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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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Update | Bella Crafts, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Jobs, & More

In this edition of the Update column we’ve got lots of big news from some of the industry’s biggest players: Michaels Stores, Hobby Lobby, Messe Frankfurt, Craft & Hobby Association, and more!

[Dislaimer: Messe Frankfurt is a sponsor of this website, but information included in this article was solely at my own discretion.]

Publishing. Bella Crafts has launched a second digital magazine, called Craft Techniques. The new title, which joins the company’s line-up alongside the original Bella Crafts Quarterly, will be published six times per year with a single issue price of $4.97. Annual subscriptions are currently available at an introductory rate of $17.97.

Craft Techniques coverCelebrating. Stamp manufacturer My Favorite Things is celebrating its tenth anniversary in the whole month of July with a series of special giveaways and features on its blog. Founder Kim van der Sanden wrote a special blog post detailing the history of the company’s early days.

Honoring. The Craft & Hobby Association is accepting nominations for the following awards to be presented during the CHA Conference & Trade Show in Phoenix in January 2017:

Meritorious Award of Honor – Service to CHA
The highest award of recognition bestowed upon an individual member, past or present, who has made a significant contribution to the Craft & Hobby Association.
Industry Achievement Award – Contribution to Craft and Hobby Industry
Recognizing a CHA member (individual, group and/or company) who has made a significant contribution to the growth and vitality of the craft and hobby industry as a whole.
Special Recognition Award(s) – Good Deeds
Presented to a person, group and/or company for an extraordinary contribution in an activity that showcases the craft and hobby industry in a positive way. Award recipient(s) need not be a member(s) of the Association.
Nominations are due by July 30th. Click here to fill out the nomination form.

Clearing Out. After six months of virtual silence, October Afternoon has resurfaced to hold a warehouse box sale on their blog. They’ve held several rounds of boxes already in the past couple of weeks, selling merchandise for twenty cents on the dollar retail ($100 value boxes for $20 retail). The most recent round is sold out already, but owner Jonathan Denton has replied to comments from disappointed would-be buyers, promising more boxes will be offered soon.

Selling. Speaking of boxes, Me & My Big Ideas has been testing a Happy Planner Kit in select Costco stores at a price point of $24.99. The planner alone normally retails for $29.99, so this is a heavily discounted bundle.

Happy Planner Kit

Michaels has also just put out mid-aisle displays of similar kits, in several sizes and themes. There are teacher and student kits, as well as a fitness and a seasonal (holiday) planner. They range in price from $29.99 to $39.99, depending on the size and number of months included.

MAMBI Planner Kit

Prepping. Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes when industry professionals are getting ready for a trade show? Jen Gallacher, who is the marketing manager at Echo Park Paper, made a great video talking about what goes into the lead-up to a trade show. Watch it on YouTube.

Expanding. Messe Frankfurt has announced a new addition to the Christmasworld show that occurs in January every year simultaneously with Creativeworld and Paperworld. The “Floradecora” product area will feature live floral and plant product offerings, which are becoming increasingly popular for seasonal displays, and will be located in Hall 11.1 in the Christmasworld show area.

Damaging. The Hobby Lobby store in Muskogee, Oklahoma sustained damage in a severe storm that hit the city on Thursday, July 14th. The store was closed at the time and there were no injuries in the incident. Hobby Lobby’s communications coordinator told the Muskogee Phoenix that the damage appears to be limited to the external and the company hoped to reopen the store quickly. The Hobby Lobby store is next to a recently closed Hancock Fabrics store. Hobby Lobby will be renovating and expanding their existing location into the newly vacant space, with the makeover slated for completion in November.

Falling. Michaels Companies Inc (MIK) stock took a hit last Wednesday when the company announced two pieces of news. The first was that the company now expects 2nd quarter profits to hit the low range of their previous estimate, which was already a disappointment to analysts. The company also announced that Bain Capital and Blackstone Group, the private equity companies that were the companies previous private owners, are cashing out 11 million shares of the 80% equity they continued to hold in the company after it went public. The twin disclosures sent the company’s stock tumbling 6% by the end of trading on Wednesday, to $27.13. As of the market close today (Monday), the stock had recovered only slightly, to $27.56.

Changing. The Washington Post has a thought-provoking article up about the Millenial generation’s relationship to stuff. Their tendency to lead more simple lifestyles in smaller homes is leading them to reject memorabilia as clutter. Not only do they not want their parents’ sentimental legacies, but they aren’t creating and collecting their own. It’s food for thought for an industry that is built largely on the creation of that “clutter”.

Jobs. The following industry positions are currently listed as open and available:

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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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Project | Travel Album: Messe Frankfurt Style

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

2016 is just around the corner, and that means another trip in late January to Frankfurt for Creativeworld. So now I’m on a mission to get my 2014 Frankfurt album completed before then so that I will still only be one album behind! It’s time to crank out some pages if I’m going to make it!

Today’s layout is sort of part two of the previous layout I did that was titled Hello Messe Frankfurt. The content is somewhat an extension of the first layout, and much of the design is as well.

Messe Frankfurt Style layout

This layout is all about the inside of Messe Frankfurt, whereas the previous one was more the outside. I kept the design very consistent from the previous one by using the Project Life “Everyday” Core Kit by Liz Tamanaha again, but this time I needed to add something. This layout had a lot of orange in the photos, because of the signage inside the Messe. To tie this in, I reached for another Core Kit, also by Liz Tamanaha. The insanely popular Midnight Core Kit has the same black and white color scheme and coordinates perfectly with the Everyday core kit – but has touches of golden yellow that work wonderfully with the signage in my photos! Continue Reading →

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Creativeworld 2014 | A Tour of Messe Frankfurt

Last month, for the first time, I traveled to Frankfurt, Germany to attend the annual Creativeworld show (and its sister shows, Paperworld and Christmasworld).

The shows are put on and hosted by Messe Frankfurt, the massive exhibition center in Frankfurt that also plays host to events such as the Frankfurt auto show, the world’s largest auto show. Before you can begin to really absorb the show itself, it’s necessary to orient yourself to the venue. And the Messe (as it is called in brief) is absolutely massive. It’s so large I can’t even compare it in size to any convention center that I’ve ever been in here in the U.S. A better comparison would be that the Messe is the size of a small college or corporate campus – a series of almost a dozen buildings connected by aerial walkways and a network of roads.

This road runs the length of the center of the Messe “campus” and is served by a shuttle bus service that allows attendees to move between buildings without walking huge distances in the skyways.

Messe Frankfurt Exterior Continue Reading →

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