Paperworld Frankfurt 2013 – A different kind of experience

Paperworld2013

Many people and manufacturers from the States asked me to tell them about Paperworld in Frankfurt in Germany. Since the last years CHA Winter and Paperworld were ALWAYS on the same weekend, I have never been able to attend Paperworld, since I went to CHA the last four winters. BUT this year the CHA convention was on purpose and with regards to Paperworld scheduled earlier. Good move CHA- now just move the thing two weeks AFTER Paperworld- that would make all of us even happier ;)

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What is Paperworld?

It is the leading international fair for paper, office supplies and stationary with an extra exhibition area called creative world, which is the world’s biggest trade fair for the creative sector. Based on the Paperworld Creative section, the fair is the highlight for the hobby, crafts and artists’ requisites segments. There is also Christmas world…but I have not even set food there…so I spare you with details…I think we all get the picture ;)

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So here are some observations from the Creativeworld at Paperworld in comparison to  CHA: 

  • This convention is HUGE – the whole area is unbelievable…CHA is like a super-duper mini dollhouse in comparison. And if you think your feet hurt after being at CHA…pffff – LOL…peanuts
  • You will meet many people you met at CHA at Paperworld – mainly Europeans 
  • Allmost all booths are huge – tall and in a very simplistic but in a beautiful way set up
  • The focus is definitely on the product – almost no projects in the booths – unless there is a demo or an artist playing

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  • although gaining new costumers is a goal at every trade show, the focus here is equally on cultivating existing business relationships
  • networking is key here – all people are treated nicely – I actually liked this and found this a very big difference- at CHA I often sense that you are only treated nice if they know you or they have the feeling you could be beneficial. But I still remember those days when nobody knew me there and I was treated not nice by certain people or manufacturers – it is not a good thing to do…You should be nice to people and not in a fake way plus…you always meet twice in your life…don’t forget!
  • Everything is orderly…yes I know…what to expect, it is Germany- LOL- but there is also a lot of rules that are very german – the way how to talk with people etc. Although we are not flowery…we have lot’s of unwritten rules. The most known one is the informal and the formal You…but that is the easiest one- LOL

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  • Almost every booth has tables and chairs- often several – that are for meetings and talks, most booths have a fridge and coffeemaker or even a little serving station – as it is key to sit down and talk business 
  • Most of the times those tables and chairs are occupied at all booths- and it is a lot of appointments ahead
  • Scrapbooking is not really a big element in the Craft and Hobby and Art Section in Europe yet. Booths dealing mainly with Scrapbooking Paper or Scrapbooking Supplies were tiny and very different from CHA (besides our booth – at Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L – that booth was WAY bigger, but also because you need Adhesives in all kinds of areas in the Craft Section :) )

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  • Trendwatch in Europe was a bit similiar as to the US – lot’s of homedecor, Washi Tape (gosh I am outwashi-taped- really!) and wearable art (upcycling recycling) 
  • taking photos is not very common during the convention – in fact most booths even do not let you take photos and it makes it calmer – there is a lot of competition there and everyone is checking out the newest products – some are not seen before, some are only announce online (some manufacturers work directly releasing toward paperworld)
  •  A huge amount of retailers etc from Eastern European and Asian countries were at the show

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  • The food is way more healthy and better than at CHA in the Convention hall (I know you expected only sausages there…but no ;) )
  • Most booths are fine art manufacturers and wholesale booths and then comes wholesalers for craft supplies and then a whole lot of different little booths from all kinds of craft and art sections
  • The show hours were very long…to tell you the truth too long, we were all exhausted. 9 am to 6 pm were the show hours -CHA is mostly 10 am – 5 pm. Add the time for booth prep and booth closing and you are on your feet, talking non-stop for 10 hours a day.

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It was fun playing with Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L new and old products – while watching Jimmy Leslie an  awesome artist from NJ paint at the Liquitex booth – what a nice and down to earth guy.- we chatted a lot (I might have pulled a squeaky excited star crush voice when I talked first to him ;) – always embarrassing to start with “You don’t know me, but I know you” LOL- ) and gosh I couldn’t wait to come home and get my fingers messy with paint.

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And let’s not forget the fun evenings I had -here with Jing from Quatar, Barbara from Rome and Anna from Poland- it was so good to see the girls again and ….also Rudi from Austria- who took the picture ;) – and spent some more time with them when usually at conventions!

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And of course spending time and working  with Betina at the 3L booth was the best! The crew from 3L/Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L is amazing and I am very fortunate to work with them for many years.

So…that was probably more when you actually wanted to know about paperworld…and please just because I compared CHA and Paperworld- there is no real comparison since the emphasis in these shows is different…but hey….apple and pears are still fruits ;) LOL-

Have a good one

Nat

Comments (26)

  • Michaela "Micki"

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    Oh Nat, obviously being German, I knew immediately what you meant about formal and informal rules. But you really hit the nail on the head when you said that at CHA you are not treated very nice if you are not well known. Yeah, my first CHA visit (I only have been twice) drove home the fact that even in the papercrafting world it’s a cut throat business. Sad. People who have a “next door neighbor” type of personality online, are totally different in person. I don’t mean that in a “bad” way, but it really broke my heart to realize that this hobby is so cliquish. Anyway, one of these days….. I’m coming home to Germany!!!!

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  • Annette Husband

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    OMG Natalie
    I so wish I could go one year. I’d always wanted to go to CHA but now think if I’m ever rich I’d like to go there instead. can ordinary every day people go?
    hugs
    Annette in Oz

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    • Annette Husband

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      bummer…I just read back and its trade only…must look out for a design team spot some place LOL

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      • Nathalie Kalbach

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        Yes trade only- but also very few design team people at the show. Like for example I am not even on a design team anymore ;)

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  • Danyeela

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    Danke für den Bericht! Einmal wollte ich hin – seinerzeit, mit meinem Papier, hatte sogar schon ne Karte… Aber es war Schneechaos in München und die Züge fuhren nicht… Hat wohl nicht sollen sein. Klingt aber wirklich interessant. Bist du auch wieder auf der Creativa?

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Ich liebe Deine Papiere noch immer und horte sie :) Ich bin, glaube ich, nicht auf der Creativa – aber man weiß nie ;) Ich sag Bescheid, wenn ich mehr weiß. Muss auch erstmal schauen wann das ist . Liebe Grüße, Nat

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  • Lorraine aka grannypoppy

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    Very interesting, Nat. Thanks for sharing. A bit disappointed to hear about the way some people at CHA are more interested in you if you are a “somebody”! You are right about treating everyone well, with respect!

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  • marjiekemper

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    This was so interesting – thanks for sharing, Nat. And I’ve just watched the last CJS and wanted to say thanks for that outstanding effort. I’ve enjoyed it so much this year, as last year, and wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all the time and effort it must have taken.

    Reply

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