OUTLOOK ON GROWTH AREAS AND HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2024
Frankfurt am Main, 9 May 2023
The leading international consumer goods fairs Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld were held together for the first time at the Frankfurt Exhibition Centre in February 2023. Under the motto “Home of Consumer Goods”, the trade fair trio redefined the most important and biggest networking platform and formed the hub for the global consumer goods sector. In a short pit stop, Julia Uherek and Philipp Ferger answer questions and reveal what is planned for 2024 and what innovations exhibitors and visitors can already look forward to.
“Wow – the comeback was sensational and overwhelming”, opens Julia Uherek, Vice President Consumer Goods Fairs, the conversation. After a break of more than two years, the international consumer goods sector finally met again on site in Frankfurt. The three consumer goods fairs occupied the entire exhibition centre and welcomed 154,000 visitors from 170 participating nations. “The high degree of internationality and the terrific satisfaction ratings exceeded all expectations. Frankfurt is the one-stop shop for the global consumer goods sector”, says Uherek. In the fully booked exhibition halls, there was euphoric reunion joy and a lively ordering mood for five days. “With the three leading fairs together, we have managed to create unique synergy effects worldwide. Our market research proves this. Now it’s time for fine-tuning, there is potential for optimisation that we want to exploit,” adds Vice President Philipp Ferger. For 2024, optimisations are to be made, taking into account the feedback from exhibitors and visitors in order to create growth potential for new exhibitors and to improve the routing for the different target groups. “We are pleased about the enormous rebooking rate at all three trade fairs – basically we are already overbooked. Also the big players are back at Christmasworld and Creativeworld. This is a great sign of confidence from the industry and spurs us on to do even better next year,” says Ferger. The challenge now is to meet all the needs and create space for growth in a fully booked exhibition centre: “We are in contact with the companies to offer suitable space. As fair organisers, we want to offer our exhibitors the best possible placement and at the same time the greatest possible variety for our visitors”.
What is new in 2024?
The signs are on growth in terms of quality and quantity – above all at Ambiente Dining and Working as well as in the Global Sourcing section of Ambiente and Christmasworld. In the Dining segment, Ambiente remains the world’s unrivalled No. 1 with an unique variety of products for the table, kitchen and household. “We are in talks with many exhibitors who did not exhibit in 2023. The new layout in the western part offers short distances and optimal structures for buyers. There are only minor optimisations here,” explains Ferger. For a better description of the product ranges, the product groups in Hall 9.2 will be renamed “Clean Home & Storage Solutions” and in Hall 9.3 “Top Deals & Collections”. “Hospitality is and remains a strategic growth area. This does not rule out an expansion of the programme in Hall 11, but also outside it. For example, the HoReCa Academy will move into the foyer to generate more space for new exhibitors who have already registered,” says Ferger. In Hall 11 there is a clear focus on the segments “Front of House” and “Out of House”. In the future, offers from the “Back of House” segment will be found in the Cook & Cut area in Hall 8.
Growth segment Working
There is also news at Ambiente Working: after the positive response to the segment, which was introduced for the first time, additional space for growth is planned for 2024 with the Festhalle and the Forum. Office suppliers for commercial office supplies and technology will move into Forum 0 and the Festhalle. Remanexpo, the platform for remanufactured printer components, is located in the Congress Center and additionally in Forum 1. The entire range of gifts, school articles and stationery will in future be united under one roof in Hall 4.2 and will expand to the section Urban Gifts, Stationery & School. “We are planning additional space for the PBS segment that was not available to us in 2023,” says Ferger. “We are thus creating our own PBS cosmos with a more efficient circulation in the eastern part with a direct connection to Interior Design and Urban Gifts, Stationery & School. We are already pleased about the numerous registrations from the stationery brand industry. Trade visitors and buyers from the commercial sector will benefit from the optimised routing and proximity to Creativeworld. The range of products and services in the Future of Work area will be given a new name, ‘Office Design & Solutions’, and will move to the eastern part of Hall 3.1. The trade fair highlight Future of Work will thus continue to reflect the facets of the meta trend New Work in an attractive interior design environment. A new addition is a promotional area for young, innovative suppliers who can use Ambiente as a steppingstone for their businesses.
This means that the specialist trade side with European brands and suppliers can grow in the eastern part, but high-volume suppliers of stationery will also be given more space in the western area of the fair ground. As the biggest platform outside China, the Global Sourcing section of Ambiente and Christmasworld will be strategically expanded: Hall 10 will be redesigned to accommodate the growing range of products in the Ambiente Giving and Working segments for stationery, office with office supplies and technology and in the Dining segment for tableware. In return, the Global Sourcing range of Christmasworld will move to Hall 6.2 and thus into the trade fair itself.
In addition, the focus continues to be on B2B specialised business: “With our special interest labels ‘HoReCa/Hospitality’, ‘Contract Business’ and ‘Concept Decoration’, we specifically bring together supply and demand. With our entire range of products, we want to be even more attractive for specialised buyers from the hotel and catering trade, interior design, office equipment, architecture and project planning”, explains Uherek. The Concept Decoration section of Christmasworld and the Contract Business and Hospitality Business sections of Ambiente will be further expanded to meet the needs of specific target groups. In future, these visitor groups will have access to separate areas, lounges, lectures and guided tours of the fair.
What are the meta themes for 2024?
Visitors can look forward to current trends, fresh impulses and valuable expertise on the meta themes design & lifestyle, new work, sustainability, digitalisation and future retail. The exciting focus topics are reflected in the extensive supporting programme, such as the expert lectures in the academies or the trend shows at the three trade fairs. Other highlights include the inspiring special presentations, such as ‘Decoration Unlimited’ at Christmasworld, the awards such as the Creative Impulse Award at Creativeworld, and the Talents, the promotional programme for talented young designers at Ambiente. “Ambiente has always been a meeting place for designers from all over the world. In 2024, we want to create more opportunities for designers to meet with exhibitors, visitors and the media and are planning more visibility and better connecting points for the design community,” reveals Uherek.
The important meta theme sustainability will continue to run like a red thread through all the exhibition halls. The “Ethical Style” programme of the three fairs specifically identifies exhibitors with ecologically produced and socially responsible products. Companies can once again apply for the programme and be assessed by an independent jury of international experts. In addition, there will be “Ethical Style Spots” again. The curated special presentations will show innovative product worlds that combine design and sustainability. “In this way, we are creating an international trade centre for sustainable consumer goods and commercial facilities, inspiring a rethink and driving change in the industry,” emphasises Uherek.
What is happening with the digital offers?
Thanks to the diverse digital services, the future-oriented meta themes are also strongly present during the year: the complementary online platforms such as Conzoom Solutions, the order platform Nmedia.hub, the digital exhibitor and product search, the social media channels and the smart matchmaking provide the trade with fresh impulses, an overview of relevant industry themes and the opportunity to order and network throughout the year. “Messe Frankfurt is a year-round business enabler. During the fair, however, we clearly focus on the live trade fair experience. This means that the Digital Extension can be used during the trade fairs for uncomplicated contact between exhibitors and visitors. To this end, we are expanding our online events during the year as part of the Digital Academy – and promoting matchmaking within the global industry,” says Uherek. The first online event with a focus on sustainability will take place on 24 May 2023 from 10:00 to 11:00 am. Further online events around the meta topics and with exciting speakers will follow. “You are cordially invited – these dates are not to be missed. It will be worth it,” recommends Uherek at the end of the conversation.
Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld will continue to be held simultaneously at the Frankfurt exhibition centre:
Ambiente/Christmasworld: 26 to 30 January 2024
Creativeworld: 27 to 30 January 2024
SENSATIONAL COMEBACK: FRANKFURT CONSUMER GOODS FAIRS SET INTERNATIONAL BENCHMARK
Frankfurt am Main, 7 February 2023
The leading international consumer goods fairs Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld have joined forces for the first time from February 3-4 to 7, 2023, to inspire as the global hub for upcoming lifestyle trends. They reflect the increasing merging of lifestyles and focus on the top theme of sustainability. 4,561 exhibitors occupied the entire Frankfurt exhibition center on 352,950 gross square meters and impressed 154,000 retailers from all over the world with their innovations. Participants from more than 170 nations celebrated the personal encounter.
Finally, discover product worlds with all your senses again and be inspired by innovations! More than ever, Frankfurt became the home of the global consumer goods market. For five days, the fully booked exhibition halls were buzzing with reunions and an energetic ordering mood. A total of 154,000 buyers came to Frankfurt to experience trends live and to order for their collections, with which they stimulate the consumer mood.
“With an overwhelming participation and tremendous internationality, we have made an incredible comeback for the global consumer goods world after two years of pandemic. Frankfurt has strengthened its leading position and is the comprehensive inspiration, ordering and networking event. Our new concept One-Stop-Shop is working” says Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board. Buyers benefited from a unique variety of fresh business impulses: at Ambiente Dining, Living and Giving were expanded by the new Working section with a view to modern working worlds. Christmasworld inspired the sector with seasonal eye-catchers and festive decorations with a wow effect for the most beautiful and best-selling time of the year. With numerous creative offerings and interactive workshops, Creativeworld celebrated the ongoing DIY boom like no other trade fair. The greatest possible efficiency is the focus for all participants.
“The new trade fair format consisting of Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld is very coherent and perfectly tailored to the needs of the trade, as the ranges in the home and living segments are also increasingly merging. The mood among our members was consistently positive and it was confirmed once again that our industry needs the trade fair marketplace as a platform for networking, ordering and experiencing the products,” says Christian Haeser, Managing Director of Handelsverband Wohnen und Büro e.V.
The Central Association of the Hardware Trade (Zentralverband Hartwarenhandel e.V.) also agrees with this tenor: “Full halls, super atmosphere, lots of new products, great discussions – the restart of the trade fair after the pandemic has been a success. The specialist retail trade in the housewares/glass porcelain ceramics sector is pleased and grateful to be able to return to the world’s most important consumer goods fair, Ambiente, in its presence after three years. Christmasworld and Creativeworld open up further exciting segments, and a wide range of ideas, which are essential in a challenging market to inspire customers,” says General Manager Thomas Dammann.
Best ratings in internationality and satisfaction
The high level of internationality exceeded all expectations: 70 percent of visitors came from abroad. In addition to Germany, the strongest participating nations included Italy, France, the Netherlands, the USA, Great Britain, Spain, Turkey, Switzerland, Greece and Poland. “It’s gigantic and the visitor frequency super international – even far more than expected and far more than in 2020 before the pandemic. We are overrun, nobody expected that and we are very happy. The combination of Christmasworld, Ambiente and Creativeworld is proving to be a very fortunate solution for exhibitors and trade buyers alike, and one that should definitely be maintained,” stresses Lars Adler, Chairman of the Board EVL (European Lifestyle Association).
The entire spectrum of German and international retail trade was on site. In addition, the mega event attracted the who’s who of major international buyers. Moreover, major distributors of hotel and restaurant supplies from around the world were also attending. The fact that the trade sees Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld as its new platform for success is also confirmed by Messe Frankfurt’s visitor survey. The satisfaction ratings are at a very high level and currently stand at 94 percent.
DEHOGA Hessen, Frankfurt am Main District Association, was also pleased that the launch of the Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld 2023 consumer goods fairs in Frankfurt has set the signals back in the right direction. It is extremely important to the hospitality industry association that Frankfurt is strengthened as a MICE destination in national and international perception. “After the crisis years, which hit the hotel and catering industry in particular, it is extremely important that the trade fairs and congresses boost business travel tourism again,” emphasizes Robert Mangold, Chairman of DEHOGA Frankfurt. “The trade fairs are an important economic factor for the city’s image as well as for the overall structure of all tourism profiteers in Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main region.”
New ideas for sustainable consumption
The extensive supporting program, which brought together a large number of top international speakers and designers such as Karim Rashid, Ross Lovegrove, Olivier Lapidus, Tassilo von Grolmann, but also promising young talents, was praised as a valuable source of inspiration. Through special presentations, lectures, workshops or guided tours, the exchange on the most important meta-topics such as sustainability, new work, design, lifestyle, future retail and digital expansion of trade was stimulated. In this way, all forms of trade were given targeted approaches to solutions as well as practical and implementable ideas to take with them on their way.
A particular highlight was the Future of Work area in the new Ambiente Working section, which presented individual solutions for modern working environments. After all, the workplace is increasingly merging into social places where interaction and social exchange take place. The establishment of co-working spaces as a new form of office organization meets the urgent need for flexibility and mobility. Buyers found a variety of offers and impulses for this. “Future of Work is not just about practical solutions, but about a mindset. We are experiencing a great deal of interest on the part of visitors here. In any crisis, people start to rethink and fresh ideas emerge. It’s an exciting time. We have gained new customers who were not actually looking for products like ours. Many hotels are also showing interest, as they too are offering more and more co-working spaces. The high visitor frequency in the Future of Work area shows that it really is a topic for everyone,” says Diane Wendel, Managing Director Country Living.
The topic of sustainability was omnipresent at all three trade shows with innovative products – according to the Zukunftsinstitut, it is increasingly in demand among consumers and is becoming a decisive purchasing criterion. “More than 70 percent of people worldwide still prefer to shop in stores. However, they want to do so more locally, more sustainably and more collaboratively. Every crisis generates resilience, courage and creativity, and changes create new opportunities and potential for retailers. Here, it is important to set the course early on and consistently put on the consumer’s glasses,” suggests futurologist and retail expert Theresa Schleicher from the Zukunftsinstitut.
Digital Extension enables over 80,000 contacts and extends trade show experience
The decisive factor in inspiration remained the physical experience, which was clearly in focus in 2023 – and continues to be meaningfully supplemented digitally before and after the trade shows. On the online platform Digital Extension, a total of 80,242 participants were virtually on the move, there were over 8,000 networking interactions, around 4,000 chat messages were sent and over 1,000 hours of content were watched.
Until 17 February 2023, exhibitors and visitors can continue to network via the online platform and follow selected trade show highlights. This enables optimal post-fair business and offers the chance to make important business contacts even afterwards.
During the year, the online exhibitor search, the order and content platform for Home & Living, the knowledge platform Conzoom Solutions, the Ambiente Blog and the social media channels of Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld are also available for networking, placing orders and gaining knowledge.
Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld will continue to be held simultaneously at the Frankfurt exhibition center:
Ambiente/Christmasworld: 26 to 30 January 2024
Creativeworld: 27 to 30 January 2024
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