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Creativeworld 2018 Trend Show Tour, Part 3: The Gardener

Welcome to the third and final installment of my series on the Creativeworld 2018 Trend Show! Today, we’ll be looking together at the trend identified by the Messe Frankfurt trend consultants as “the gardener”.

[Disclosure: Messe Frankfurt and the Creativeworld show are a sponsor of Scrapbook Update.]

Each year, Creativeworld divides their Trend Show display into three themes. We’ve already looked at this year’s other themes – the purist and the colourist. The third style, the gardener, shares some things in common with the first two – and yet could not be more different.

Creativeworld Trend Show Gardener

Credit: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH

This trend theme is exactly what its name sounds like – natural, organic, and raw. Displays on raw wood showed off lush green designs of leaves, natural icons like bugs and butterflies, and projects using natural materials in earth tones. Continue Reading →

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Creativeworld 2018 Trend Show Tour, Part 2: The Colourist

Welcome back for part two of the Scrapbook Update series on the Trend Show at Creativeworld this year! In part two today, we’ll focus on what the Messe Frankfurt trend consultants call “the colourist”.

[Disclosure: Messe Frankfurt and the Creativeworld show are a sponsor of Scrapbook Update.]

The Creativeworld trend show is divided each year into three themes that highlight a different trend happening in creative industries. For 2018, the themes selected by the Messe’s trend consultants were “the purist”, “the colourist”, and “the gardener”.

Yesterday, we looked together at “the purist” – a subtle, restful and modest style. Today’s style, “the colourist”, is absolutely none of those things.

Credit: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH

The “colourist” trend is full of bright, vital color, applied with exuberance. No matter the underlying surface, this design style is all about the color. Pattern is driven by color – often lots of it, contrasting and even clashing in a riotous mix. Continue Reading →

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A First Look at Creativeworld 2018

This year, for the 5th time, I traveled to Europe at the end of January to attend the Creativeworld trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany. The show was only a couple of years old when I first began to attend. It has been an interesting experience watching the show grow and mature over the years I’ve been attending.

[Disclosure: Messe Frankfurt is a sponsor of Scrapbook Update.]

Messe Frankfurt, a joint venture of the City of Frankfurt and the State of Hesse,  owns the massive exhibition ground where Creativeworld is held and organizes the trade fairs held there. Many Americans know “the Messe” (as it is known around Frankfurt) for its hosting of the famous Frankfurt Auto Show and its Book Fair. Messe Frankfurt logo selfie

Above you can see a few of my necessities of life for visiting Creativeworld. Of course, you need to bundle up to visit northern Europe in winter (especially if you’re a Florida girl like me). But thanks to the Messe’s wonderful coat checks you won’t have to lug that coat around all day. Then there’s the messenger bag for comfortably carrying my things all over the huge Messe (but that opens easily for the security check at the entrance). And last but not least…the scarf that is a part of my wardrobe every day in Europe, whether doing business or sightseeing. Continue Reading →

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Winter Releases | A Few Thoughts & Favorite Products

Creativation is behind us, and the Creativeworld show starts in Frankfurt, Germany this weekend. Before I pack my suitcase and run out the door for that long transatlantic flight, I wanted to take a few minutes to share a few thoughts and favorite products that I’ve seen so far. (Note I have been observing Creativation from afar, since I didn’t travel to Phoenix this year.)

If you have yet to check out the product releases from Creativation, visit our Creativation Sneak Peeks page.

[Note that some links on this page are affiliate links that earn this site a commission at no cost to the reader when a purchase is made after a click. Creativeworld is a sponsor of this site.]

One of the first things that has jumped out at me from Creativation is that bright color dominated. Several companies have new “rainbow” type collections, and some companies like Graphic 45 that are very vintage in style have noticeably pumped up their color palettes for at least some products. Even Tim Holtz, who never met a shade of brown he didn’t like, was demonstrating at the show using bright colors.

Paige Evans 2x2 Paper Pad

We’ve been seeing the scrapbook page seemingly shrink and shrink as new forms have been introduced – 9×12, mini albums, planners, traveler’s notebooks, instagram pocket albums. But Pink Paislee may have hit a new level of miniaturization with the 2″x2″ paper pad in Paige Evans’ new “Pick Me Up” collection. I know that these cute pads will be great for punching and small die cuts, but it sure did give me a moment of pause to see that in the context of the trend in page sizes! Continue Reading →

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Creativeworld: The Language Barrier

One of the most frequent questions that I get asked about attending the Creativeworld show at Messe Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany, is how to get around in Germany and at Creativeworld while speaking only English.

[Disclaimer: Messe Frankfurt is a Scrapbook Update sponsor.]

The surprising first part of the answer to that question is that a lot of what show attendees will encounter, especially in places like major transportation hubs, is actually bilingual and perfectly understandable to English speakers. Even the automated rail ticket machines have a language option for English. (In Europe, remember that you’ll choose the British Union Jack flag on machines like that to access the English option.)

Believe it or not, even some of the trash cans are multilingual – like this one in the Frankfurt airport complex!

Within the Messe Frankfurt fairground itself, the signage is designed to accommodate their large populations of international visitors that come for their various shows throughout the year. Building numbers and names, arrows, and easy to understand graphics for things like the train stations and restrooms.

Cafe and restaurant menus are also bilingual, and many Messe Frankfurt staff can speak at least a small amount of English. In addition, the Messe makes most of its printed show publications on-site and the Creativeworld show app all available and readily accessible in English.

The biggest thing, however, that concerns many show attendees – especially exhibitors – is how to handle doing business in a booth when they don’t speak the local language.

In fact, many people overestimate the language barrier they will encounter dealing with international clients. English has become in many respects the common language of the world. A surprising number of people encountered at Creativeworld speak at least a little bit of English – often while apologizing for their lack of skill, which is quite humbling to hear when you don’t speak a word of their language!

But there is inevitably some language barrier to be encountered. Hiring European bloggers or designers is one way to bridge that gap (and it’s also extra booth help without the expense of travel for a U.S. staffer). In the American pavilion this year, Lou Ann Tischler of GelliArts was drawing a crowd doing demonstrations, and had a European designer that works with Gelli Arts (in the brown shirt) translating for her.

Gelli Arts demo

Another approach is to just hire a European designer to do all of the demonstrating. My German designer friend Baerbel Börn demonstrated for several companies this year, including demonstrating the new Tim Holtz Stamp Platform for Tonic Studios (below).

Baerbel Born

Of course, hiring a local staffer is no guarantee that you won’t encounter a language barrier when someone walks into your booth, since Europe has a multitude of languages and the show attracts global buyers. But it certainly can raise the odds that you will find common language ground when someone approaches your booth.

And, if all else fails…thanks to the era of the smart phone, we can all have an instant translator in our pocket with the right apps. It may not be the fastest way to communicate, but it can get the job done.

Remember, in the end, everyone at Creativeworld speaks the same native language…a love of creativity! And that goes a long way in understanding each other.

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Creativeworld: To Pavillion or Not to Pavillion?

There’s much to consider when planning a trade show booth. For American companies going to Frankfurt for the Creativeworld show, the first question is usually whether or not to use the U.S. pavillion, or book a booth on the general show floor.

[Disclosure: Messe Frankfurt is a Scrapbook Update sponsor.]

Whether or not exhibiting in the U.S. pavilion is the right choice is a different decision for each company that considers it, based on a variety of factors. After visiting four Creativeworld shows and talking extensively with American exhibitors both in the pavilion and on the show floor, I’ve identified what some of the key factors are that lead companies to choose one or the other as the best choice for them.

But first, what exactly is the American pavilion at the Creativeworld show?

Creativeworld American Pavilion

The U.S. pavilion at Creativeworld takes up an entire “block” on the show floor. The outside of the block, along the aisles, is filled with booths of various sizes. In the center is a private lounge area (accessible from the rear of each booth) for the pavilion exhibitors that offers some food service, a Messe Frankfurt staff member to assist the exhibitors, and other services.

The pavilion booths come with a prepackaged set of booth furnishings, and exhibitors can order additional items if needed at extra cost.

Ken Oliver Creativeworld

The corner booths, like the ones in the top picture occupied by Doodlebug Design and in the picture above by Product Performers, are typically larger spaces (and priced accordingly). They also have two open sides as opposed to being enclosed on three sides like the booths in sides of the pavilion.
Stampendous Creativeworld 2017

A more standard booth option in the pavilion is the one occupied above by Stampendous. With one open side facing the aisle, and a back entrance into the pavilion’s lounge, this space allows plenty of room for display of product and doing small demonstrations.

American Pavilion advertising

Being in the pavilion also comes with some extra publicity, as the U.S. pavilion is advertised as a special feature of the show in places like show guides and the show grounds. This ad pillar is at the bottom of the escalator in the main lobby of Hall 4.2, directing show attendees to the pavilion and advertising who was there.

BoBunny Creativeworld

Of course, there’s a myriad of options on the show floor to choose from as well. BoBunny has occupied a booth in the same location in one of the Creativeworld halls for several years. Exhibiting in a non-pavilion booth is similar in a few ways to being in the pavilion – there’s still no need to bring an entire furnished booth, as all displays and furnishings can be rented from the Messe.

Creativeworld Co-op Booth

Renting a regular show booth allows room for some innovation in your exhibit planning. Three smaller companies that are well-known to papercrafters, Waffle Flower, Alexandra Renke, and Pinkfresh Studio, decided to share a large space on the show floor in an attempt to make a splash this year.

Waffle Flower Creativeworld 2017

So which choice is right for your company?

There’s no single right answer. I know companies that have tried the pavilion and then left it for a regular booth. I know companies that have stayed happily in the pavilion for multiple years. I know companies that have exhibited in a regular booth and then opted for the more structured option of the pavilion. I know companies that have exhibited for years in regular booths. The trick is deciding on the factors that are your priority.

Cost: On a per square foot basis, the pavilion is a more expensive way to rent a booth. But it comes with extra services that are included in that cost (which would have to be purchased separately) and it also includes extra support structure to help familiarize new exhibitors with exhibiting at the show. And while it is higher, the fixed price is a help when setting budgets for exhibiting.

Size: Booth options in the pavilion are limited to relatively small sizes, so if your booth preference is for a booth larger than around 10×20, you’ll need to choose a regular booth. On the other hand, for small to medium sized companies that would like to be able to exhibit with minimal manpower or shipping expense for booth decor, the pavilion is a win. The booths, especially the smaller ones, are the perfect size to be decorated and run by 1-2 people.

Decor: The pavilion booths come with a decor package, and for most exhibitors can be decorated probably by carrying a large extra suitcase or two with them on the plane. But if you’d like more freedom (and a less cookie cutter appearance), a regular booth will let you design your look from the ground up using the Messe’s furnishings rental service. Or you can even go to the extreme of shipping a crate if you’d like for a truly custom look.

Location: Since the U.S. pavilion is a fixed location on the Creativeworld show floor, if there is a particular area that you’d like your booth to be in, then you’ll need to do a regular booth rental. On the other hand, the U.S. pavilion is a “destination” at the Creativeworld show for many buyers, so a pavilion booth can have location advantages as well.

Stress: An exhibitor’s stress level may seem an odd factor to consider when selecting a trade show booth, but when embarking on something as ambitious as an international trade show – especially for the first time – it’s a factor that can make or break your success. The U.S. pavilion serves as something of a “safety net” at the show for its resident exhibitors, providing services and assistance. Especially for first time visitors not familiar with the show, this can be a great stress reliever. Pavilion staff can help facilitate securing needed extra services on site, provide information about Frankfurt and the surrounding area (such as where to eat), provide orientation to how the show operates, and just generally help answer questions that come up. And having neighbors that are quite possibly familiar to them from U.S. events is especially nice for those who might be working alone in a pavilion booth. In contrast, you’re quite on your own in a regular booth. Services are available but you must know how to seek them out, and there is no guarantee given the international nature of the show that your neighbors will even speak the same language as you do, let alone be familiar to you! All of this makes the pavilion an excellent option for first time exhibitors, or for exhibitors doing the show with a small staff.

To pavilion or not to pavilion….which option will you choose?

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