A few days after the Creativation show here in the U.S. in Janaury, the Creativeworld 2017 show took place at Messe Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany. In its seventh year this year, the show is reaching maturity. This year’s show saw the continuation of a lot of standard Creativeworld features – and the introduction of a few new ones as well.
[Disclosure: Messe Frankfurt is a sponsor of this website.]
Creativeworld 2017 saw a 15% rise in the number of exhibitors over 2016, up to 344. The show also continued to earn its reputation as an unrivaled international exhibition, with exhibitors from 37 countries and visitors from 94 countries. The top visitor populations at the show were from France, the Netherlands, Spain, Great Britain and Italy, and attendee numbers from Belgium, Poland, Sweden, Australia, Denmark and North America were also increased over the previous year.
Creativeworld 2017: What Hasn’t Changed
One signature part of the Creativeworld experience (for me, at least) is arriving each morning with a mass of people who come bursting out of a train onto a cold platform, and then move en masse up escalators into the Torhaus lobby of the Messe. To new American visitors, the mass of people, the scale of the entrance, is an often startling introduction to the size of what they are walking into. And to experienced visitors, the energy of the crowd is an invigorating way to start the day.
Another thing that is still the same at Messe Frankfurt…long walks down at times seemingly endless hallways that connect together the buildings on the massive exhibition grounds!
Another thing that hasn’t changed at the Messe for Creativeworld are the plentiful and excellent food options in Hall 4, with cafe counters stationed on the edges and even in the center of the halls. They say an army travels on its stomach, and at the Messe the masses of attendees can avail themselves of excellent sandwiches and other healthy options including fresh squeezed orange juice (that is pressed right in front of you) without missing a beat in their day’s schedule.
The Creative Impulse Awards returned for 2017, with a new area as its home on the show floor, but the same categories to enter.
The Creative Impulse Awards were handed out in a ceremony on Saturday. Fabric dominated the winners as Creative Product of the Year was won by efco creative for their Wood Veneer Fabric, and Creative Tool of the Year was won by Fiskars for their Fabric Circle Cutter. Christophorus Verlag won Book of the Year for “Sewing with SnapPap”.
The popular and extensive Creativeworld Trend Show returned for another year this year, with large displays themed on the trends of “thoughtful”, “imperfect” and “whimsy”.
Like in previous years, there was plenty of options for people to get hands on with the trends in the Trend Show’s workstation area that offered projects for attendees to try.
One unique feature of the Creativeworld show is the “Messe Frankfurt Against Copying” program, which was set up in the lobby area of Hall 4 (outside the Creativeworld halls) at the Messe, offering education on European copyright and trademark law to show attendees.
One final thing that remains unchanged about Creativeworld – and the European market in particular – is the heavy presence of distributors. Because of the international nature of the European market and complicated nature of import/export operations, most American companies seek distributors where possible to use to market their products. So it’s not unusual to walk into the booth of a large company whose name is unfamiliar in the U.S. market and see signs like the one below marketing a U.S. brand.
But not everything stayed the same as Creativeworld hit its seven year itch…some interesting changes were also visible on the show floor as well this year.
Creativeworld 2017: What’s New
The most obvious change at Creativeworld 2017 is the biggest – in size, that is. In previous years, the show occupied only half of Hall 4.2. When visitors entered the floor from the lobby, they were met with the choice to visit Creativeworld to the left of the main aisle that entered the hall from the entrance, or to go right and visit the section of Paperworld that had products like school backpacks. This year, an expansion of Creativeworld’s square footage has it taking up all of Hall 4.2 (as well as all of Hall 4.1 as in previous years). The Paperworld section that was previously in the hall has been relocated to another exhibit hall in the Messe.
Attendees really seem to love one of the other, more subtle, changes that I’ve been noticing gradually taking place the past few years at Creativeworld. More and more companies exhibiting at the show are doing large scale demonstrations that have artists working on the show floor showing off both products and different art forms that can be created with them.
For instance, in the Kuretake booth, an artist was demonstrating Kaleidolines work on a wall sized piece of art:
Calligraphy artist Paul Antonio was also showing off his skills in the Kuretake booth, sending show attendees home with beautifully drawn versions of their name in gold ink:
In the Strathmore booth, an artist was doing an amazing job replicating a Van Gogh painting using (what else!) the Van Gogh line of oil paints.
Demonstrations were seen all over the show floor at Creativeworld 2017, at a wide variety of companies, and even included graffiti art. In the U.S. pavillion where square footage was limited in the modest sized booth, artists were at work demonstrating artistic techniques with products. Ken Oliver was in the Product Performers booth demonstrating his signature line of Color Burst ink powders.
And, increasingly, at Creativeworld, attendees have the opportunity to do more than just watch products in action. At the Creativeworld Forum (which was located this year in Hall 4.2), Creativeworld attendees have had the chance to attend a growing list of hands on workshops the past few years. Topics this year included Soapmaking (sponsored by Rayher), Lettering (sponsored by Tombow), mixed media (sponsored by Marabu), wrapping (taught by Ulla Büning), and many more!
Exhibitors are jumping on the hands on trend for attendees as well. In the Hero Arts booth in the U.S. pavilion, I was able to try out one of their beautiful new stamps to improve my layered stamping skills!
In the booth shared by Alexandra Renke, Pinkfresh Studio, and Waffle Flower, I saw something I don’t think I’ve ever seen at a Creativeworld show before…a giveaway underway! The trio were rewarded with a nice crowd in their booth for the event as well as healthy crowds for most of the show (or at least it seemed every time I passed by the area).
Another striking change is the increasing relevance of a visit to Paperworld to many Creativeworld attendees, especially the papercrafting segment. With the planner segment taking over the papercrafting market, Paperworld vendors such as Moleskine who make journals are now of more than passing interest to papercrafts stores.
Art materials maker Caran D’ache was actually exhibiting on the Paperworld show floor, confident that with the crossover between the two shows their customers would find them.
Once in their booth, Caran D’ache visitors could also get hands on with their various color mediums and try them out (although it seemed a shame to disturb that beautiful rainbow of color on the table).
The advent of mixed media has papercrafters looking for supplies that they would never have thought about before. This is another reason to venture to the Paperworld halls – where these oversized paper sheets by Tassotti stopped me dead in my tracks with visions of their possibilities!
Another thing that was new this year was Creativeworld’s hosting of the German Skills Championships in Visual Merchandising. The event took place over several days on the show floor in Hall 4.2, as the six contestants took on a challenge to merchandise a store window to display an assigned item.
The medals were awarded by a panel of judges in a ceremony at the Christmasworld show on Tuesday of show week, and the winner will represent Germany in the World Skills Championship in Abu Dhabi in October.
As if all of that wasn’t enough new things for 2017…how about a whole new show? This year, in addition to the traditional Creativeworld, Paperworld and Christmasworld shows, Messe Frankfurt debuted a fourth show during the show weekend: Floradecora. This show is all about fresh floral and ornamental plants, bringing together flowers for every season and festive occasion under one roof for wholesale buyers.
We’ll be creating an entire feature on Floradecora later in our show coverage, but in the meantime, here’s a peek at some of the tropical loveliness that was on display!
Stay tuned to both Scrapbook Update and our sister site Craft Critique this week for additional Creativeworld 2017 show coverage!