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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

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CHA Mega Show 2016 | Succulents are Hot!

The CHA Mega Show is a great place to distill scrapbooking trends and craft trends, with so much of the industry and its products in one place for the show. Walking the show floor, patterns and themes become easily apparent – trends!

One thing that kept popping up as I walked the floor of this year’s CHA Mega Show was succulents for crafts! This trend, an outgrowth of the general 1970’s trend in crafts, fashion, and home decor, started to manifest in 2015, but really became prevalent at this show.

Several companies were using real live succulents in their booth decor as a touch of green:

Webster's Pages planner display with succulents

Webster’s Pages planner display with succulents

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CHA Mega Show 2016 | People & Places

I always like to start my overview of the CHA Mega Show with a look at the people I encountered at the show, and the setting that it took place in. After all, what is a good story without a setting and characters?

Anaheim Convention Center

As for all of the past eight years (except for 2011, when the show was in downtown Los Angeles), the show took place at the Anaheim Convention Center next door to Disneyland Resort. This year was tinged with sadness and nostalgia for a lot of attendees, as CHA has announced that the show will be in Phoenix for the next three years. The show’s longtime Anaheim location is an integral part of the show to many, providing entertainment and a concurrent vacation for family members. There’s also many traditions that have grown up around the venue over the show’s long residence there. The move to Phoenix will mean an unfamiliar venue, and the need to begin new traditions for many of the show’s events. Continue Reading →

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It’s 2016 CHA Sneak Peek time!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – CHA Mega Show Sneak Peek time! Even though the show is still a month away, a few peeks are already starting to trickle out.

To make sure you don’t miss any of the scrapbook company sneak peeks, don’t miss our CHA sneak peeks page. It has a convenient table that can be sorted by company, booth number, or date added so you can see the links to all of the peeks in the order that works best for you! Click the graphic below to go straight to it, and be sure to bookmark it so you can check back as it is updated regularly over the next month. CHA 2016 Sneak Peeks Art Continue Reading →

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CHA Mega Show to Leave Anaheim in 2017

The Craft & Hobby Association announced today that the CHA Mega Conference and Trade Show (still known as CHA Winter to many attendees) will leave its longtime home in Anaheim after the upcoming 2016 show. Instead, the 2017 show will be on January 19th-23rd, 2017 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

In addition to the new venue, the show is shifting dates. The 2017 dates in Phoenix are two weeks later into the month than the Anaheim dates have been the past several years, with the 2016 show floor opening on January 9th. The early January dates have been a large source of complaints since CHA started using them in 2012, causing many show attendees to have to work straight through the holidays on show prep without being able to enjoy time with their families.

The early January dates also have caused problems with scheduling pre-show promotions for new releases. Running blog previews and promotions the week the show starts on the current calendar has meant many buyers will already have departed for the show and miss social media promotions. Moving back a week pushes the promotions into the holidays, when many people are off of social media entirely and promotions have to compete with the noise of holiday celebrations for attention. Currently, to ensure the best possible ground for planting promotions on, CHA exhibitors really need to look at mid-December, nearly a month before the show – often an impractical timeline given production schedules. The new dates in later January will provide a window post-holiday and pre-show for the running of product previews that is more practical for production schedules of products and project samples. Continue Reading →

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