Posted by Rachel Westall on 18 May 2023
After three busy trade fair days, the international trade fair for creative handicraft & hobby supplies came to a close 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.
The industry association, Initiative Handarbeit e.V., 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 EUR 1bn 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.
h+h cologne next takes place, 22nd-24th March 2024.