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Creativeworld 2020 shows: DIY is a source of pleasure and business success

04 febbraio 2020

Frankfurt’s consumer-goods fairs – Christmasworld, Paperworld and Creativeworld – opened the new business season with topics of current relevance to the sector. 3,051 exhibitors from 74 countries presented their latest products for seasonal and festive decorations, paper, office supplies and stationery, as well as hobby, crafts and artists’ requisites, to the national and international trade.

The three leading international trade fairs attracted around 84,000 visitors from 163 countries to Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre with numerous new products, striking product presentations and a future-oriented complementary programme of events. “Besides future-oriented, sector-specific themes, it is the high level of internationality and the outstanding visitor quality that make the three fairs an indispensable platform for the trade and industry. Our fairs bring together the sector’s global players at the same time and place for personal contacts that represent the key to success for the entire consumer-goods sector in this digital age”, said Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt.

Successful anniversary edition of Creativeworld, 2020

After four lively, vibrant and extremely successful days, the 10th Creativeworld closed its doors on 28th January. Once again, the trade fair gave an impressive demonstration of its position as the leading international platform for the hobby, crafts and artists’ requisites sector. “Creativeworld has become established as the meeting place for the international sector with buyers coming from all over the world to exchange ideas and information there. They are four very intensive, very good days for us”, said Schmincke CEO Nils Knappe.

With 369 manufacturers from 40 countries3 and 9,201 trade visitors from 102 nations4, Creativeworld is bigger and more international than ever before. “Worldwide, there is no other event that offers such an international variety. The great international demand for DIY products is reflected by the fact that 69 percent of visitors come from outside Germany. Frankfurt is where the world gets together for a creative exchange of ideas and information”, explained Julia Uherek, Head of the Consumer Goods Division of Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH. Confirming this, Kirsten Rohde, Vice President, Marabu, said, “Creativeworld is by far and away the most important trade fair. At no other event in the world do we encounter such an international audience of trade visitors.” And Clairfontaine CEO Guillaume Nusse said, “Frankfurt is where we meet our worldwide contacts. Creativeworld is the perfect platform for customer relations because we can coordinate hundreds of meetings there.”

After Germany, the most visitors came from Great Britain, the Netherlands, Spain and France. Particularly well represented among the countries from outside Europe were the USA, Russia, Israel, Australia and Japan.

Satisfied exhibitors and enthusiastic visitors confirm the Creativeworld concept

Creativeworld combines creativity and business in an unrivalled way and adds extra vibrancy to the exhibition halls with workshops and product demonstrations. Concurrently, the exhibitors have diaries full of appointments with national and international customers. “Creativeworld is extremely lively and multifarious. From retailers to importers and affiliated companies, all are here and generate an extremely positive and creative atmosphere”, said Lyra CEO Hubertus Heusgen. Moreover, Staedtler CEO Karl-Heinz Raue, said, “Messe Frankfurt has added a new target group to the fair for us: besides specialist retailers, we also welcomed numerous opinion leaders, such as bloggers. This adds a touch of spice to the fair and is very important, especially for the creative sector.”

82 percent of exhibitors say that they are satisfied to very satisfied with the course of business at the fair and that this varied and interesting business setting is extremely effective. They reserved particular praise for the high quality of the trade visitors for whom Creativeworld offered not only a complementary programme of events tailored to their needs and contacts to the leading key players of the sector but also a fresh wind in the form of numerous newcomers. This is confirmed by the visitor poll conducted by Messe Frankfurt, according to which 97 percent of trade visitors are satisfied to very satisfied with the results of their time in Frankfurt. Thus, there can be no doubt that the blend of products, knowledge transfer and trends functions well. About Creativeworld, retailer Gaby Hübner of the ‘Das Bastelzubehör’ store in Lüdenscheid said, “I come to the fair every year because I want to meet my suppliers personally and discuss creative ideas with them. Additionally, Creativeworld is a must when it comes to discovering the latest trends. The spectrum of products and offers is simply unbeatable.”

Programme of events focusing on mega trend of individualisation

What does individuality mean for the creative sector? How do consumers give expression to their need for individuality and how can the retail trade work it? These were the main themes of this year’s special presentations. “We show tomorrow’s trends, offer concept areas on subjects of topical relevance to the sector and arrange workshops and product demonstrations for trade visitors”, explained Michael Reichhold, Creativeworld Director, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH. “At the highly competitive point of sale, retailers must emphasise their individual strengths to attract and retain customers. In the case of the specialist trade, we consider these strengths to be personal advice and visual appeal.”

When it came to individuality, the Creativeworld Trends were right at the top of the agenda. The experts from Stilbüro Bora.Herke.Palmisano focused on three themes for the 2020/21 creative season – up-date, work-out and re-form – with the trends being staged impressively by the creative team under Tai Elshorts: “We begin our creative process around three weeks before Creativeworld opens its doors. Sometimes, it’s like working in a laboratory. We have an idea or vision in our minds and begin to tinker. This is a fascinating phase and we sometimes surprise ourselves by the unique exhibits we create using exhibitor products.” The Creativeworld Trends not only give trade visitors insights into new creative techniques but are also a source of inspiration for appealing in-shop displays and a lively exchange of information with the creative team. Katharina Jacobs, Rico’s Head of Brand Management, said, “The Creativeworld Trends are always incredibly important for us. Thanks to the work of the creative team, customers are able to take away lots of valuable information, which means that Creativeworld has an even higher quality for us”.

The focus of the ‘Urban Art Lab: Education’ concept area was on customer needs. The main aim was to increase awareness of this interesting subject in the specialist trade. The team under Carlos Lorente, CEO of Style Scout Graffiti Academy and curator of the area, succeeded in this through a variety of didactic tools, such as workbooks, tutorials and the personal exchange of ideas and information. Additionally, in-house training events and workshops were presented as methods of knowledge transfer and the versatile tools could be tested in the area under professional supervision. “We advised trade visitors in two fields: on the subject of education events for their own employees and gave tips on how to hold urban-art sessions for customers”, said Carlos Lorente.

With almost 30 workshops, the Creativeworld Academy was the ideal platform for the exchange of ideas and information between trade visitors and manufacturers. Designer and television presenter Martina Lammel hosted the varied and interesting programme: “The workshops not only tackled creative subjects but also, in particular, emphasised the role played by emotions. It is important to pass on your own positive experience to customers in the shop. Every year, I am impressed by the great dynamism and the exchange of information during the demonstrations”. Botz Glasuren CEO Mechthild Spener also sees the Academy as a very good format: “This is the fourth time that we have given a workshop here and we have always been delighted with the positive response from participants and the direct reaction to our new products.” Selected Academy workshops can now be seen on the internet at Conzoom Solutions.

15th Creative Impulse Award

Given in cooperation with the bit-Verlag publishing company, the 15th Creative Impulse Award was presented to the winners in a ceremony on the Saturday of the fair. And, to mark this anniversary, two new categories were introduced: Artistic Product of the Year and Sustainable Product of the Year. In her opening speech, Julia Uherek praised the innovative spirit of the sector: “Special thanks go to our exhibitors who have made this award possible through their untiring efforts in the development and improvement of their products. At every meeting of the jury, I am unfailing impressed by the innovativeness to be found in our sector.”

The first prizes went to:

  • Creative Product of the Year: Le Petit Bleu ‘Cities of Wonders’
  • Creative Tool of the Year: Tonic Studios ‘Left-handed Glass Media Mat’ by Tim Holtz
  • Creative Kit of the Year: Gelli Arts ‘Gelli Arts Printmaking Starter Kit’
  • Creative Book of the Year: frechverlag 'We’re saving the bees, hedgehogs and beetles!' (Wir retten die Bienen, Igel und Käfer!)
  • Artistic Product of the Year: Kremer Pigmente 'Kremer Pigments Watercolour and Oil Paint Sets'
  • Special award: Sustainable Product: Rayher Hobby ‘Slatted wood lamps’

Rayher Hobby CEO Stephan Rayher was very proud of the award for his company in the special category of most sustainable product: “We are delighted about the sustainability award for our wooden lamps, which we designed ourselves, are made of certified wood and produced at our own production facilities in Serbia. This is something to which we as a company attach very great importance.”

Trends from Creativeworld 2020: freedom knows no bounds

This year’s Creativeworld celebrates freedom wholeheartedly: more than ever, it is about giving people the means to become boundlessly creative. There are no limits to the combinations of materials and the traditional or innovative techniques that can be used to process them: it is all about diversity and individualisation. The focus is on the need to combine the old and the new: furniture, accessories and clothing are given an update with chalk paints, glitter and coarse embroidery, making them new favourite items. Designwise, the important thing is that typography is used freely; what matters is personality rather than perfection.

The theme of sustainability is on everyone’s lips

Behind the new enjoyment of upcycling and the innovative treatment of objects taken from flora and fauna, there is also the need in the creative sector to move in harmony with nature. This approach is reflected in the focus on recyclable materials, biodegradable ingredients, reduced packaging, refillable cartridges and certified wood. "The theme of sustainability has definitively arrived in our sector", says efco CEO Martin Erler. "This began with papier-mâché objects made from scrap paper, beeswax cloths and fully compostable ironable beads made from certified plastic. Specialist retailers are reacting very well to the products because demand for them is growing." Katharina Jacobs from Rico corroborates the trend: "It is important for us to embrace the 'Fridays for Future' movement, to build a world where 'Nature Matters' and to try to do without packaging materials."

Publishing houses have also taken up the theme of sustainability, with book series on the theme of zero waste and the 'Creative Book of the Year': 'We’re saving the bees, hedgehogs and beetles! (Wir retten die Bienen, Igel und Käfer!)', which is produced by publishers frechverlag.

Urban art in specialist creative retail

Creative freedom has always been the defining feature of the urban art theme. The trend has grown steadily and it has finally become a regular component of creative retailers’ product ranges this year. Information about techniques, possibilities and concepts continues to play a big role here. Retailers can provide specific support to their customers in their search for forms of expression – above all with a successful mix of products and ideas for mixed media techniques. "Retailers are not afraid of the street art theme any more. Lack of knowledge has been overcome: possibilities are being discussed now and concepts developed", as Molotow CEO Jürgen Feuerstein explains. Even for children, the range of chalks and paints for asphalt is growing.

Resin offers impressive possibilities

Everything to do with the theme of resin is new this year, be it cast artworks with a high-gloss finish, paperweights, or pieces of jewellery – synthetic resin has many facets and has already attracted a large following.

Perennial favourites ('evergreens') continue to develop

Hand lettering, découpage, washi tape, stamps and die cutting: the favourites of past years have become true 'evergreens' and have evolved further. These popular techniques encourage the trend for personalisation, making notebooks and diaries, recipe collections and bullet journal planners into unique companions. Even people can become a part of the artwork – with facial stamps and matching colours, skin-friendly coloured pencils for drawing motifs, and tattoo pens.

Acrylic pouring also remains a huge trend. Designing with alcohol-based inks is now an additional feature of the fluid art theme; whether it is flowing colour graduations, droplets or concrete motifs – imagination knows no bounds here as well.

Pastels are the colours of creativity and will continue to be so

In terms of colours, pastel shades continue to be the absolute highlight. From personalised stationery to furnishing accessories and textiles, above all pale pink, dusky pink and soft pink are indispensable in the cosmos of the creative person.


¹2019: 3,112 exhibitors from 68 countries (FKM certified / audited)

²2019: 86,796 visitors from 161 countries (FKM certified / audited)

³2019 Exhibitors: 362 from 44 countries (FKM certified / audited), figures for 2020 before auditing

⁴2019 Visitors: 9,152 from 104 countries (FKM certified / audited), figures for 2020 before auditing


Coming events:

Next year, the consumer-goods fairs will be held as usual around the last Saturday in January:

Christmasworld: 29 January to 2 February 2021
Paperworld and Creativeworld: 30 January to 2 February 2021

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