More than 87,000 visitors from 161 countries1 made their way to Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre to discover highlights and new products for their businesses at the three leading international trade fairs. “The high level of internationality is one of the most decisive qualitative factors of our events. The outstanding visitor quality and the personal contacts are also unique features whereby interactivity, emotionalization and intelligent links between the analogue and digital worlds are the main driving forces for the coming business season. And our trio of fairs generate the right impulses for this”, says Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt. The trade-fair trio confirmed its role as the international market place for innovations and an indispensable business platform for the exchange of information.
Christmasworld scores with high-quality visitors and high levels of international participation
This was an energetic start to the season: at Christmasworld, 1,089 exhibitors from 45 countries (227 from Germany and 862 from abroad)2 captivated the attention of the international wholesale and retail trade with their new products and displays for festive and seasonal decoration. Altogether, 45,304 visitors from 123 countries (16,100 from Germany and 29,204 from abroad)3 came to Frankfurt to order items for the upcoming trends and to get inspiration for new displays at the point of sale.
“At a time of structural change in the retail landscape, the new Christmasworld has been a huge success and, above all, scores highly, because of the outstanding quality of the visitors to the show,” says Stephan Kurzawski, Senior Vice President, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH. “With all this – and with continued increase in the numbers of exhibitors – Christmasworld has, once again, confirmed its role as the world’s leading trade fair for seasonal and festive decorations,” continues Vice President Kurzawski. Lars Adler, Managing Director of Hoff-Interieur GmbH & Co KG, sums it up as follows: “The public is of very high calibre, the level of international participation is high and approaches to placing orders are, as always, excellent.” For new exhibitors, Philippi, their attendance at the trade fair was also a great success. “We have been able to acquire a whole range of new customers. They included buyers from Germany, as well as from Italy, Ukraine and Portugal. I am delighted from every point of view,” adds company owner, Jan Philippi.
As far as the visitors are concerned, international participation is at 64 percent and, for exhibitors, at 79 percent. The ten strongest representations amongst visitor nations outside Germany come from Italy, France, the Netherlands, China, Great Britain, Switzerland, the Russian Federation, Austria, Belgium and the USA. We have seen particularly strong growth in numbers from Ukraine, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Israel, Canada, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand and Argentina.
“The level of internationality amongst visitors is huge. We are very happy with the way things went at the trade fair. And the mood in the market is also positive. Anyone who does something with real commitment has good prospects for success, in spite of, or indeed because of, appropriate links with online activities,” adds Kathrin Völker, a member of the management team at Räder GmbH. Not only is the level of international participation very satisfying, but so, too, is the nature of the visitor profile: all types of retail and wholesale were represented, from traditional retail, wholesale, import and export trades to mail-order and online sellers. At the same time, specialist retailers constituted by far the largest group. The high calibre of the visiting public, with a large number of decision makers in purchasing departments – 72 percent of them are in management positions – was greatly appreciated. “This year has been the best Christmasworld so far for us. Visitor quality, too, has been even better. We had significantly more specialist professionals from shopping centres and even representatives from town and city marketing departments at our stand. Things are going really well. The visitors came from all over Europe, Australia and perceptibly more from the USA,” adds Christina Mouchali, Fotodiastasi Illumination.
Good start: new concept for halls fosters new contacts
The new concept for the halls at Christmasworld, including the new Hall 12, which was finished in the autumn of 2018, had been awaited with some excitement. “Of course, there were a few niggles too, but the changes to the overall layout have received a very positive response. We shall consider carefully the feedback from both our exhibitors and our visitors and will address some of the details for 2020, in order to further improve and optimise visitor flow,” comments Stephan Kurzawski, Vice President, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH. “Huge compliments. You’ve tried something new and it has worked out very much to our advantage. The show went really well,” stresses Felicitas Lehner, owner of Lehner Wolle GmbH.
The new mix of products in the halls, allowing visitors to circulate on one level, enabled the various target groups amongst the specialist buyers to gain a maximum of inspiration and are said to have provided maximum opportunity for establishing new business contacts. “The new concept brought movement into the halls and I see that as very positive. Change brings progress and forces exhibitors, too, to revise their presentations. That is fundamental, if you are going to convince buyers of the importance of your collection,” emphasises Hamid Yazdtschi, CEO at the Gilde Group.
Some exhibitors initially feared that there would be fewer visitors at their stand. “But that has not been the case. New customers are important for us and in this respect, Christmasworld again turned up trumps as far as we are concerned,” says Manuel Vels, Manager Pusteblume GmbH. And things also went well for manufacturers, who decided to exhibit in two halls. “Really fantastic. We have been positively surprised at how quickly the new concept has been accepted by visitors. We notice this from a significant increase in numbers in comparison to last year. The split into two halls worked out really well for us – that way we have been better able to reach out to different customer groups. Hall 11 scored particularly well, because we were well placed in relation to other things,” explains Klaus Müller-Blech, Member of the Executive Team at Inges Christmas Decor GmbH. Michael Rossmann, Managing Director, Pad Home Design Concept GmbH, also draws a positive conclusion: “I love this trade fair because of its energy. It operates at a fantastic level. The new layout suits Christmasworld very well; you get a very clear sense that it has been received extremely positively by visitors and exhibitors alike. Customers are happy here and that is what counts for us.
High levels of satisfaction amongst both visitors and exhibitors
The results of the visitor survey reflect high levels of satisfaction. 92 percent of visitors are ‘satisfied’ or even ‘very satisfied’ overall with the range of products and manufacturers and, indeed, with the organisation and running of the show, as well. At 95 percent, visitor satisfaction with the extent to which they have achieved their targets for the show continues at a very high level.
Most interest – 58 percent – on the part of the trade visitors was shown in Christmas decorations; closely followed, this time, by large-scale decoration for public and commercial spaces and lighting (45 percent). As a result, seasonal decoration (34 percent) comes in third place, with, then, Christmasworld International Sourcing (26 percent), followed by candles (23 percent), floristry requisites and garden decoration (22 percent) and gift wrapping (16 percent).
12 percent indicated that they were interested in fresh flowers and decorative plants. “The mood is good. People are having fun, are interested in new things and like the retail concepts. We are having some good discussions here. Although our product is not part of the main themes at Christmasworld, visitors are interested in fresh flowers and are setting time aside for them,” confirms Joyce Lansbergen, Director, LG Flowers.
The level of satisfaction amongst exhibitors comes in at 74 percent, the same high level as in 2018.
Inspiration and stimulation for high-street retail
In the age of digitalisation, the levers par excellence are ‘convenience’ and ‘experience’. High street retailers need, moreover, to build on their strengths, such as proximity, trust, and advice, whilst, at the same time, linking their services with online business in sensible ways – and, above all, sharpening their profile. Market participants and speakers were all agreed on this. An attractive, all-embracing range of products is no longer sufficient to establish and maintain customer loyalty. You can have that 24/7 with a mouse click. What counts much more is an arresting and – above all – surprising combination and/or display of goods. “The zanier, the more innovative, the more noticeable a shop is, the more successful it will be. You should change the design of the shop window at least once a week,” recommends Alexander von Keyserlingk, Founder of the ‘Slowretail Initiative’. It takes just two seconds for customers decide to enter a shop. “Take advantage of this short attention span and create something really unusual; it’s worth it, as 70 percent of decisions to buy are made in the shop at the time,” says Hans Schmidt of Arte Perfectum GbR.
So, the point of sale is shifting more and more from being the ‘point of emotion’ to become the ‘point of fascination’ – and, to this end, the presentations and displays by the exhibitors, together with the complementary programme provided a host of stimulating ideas. As a consequence of the new hall layout, the highlights of the show have become ‘centrepieces’, at the heart of the halls, and are thus brought closer to the products and services that are on offer from the exhibitors: something that was very well received.
The Christmasworld Trends provided some impressive scenarios in Hall 11, in which to stage the new products, colours and materials that will be indispensable for the coming season. In the special Kinemona Vintage presentation, specialist professional buyers in Hall 12 learnt how storytelling at the PoS can help them tempt people to make purchases and how, in doing so, they can use surprise to their advantage. Using a summery saffron-yellow, the designers from 2dezign did indeed manage to conjure up an impressive Christmas world!
The Christmas Delights product group in Hall 8.0 also provided recognition of the convenience trend, as the packaged food goodies provide the retail trade with additional potential sales all year round.
“We have been pleasantly surprised by the interest shown. We had constant, encouraging discussions all day long,” says David Spickermann, Managing Director of Pottkorn und Mahlgrad. And Stephan Mai, Export Manager, Dethlefsen & Balk adds: “This is our first time here and we have made lots of new contacts with both local and international retailers from the deco and gifts segment, who have been very strongly represented here.”
Fresh worlds of experience: Retail Boulevard and Floradecora
The new Retail Boulevard in Galleria 0 showcases innovative pop-up stores for flower shops, garden centres, DIY stores and building supplies merchants, supermarkets and furniture stores – with new ideas for combining products. “New things always provoke a reaction and get people talking. That is very good for the sector. That’s why this is such a very successful display for the visitors. Christmasworld is a must. It’s the place where garden centres across Europe and from all over the world, including, for instance, Japan and South Africa, all meet up,” says Peter Botz, General Manager of the German Association of Garden Centres.
Immediately next door, with the product segment represented in the Floradecora section, specialist buyers at the show were able to learn more about combining fresh floral elements and seasonal decoration. “With its flowers and plants, Floradecora is like an oasis, an enrichment, which gives a deal of pleasure to many. We are able to broadcast our message here widely and get closer to the end consumer through contact with a host of outlets in the floristry, decoration and horticultural sectors, that are, indeed, in the forefront of the supply chain,” adds Sonja Dümmen, Marketing Manager, Dümmen Orange.
Producers and wholesalers with products from the Netherlands, Kenya and Ecuador met with a great deal of interest: “We meet people here who are into flowers in a big way, are keen to find them and feel comfortable with us. Visitor quality is very good, very international. From Spain to China – the whole world is here and they’re all professionals, who’ve come to get information and inspiration,” confirms Jan de Boer, CEO, Barendsen.
From reductionist to glamorous: the Christmasworld Trends
Sustainability, naturalness, reductionist aesthetic and a hint of exclusivity – those are the trends displayed at Christmasworld 2019. The Christmas and seasonal decorations come in a huge gamut of forms with painstakingly hand-crafted products: Christmas baubles are decorated with real gold, pendants artistically adorned with pearls, sequins and feathers. Then there are culinary motifs such as cupcakes and tartlets. Dominant colours here are warm ones, which win out in terms of depth: blue is a determinant in a huge range of the most diverse shades; and there is also a range of earthy tones such as matcha green, as well as powder pink and berry tones combined with gold. When it comes to materials, it is the sustainable ones that are in vogue. Alongside wood, a central role is played by cotton, glass and ceramics, together with flowers and recycled plastic. Real greenery, in the form of easy-to-care-for and ready-to-go pot plants and orchids, packaged in traditional wrappers and pots made from natural materials, are all set to ensure additional sales potential in the retail trade. Seasonal culinary treats and drinks, including imaginative variations on classic tea varieties and traditionally made sweets in brightly coloured packaging, with affectionate messages, are increasingly proving to be a draw among the ‘Christmas Delights’ at the heart of Christmasworld. And innovative lighting and design ideas also help create the emotional shopping experiences, which make for greater footfall in retailers’ shops and town centres.
Next year, the consumer-goods fairs will once again be held around the last Saturday of January:
Christmasworld: 24 to 28 January 2020
Paperworld and Creativeworld: 25 to 28 January 2020
Note for journalists:
Further information and photographs can be found at: christmasworld.messefrankfurt.com
Press releases & images:
On the internet:
1 2018: 86,503 visitors from 160 countries and 3,017 visitors from 69 countries (FKM certified / audited), figures for 2019 before auditing
2 2018: 1,048 exhibitors from 43 countries – 234 Germany / 814 abroad (FKM-certified / audited), figures for 2019 before auditing
3 2018: 43,450 visitors from 129 countries – 16,110 Germany / 27,340 abroad (FKM-certified / audited), figures for 2019 before auditing
Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With over 2,500* employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €715* million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.
With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
Further information is available at: www.messefrankfurt.com
* provisional figures 2018