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Outlook on growth areas and highlights for 2024

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. For example, we are currently discussing placement options with Fackelmann, Kuhn Rikon, and Zwiesel. 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, such as Jakob Maul, Sigel and Han. 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
www.ambiente.messefrankfurt.com

 

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