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.