h+h cologne 2023 confirms position as leading international B2B trade fair
After three busy trade fair days, the leading international trade fair for creative handicraft & hobby supplies came to a close on Sunday in Cologne. With the participation of 280 companies from 41 countries, all of the industry's big brands presented their products and services to the international trade audience again this year and ensured that the over 12,000 trade visitors went home with satisfied faces.
In addition to gaining a comprehensive overview of the industry, the trade visitors were finally able to engage in a personal exchange at international level again this year at h+h cologne and this opportunity was exploited to the full. For the Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse, Oliver Frese, this is the decisive proof for the success of the leading trade fair: "The number of exhibitors and visitors clearly demonstrates the position of h+h cologne as the industry's most important international trading and networking platform." As such, the trade fair is and remains to be the most important meeting point for the handicraft industry worldwide, Frese added.
This was explicitly emphasised by the exhibitors this year.
Important role of the h+h cologne as a platform for the creative community
The industry association, Initiative Handarbeit e.V., also underlined in Cologne the importance of h+h cologne's role as a platform for the creative community and as a stimulus for new trends. Since in spite of the unabated trend towards handicrafts, the tense economic situation is also having an impact on the industry. In this way, the overall market for handicraft supplies in Germany was estimated to be around Euro 1 billion in 2022, measured in end consumer prices. The market has thus declined compared to the previous years. Whereby, handicrafts were especially popular with the consumers during the lockdown, which led to the turnovers growing significantly in the years 2020 and 2021 (EUR 1.3 and 1.2 billion respectively).
Which is why Hedi Ehlen, Chief Operating Officer of Initiative Handarbeit, found the wealth of innovative diversity displayed by the companies at h+h cologne this year all the more important: "Experiencing innovations and creativity together is vital for both the exhibitors and the visitors. h+h cologne is the best platform for this purpose. All of the people we talked to have emphasised the fact that the personal exchange is indispensable. This is why we are delighted that h+h cologne attracted such a convincing number of guests this year."
The motto of this year's first-class and technically demanding event programme was "be creative. be unique". Discussion rounds, lectures and workshops that provided the trade audience with plenty of inspiration and know-how were offered again on the Talk Sofa and in the course of many workshops. Here the focus lay on practice-oriented tips and information that the participants can utilise for their own business.
Art meets business: "Woolinale" celebrates its premiere at h+h cologne
But not only the industry places great hopes in h+h cologne and its visibility. On the occasion of the first "Woolinale" held in Germany, the 1st International Yarnbombing Festival, ambitious hobby knitters and artists of international acclaim profited from the power of attraction of the trade fair and presented themselves to the international trade audience in front of and at the Entrance South. In this way, interested parties, who were not allowed to attend the trade fair, h+h, were able to experience the pieces of art close-up.