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Did You Imagine? Multiply It by Thousands!
A Report On The Ambiente – Christmasworld – Creativeworld Trade Fair Trio, Chapter 1.

messe_frankfurt_rep_2024_cover_1000x522.jpgA friend of mine once explained that there's really no point in traveling, because all the places you'd like to photograph have already been photographed by someone else with a much better camera, and if you want to see anything, all you have to do is type the name of the place into the search engine. Even then, I smiled at this train of thought, since no photo can convey the authenticity and depth of personal discovery, whether it is the panorama on top of a mountain or the sea breeze freely whistling along the ocean coast. And that's what I thought of when I was confronted with the real dimensions of the Messe Frankfurt trade fair center and the literally amazing scale of the Ambiente-Christmasworld-Creativeworld trade fair trio.

Because when we tune in to an event and watch a video summary or even a detailed photo report, we don't see the dozen or so kilometers traveled per day that it takes to visit the area, the many working hours that make the exhibition stands look like and, of course, the efforts of the many thousands of participants at their own post, so that an international exhibition and fair lasting several days can be realized. And if someone wants to imagine how large-scale events are actually involved in this case, take a look at the following sentence: more than 5,000 exhibitors from 117 countries took part in this year's Ambiente - Christmasworld - Creativeworld trade fair three days in five days, the consumer goods from virtually every corner of its market, from home furnishings to manufacturers of kitchen utensils and office supplies to the sector of creative hobby tools, from England to Thailand. So, it became obvious to me on the first day that there was no question of a complete report, although it might be worth making an attempt one day, and at the same time entering it into the Guinness Book of Records in the category of the longest online newspaper article, if such exists.

A city in the city, or the world in a trade fair centre

The Messe Frankfurt complex is located in the middle of the city's business district dotted with skyscrapers, and it is worth imagining it as if you put the Müpa and the National Theater next to each other, and then multiply their total area by at least six. A total of 12 giant event halls and more than 372,000 square meters of space are available for exhibitors and visitors, so it is not an exaggeration at all that it could be a small city within the city, it is no wonder that it has its own metro station and plenty of other means of public transport also affects The three fairs began here on the morning of the last Friday of January, and the event lasted until the following Tuesday evening.

And so, in the positive sense of the word, the visitor can get an almost unbelievable amount of information and inspiration here, no matter what field they are interested in. In a completely simplified way, Ambiente included products that can be associated with our living environment, i.e. everything related to work, eating, leisure, or sleep, from home furnishing items to office and kitchen tools to limited edition porcelain tableware designed by visual and industrial artists. Christmasworld covered - at least as narrowly - any conceivable area of decoration and gift-giving, from lighting equipment to packaging technology to even larger than human-sized, automated, movable plush figures, while Creativeworld covered any imaginable segment of the creative hobby from writing instruments and paints, from art supplies and modeling to portable sewing machines.

So it didn't seem like an exaggeration at all "Hello World!" T-shirt with the inscription on the members of the Messe Frankfurt team, because when in one minute you fall from one place of amazement to another at the stand of a traditional Portuguese porcelain company celebrating its 200th birthday, which looks like a multi-generational family home, and then in the same event hall you can meet at least thirty brands active in the same market , with companies from any of the continents that can be considered at least significant players in their own field. Two steps away you are already staring at the hall displaying kitchen appliances, and you don't know whether to look first - at the artistically crafted, yet practical Japanese knives, or at those top-quality kitchen appliances that have been produced in France since 1850 by a global company that has now grown out of a sixth-generation family business?

So the author is in a difficult situation, because how can I write about an event where if you throw a half-brick in any direction - of course, this is only a metaphor, I do not recommend the method to anyone, it would be an expensive pastime - you will definitely find a stand with it, where for at least an hour can we have a look? What and who should I omit? Should I try to hide the fact that I didn't see nearly everything I probably should have seen, or that I was able to talk to far fewer exhibitors than I would have liked? Or maybe should I confess all this and say that if I get to the event again next year, maybe I'll be able to fill the white spots on my trade-fair map?

Impressions and insights in a nutshell

I have learned some lessons in my own mind. One is that in some ways the world is a much smaller place than we think, because for a few hours' travel we can meet exhibitors from whom we may be separated by continents. At the same time, it is also much bigger than the average visitor can imagine, as I could list at least a hundred brands from the three exhibitors I have just heard of, despite the fact that they are probably among the market leaders in their field and I myself have not spent my life in a cave, cut off from all sources of news. I can roughly compare the feeling to when, as a motorsport fan for example, you realize that there are dozens of benchmark car manufacturers in the world who, if necessary, have been making similar high-end models like Ferrari or Lamborghini for years without you knowing about it.

The second one, is that if you have the right professional knowledge and passion, anything can be developed to an artistic level. When I say artificial flower or artificial plant), most of us think of wreaths and flowerpots available on the market, not a deceptively real green wall made using special plastic and silicone mixtures. about improvements that can be measured over many years, either in terms of the materials used or the composition. In the same way, it takes extremely diverse knowledge for an employee of a leading interior design company to be aware of current trends, current artists, or just how any of the contemporary abstract expressionist paintings they also sell fit into a given living space. Who is the artist, what is the story of the picture, who should buy it? After all, there are so many people, so many different perceptions and, of course, at least this much motivation - I wonder where the common set of functionality, the desire to own, the interest in fine art and, where appropriate, the willingness to support it can be found? If we multiply this by several thousand, considering the number of exhibiting companies and their employees, we can be sure that we spent a few days in the company of professionals who strive for the best in their field and know more about it than we ever did. we will too. A sobering yet inspiring experience.

The third lesson is that we happily met many exhibitors for whom environmental awareness, raw materials from reliable sources and fair working conditions play an important role. In a pessimistic way, we often think of these buzzwords are for PR articles, and in the meantime, we forget that companies and brands are created by people, whose way of thinking and principles will sooner or later inevitably influence the product range and, at the end of a much slower process, customer needs and then sales. Along these lines, it is really refreshing to hear that one of Germany's oldest art paint manufacturers has been offering a product line made of mostly natural, recyclable materials for the fifth year, despite the fact that it was not an immediate and resounding success, but they believe in their vision and are not afraid to think in the long term. On the other hand, one of the world's best-known manufacturers of pencils and writing instruments cultivates and takes care of its own tree plantation in Brazil, because in this way they do not burden the already dwindling forest areas with their own demand for raw materials, and in addition, the appropriate quality can be continuously maintained.

Summary (Until the next chapter)

A lot of experiences, a lot of thoughts, a lot of inspiration came to me during the available two and a half days. And since the scope of the report is more and more reminiscent, if not of a Guinness record attempt, at least of a short novel, we will now take a short break and next time we will continue from here with such interesting things as this year's winners of the Creative Impulse Awards, and we will also share the thoughts of a few exhibitors regarding the topics already mentioned above.

And for those who want to experience this international trade fair trio in person, you can already mark your calendars for 7-11 February 2025, as the staff of Messe Frankfurt already announced next year's event on the opening day of this year's fair.

You can read the previous articles of Colors & Ideas about Messe Frankfurt events here! For more information on AmbienteChristmasworld and Creativeworld, please visit the social media platforms of the events, or the websites of Messe Frankfurt and BD-Expo.

Photos: Attila Kovács

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