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Posted by Rachel Westall on 22 March 2022
h+h cologne 2022 closed on Sunday with a convincing result. Around 4,500 visitors from 49 countries led to thoroughly satisfied faces at the exhibition stands. 'Back to the Future' was the motto on the central event zone of the trade fair and couldn't have been chosen more appropriately. The relief and joy at being able to engage in an exchange, discuss the current trends and being able to touch and feel materials after a compulsory break of two years triggered off an equally positive mood among both the exhibitors and the trade audience. The success of h+h cologne was rounded off by a high order intake.
Even if, as awaited, the figures didn't reach the level of the editions of h+h cologne prior to the pandemic, the exhibiting companies were unanimous on one point: The internationality and quality of the trade visitors were more than worthy of a leading international trade fair. With a foreign share of exhibiting companies of 84 percent and a 42 percent for the trade visitors, the trade fair was in some cases even able to top the record highs of h+h cologne 2019.
h+h cologne emits a positive signal
For the Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse, Oliver Frese, this is confirmation of the strong leader function h+h cologne has for the textile handicraft industry: "The fact that we succeeded in gaining such significant international support for h+h cologne, which is so important for a top trading place, in spite of the challenging circumstances, really is a positive signal for the whole industry." Many of the exhibiting companies made their own contribution to this success in the run-up to the trade fair by using their existing and newly established digital sales and communication channels that proved invaluable during the pandemic to invite their customers to a personal meeting at the trade fair again. The Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse was particularly delighted about this and about the many creatively designed exhibition stands, because it demonstrated how much the companies have missed their most important industry platform over the past two years.
This was also why in her own words Hedi Ehlen, Executive Director of the industry association, Initiative Handarbeit e.V. had mixed feelings on summing up the outcome of the fair: "I'm delighted about the re-start of h+h cologne, even if its format is somewhat smaller due to the current circumstances." She added that the sign of change and new beginning heralded by h+h cologne 2022 was so explicit that she is convinced "our entire industry will be present at h+h cologne next year."
The next h+h cologne will take place from 31st March -2nd April, 2023.