Craft Focus - Page number 22 - October/November 2021 (Issue 87)

22 h+h is going to North America Excitement is building for the first edition of h+h americas which will be held from 22 nd -24 th June, 2022 in Chicago. The event is Koelnmesse’s response to the increased demand for a strong and unified national trade fair for the handicrafts sector in North America. Due to the pandemic, handicrafts have gained growing popularity in the USA and are recording double-digit growth rates. Almost 30 million Americans crochet, knit, sew, quilt or embroider - providing an ideal basis for a successful trade fair premiere in North America. h+h cologne is a leading industry event for textile handicrafts and takes place every year in Cologne, Germany. By taking the well-known h+h brand overseas, Koelnmesse is establishing a top-class ordering platform in the USA for North American buyers. The first h+h americas will reflect all the product segments of its sister event with main segments in Home Textiles, Tapestry, Sewing, Knitting, Crocheting, Haberdashery, Quilting, Needlepoint, Business Software and Marketing Solutions. Visitors will be soft craft retailers, wholesalers, designers and the online trade who can also access the show virtually. Koelnmesse Inc. expects exhibitors from North America to be joined by several European companies in this segment. “Our decision to launch h+h americas is in line with our strategy to make shows more international and more accessible to our customers via online channels. This step will strengthen our trade show in Cologne while responding to the growing demand in the American market,” according to Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse GmbH. The new h+h americas, which will take place next year at the Donald E. Stephens Convention & Conference Centre in Rosemont, Illinois, will offer North American trade visitors an additional ordering platform. The new trade show is organised by Koelnmesse’s subsidiary Koelnmesse Inc. in Chicago: “For many years we have been asked by our customers when h+h would come to North America as not everyone can travel to Cologne. The Covid situation has accelerated the demand for soft craft products in North America and we feel that now is the right time to bring the well-known h+h brand to the USA”, says Mette Petersen, President and Managing Director of Koelnmesse Inc. Petersen continues: “Chicago offers the ideal location for this first time show with easy access for domestic and international travelers and reasonably priced hotels”. The local conference partner will be the Craft Industry Alliance catering to professionals in the handicrafts industry. Founded in 2015 by Abby Glassenberg and Kristin Link, its mission is to connect, educate, inspire and provide members with industry news for craft professionals. Abby Glassenberg, Co-founder and President of Craft Industry Alliance has attended multiple h+h cologne events and looks forward to the cooperation: “We are thrilled to partner with Koelnmesse to bring h+h cologne to the US. For us, the h+h cologne trade show in Germany is the premier craft industry event. The opportunity to bring this event to North America and to work together to create a fresh, inspiring, and elevated show experience for buyers and exhibitors is unbeatable. This show will propel the whole industry forward.” Information about exhibition opportunities, participation and presentations at this event will follow shortly. For more information contact: Spring Fair announces four-day show With input from over 3,500 exhibitors, buyers and partners, Spring Fair, the Home & Gift show, has announced that it will become a four-day show. The new show dates run from Sunday 6 th to Wednesday 9 th February 2022 at NEC Birmingham and will include the introduction of late-night openings until 7.30pm on the Sunday and Monday. Simon Lau, Event Director, Spring Fair, says: “After extensive research, analysis, and collaboration with over 3,500 exhibitors, buyers and partners, we have taken the decision, which reflects industry opinion and buying behaviours, that Spring Fair will become a four-day show. We have listened to our customers who had overwhelming feedback that the show was a day too long. “Buying behaviours have changed in recent years and visitors have communicated that they welcome a four-day show and that a more condensed few days with the same number of talks, demonstrations, and meetings would make it a more dynamic and action-packed event. We’re also really pleased to introduce two late night openings. A trend common in retail already, the additional opportunities to trade will greatly benefit visitors attending for one day only.” Sarah Ward, CEO, The Giftware Association says in support of the new show dates: “We’re thrilled to hear and fully support that Spring Fair is evolving to a four-day show from February 2022. This change has been a long time coming, driven by collaboration and feedback from the community with the aim of delivering a better return on time and investment for both exhibitors and visitors alike. Spring Fair is still the largest and longest home and gift trade show in the UK, and I’m excited by the prospect of late-night shopping!” With feedback from customers directly shaping the show’s priorities, initiatives being rolled out place even greater focus on newness and delivering improved Return on Investment and Return on Time. Four key destinations offer Gift, Home, Fashion and Sourcing, with Gift and Fashion set to be the largest gathering in Europe providing a one stop shop for buyers to source the latest products. Curated Meetings will offer dedicated networking and facilitated, pre-approved and pre-booked meetings between exhibitors and buyers. For further information please visit: