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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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It’s Show Time! CHA Creativation & Creativeworld 2017 Preview

2017 is upon us…and that means it is show season in the craft industry! The end of January will bring us both CHA’s newly-revamped winter show – now called Creativation – in the U.S., and the Creativeworld show in Frankfurt, Germany. Both shows have major changes in store for 2017, so let’s take a look at what attendees and exhibitors can expect to see!

CHA Creativation

creativation-logo

The first change for the Craft & Hobby Association’s show is immediately obvious. It has a new name, Creativation, and along with the new name the show has been redesigned from the ground up. The show is also moving to a new location for the first time in a decade, having made its home in Southern California for the past nine shows (in Anaheim except for a year in Los Angeles). Phoenix is the show’s new home – a move so far not entirely popular with attendees as travel and hotels have proven to be expensive in the winter paradise.

The new Creativation show floor will be created modeled as a city, with different “neighborhoods” including a town square for attendees to recharge in, an artisan plaza for local Phoenix artisans to demonstrate their crafts, an international pub and a bakery to experience the edible arts segment of the industry. Attendees with tired feet can hop on a guided shuttle ride of the show floor to get a tour of Creativation city! There’s also a Maker Space – a popular attraction at previous shows – to get hands on as well as learn from short presentations called iDiscover talks.

Also new at Creativation will be entire product areas. The show is debuting an annual “focus” area. The first focus area is Sewing & Fabric, an area of product that hasn’t been visible on the floor previously.

Looking for new product information for the CHA Creativation show? Our annual CHA sneak peeks page is live now and will be updated until the show starts!

Creativeworld 2017

creativeworld_rgb_400px_dpi

[Disclaimer: Creativeworld is a Scrapbook Update sponsor.]

Creativeworld, taking place at Messe Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany from January 28th-31st, 2017, is anticipating significant growth this year. The number of exhibitors is up over 10% from 2016, including 335 companies from 36 countries, and the footprint of the show within the Messe has been expanded greatly. Creativeworld will no longer be sharing Hall 4.2 with Paperworld’s school supplies section, which is moving to another hall to give Creativeworld all of Hall 4.2. Also moving are the sourcing halls, which were previously in Hall 10 and are moving to Hall 1 for 2017.

One interesting new event added to Creativeworld’s schedule for 2017 is the Visual Merchandising Competition, where the German Visual Merchandising Championships will be held in Stand F91 of Hall 4.2 over the show’s four days to determine who of six professionals will represent Germany in the the world championships in Abu Dhabi.

The popular hands on workshops will be returning to the Creativeworld Creative Forum in 2017, with a range of topics from paint to Zentangle to gift wrapping and featuring the talents of artists such as Beate Winkler and Ulla Büning. One of the focuses of the show will be graffiti art, and special exhibits on street art will include the appearance of German graffiti artist Akim Walta.

Perhaps the most dramatic addition to Creativeworld isn’t actually part of that show, but a new show in itself. Floradecora will showcase fresh flowers and decorative plants in Hall 11.1 of Messe Frankfurt. Running from January 27 through January 30th, the show will overlap with Creativeworld.

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Creativeworld 2016 | Creativeworld Trends and Floor Tour

Welcome to part two of my look at Creativeworld 2016, put on by Messe Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany! In case you missed it, you can check out part one here.

[Disclosure: Messe Frankfurt is a sponsor of this website, and sponsored my travel to Creativeworld 2016.]

Creativeworld is based in Hall 4 of the massive Messe Frankfurt complex. Hall 4 is a three story building  with a beautiful atrium that is located directly next to the Torhaus services building where the Messe’s S-Bahn train station, press center, and many exhibitor services are located. Each of the levels of the building is designated by a decimal point – 4.0, 4.1, 4.2.

The Creativeworld show takes up all of Hall 4.1, and half of Hall 4.2 (which it shares with Paperworld), while Hall 4.0 is occupied by Paperworld.

Messe Frankfurt building 4

While technically part of Paperworld, there is also “Creative Materials” sourcing in the International Sourcing section located in Hall 10. That hall features three whole floors of international sourcing companies like this bead manufacturer, Banaras Beads Limited, who was located in Hall 10.2.

Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jean-Luc Valentin

Source – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jean-Luc Valentin

No matter what language you speak, it’s easy to find what you are looking for with Messe Frankfurt’s simple signage. The signs for the various different shows are also color coded, for easy visual reference. Christmasworld, which is also going on at the Messe during Creativeworld, is appropriately color coded red! Continue Reading →

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Creativeworld 2016 | Experience Frankfurt & Messe Frankfurt

The month of January typically is host to two trade shows in the crafts industry. Despite being part of the same industry, their locations on different continents makes them very different experiences. Here’s the first part of my look at Creativeworld 2016, hosted at Messe Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany, and what the experience of attending the show was like.

[Disclosure: Messe Frankfurt is a sponsor of this website, and sponsored my travel to Creativeworld 2016.]

Talking the Talk

Creativeworld 2016 was my third year attending the Creativeworld show. When I talk to people about my experiences traveling to Germany for the show, one of the most common questions I get is about navigating the language barrier. In fact, language is one of the smallest concerns in traveling to Creativeworld for English-speaking attendees.

English is the common language meeting ground of many Creativeworld 2016 show attendees who do not speak each others’ native language, and is one of the official languages of Messe Frankfurt. It’s not uncommon to walk into a booth and see people from (for instance) Germany and Russia speaking to each other in English because they don’t know each others’ languages but they both know English. Translator headsets are available in English for organized events like workshops, and signage is created in an easily understandable way for speakers of any language.

But what about outside of the Messe and its accommodations for international visitors? Again, language is not much of a barrier to English speaking visitors to Frankfurt. Many Germans speak English quite fluently thanks to excellent mandatory language programs in schools. Signs in areas like the airport (below) and the major train stations are also in English, as well as critical announcements. Once you get familiar with a few terms and signage system from seeing them on the bilingual signs, you’ll have no difficulty navigating areas without bilingual signs.

Frankfurt Airport Signage

Continue Reading →

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