Creativeworld Forum were given an enthusiastic welcome by trade visitors. In practical demonstrations, the new products and materials make a much greater impression than in straight-forward presentations on the exhibition stand”, said Lammel.

A component part of Creativeworld is the Creative Impulse Award, the most important award in the international hobby, art and craft supplies sector, which was given for the 13th time on 27 January 2018. Altogether, 74 products were entered for the coveted award, which Messe Frankfurt holds in cooperation with the ‘bit-Verlag’ publishing company.

The first places went to:

  • Creative Product of the Year: H. Schmincke & Co for the
    ‘Josef Horadam Watercolour Wheel’
  • Creative Tool of the Year: Heindesign and Beate Winkler for the ‘StampCover’
  • Complete Kit of the Year: Frechverlag for ‘Bookies Häkelsets’  
  • Creative Book of the Year: Frechverlag for ‘Handlettering Watercolour’

Nils Knappe, CEO of H. Schmincke & Co, was delighted with his company’s first place in the ‘Best Product’ category: “To learn that our Watercolour Wheel had won first place was a wonderful surprise. For us, this award is recognition of the fact that we have created something extraordinary, something that inspires and stimulates thought.”

Trends 2018: mini gardening, maritime, hand lettering and street art in all artistic facets

This year’s Creativeworld revolved around the subject of botany: plants, leaves, cacti and beetles are trending. Expression is given to these motifs in the form of high-grade designs and materials whereby the emphasis is on dark blue and green with gold accents. Well-being and stylish ‘hygge’ cosiness continue to be popular themes. With XXL yarn and mini-gardening, dwellings can be turned into individually designed sanctuaries. Creative personalities from all over the world find inspiration in natural and maritime themes. Additionally, the trend themes of street art and hand lettering were to be seen in an unrivalled abundance. The combination of different techniques and materials shows that graffiti and calligraphy on both porcelain and fabrics, as well as on walls and other surfaces, are ideal for creating special highlights.

Next events:

Next year, the consumer-goods fairs will be held around the last Saturday in January:

  • Christmasworld and Floradecora: 25 to 29 January 2019
  • Paperworld and Creativeworld: 26 to 29 January 2019

More statements, information and photographic / video material can be found at:

[1] Figures for 2017: 2,920 exhibitors from 63 countries, FKM certified (Society for the Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics (Gesellschaft zur freiwilligen Kontrolle von Messe- und Ausstellungszahlen Berlin)
Figures for 2017: 339 exhibitors from 37 countries
[3] 8,657 trade visitors from 94 countries

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 some 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €661* 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). * preliminary figures for 2017
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