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Paperworld 2017: high degree of satisfaction amongst both exhibitors and visitors

Feb 1, 2017

Exhibitors' innovations bring high levels of demand from German specialist retailers and many new international customers. New special show 'Future Office' attracts architects and facility managers to Frankfurt am Main.

Innovations, new product ideas and sales concepts bring trade up to speed: the three international consumer-goods fairs Christmasworld, Paperworld and Creativeworld, as well as the new Floradecora trade fair ended for 2,938 exhibitors from 63 countries (2016: 2,855*) with countless new contacts and well-filled order books. Over 85,400 trade visitors from 154 countries (2016: 82,097*) made their way to Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre to place their orders for the coming season and cultivate important business relationships. Summing up the results of the fair, Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt, said: “Healthy growth of three percent in the number of exhibitors and a four percent increase on the visitor side confirms that our four consumer-goods fairs – Christmasworld, Floradecora, Paperworld and Creativeworld – represent the international hub for the worldwide trade. The top decision makers from all sales channels were here – altogether, there were more visitors in Frankfurt, especially from Germany, than a year ago.” Braun, who spoke with numerous trade associations and exhibitors, added, “Simultaneously, the high level of internationality (60 percent) meant manufacturers enjoyed excellent export opportunities.” Three quarters of all visitors are top managers and have the necessary decision-making authority, which underscores the very high visitor standard.

The extremely positive developments are also in evidence at Paperworld; according to both exhibitor and visitor polls, the major indicators such as visitor quality, visitor profile, ordering behaviour, new contacts, degree of international participation and length of stay at the event all show significant increases over the figures a year ago. “Thanks to higher employment and increasing numbers of children attending schools, the office supplies industry has achieved growing sales, a fact which contributes to Paperworld's positive positioning and a stabilisation of the figures for trade visitors. The profile of the four trade fairs can easily be distinguished and they are thus seen to be of interest to retailers in various sectors. Many retailers and wholesalers appreciate being able to find interesting suppliers in other halls to extend their ranges of products,” confirms Thomas Grothkopp, Director General of the Office and Writing Trade Association (Handelsverband Büro und Schreibkultur – HBS). The range of products at the four consumer-goods fairs is unique in the world. It is of benefit to both the buyers, who are able to attend several fairs during the one visit, and, on the other hand, to the Paperworld exhibitors. Because of the parallel nature of the fairs, the latter also reach new visitors from Creativeworld and Christmasworld.

Paperworld 2017: strong demand from Germany and huge export opportunities leave exhibitors very pleased
1,525 exhibitors from 58 countries (264 Germany, 1,261 outside Germany) were in Frankfurt at the end of January to demonstrate what the future of the office and the home workstation has in store for us†1. In comparison to the previous year, there were more German exhibitors present. At the same time, the number of exhibitors from Asia diminished. The reason for this was the move of the 'International Sourcing' product group from Hall 10 to Hall 1, which resulted in less space being available for the national pavilions. “It is important to us to be able to offer retailers a high-quality range of goods. The reorganisation of the product areas in the seven halls at the eastern end of the Frankfurt Exhibition Centre has definitely contributed to that,” says Cordelia von Gymnich, Director of Consumer Goods II, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition.

More than 90percent of the total of 33,558 trade visitors were, according to the visitor survey, satisfied or even extremely satisfied by the range of goods on offer at Paperworld. A striking feature this year was that more trade visitors came to Frankfurt from within Germany. They came to see for themselves the innovations for the modern office and trends in writing materials and school requisites for private and home use and they came to place orders. In all, visitors attended from 143 different countries – 11,609 from Germany and 21,949 from abroad‡2. “The number and quality of the visitors were really great! For us it is important that the Alist customers come – and we reached lots of them here this year, particularly with regard to exports,” said Jürgen Popp, Managing Partner of Zöllner-Wiethoff, expressing his satisfaction with the way things had gone at the show.

Other than Germany, most of the trade visitors came from Italy, Great Britain, France, China, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, the USA and Turkey. There was testimony to strong growth on the international side from Japan, the USA, Argentina and numerous other Latin-American and South-American countries, as well as from Russia and Belarus. This is confirmed by Horst-Werner Maier-Hunke, Managing Director of Durable and President of the Association of Brand-Name Paper, Office Supplies and Stationery Manufacturers (Verband der PBS-Markenindustrie): “We have been aware of high visitor numbers and have been able to do a lot of good business, particularly on the Sunday and Monday. Many of the visitors came from Eastern Europe; the market there seems to have stabilised.” At the same time, the proportion of visitors from North, Central and South America was up by four percentage points, to 13percent, in comparison to the previous year and thus showed an increase for the second year in a row. Something that the Managing Director of Paper+Design also noticed: “The public, this year, was very international, with Europe predominating, but there were also lots of buyers who came from the USA and Asia. That is important for us, as 60percent of our products go for export.”

New products rewarded with new contacts
Particularly striking at Paperworld 2017 were the numerous new developments and innovations that exhibitors were introducing. In terms of items for the office at Paperworld, the new products clearly related to the motto of 'The visionary office', and are intended, above all, to give people a sense of well-being in their workplace. So, for example, there were office lamps that adapted to human biorhythms and air-purifiers with nanoparticulate filters. Equally strongly represented were solutions, which combined the traditional offline world of the paper, stationery and office supplies sector with innovative digital possibilities: the writing kit, for instance, that transfers hand-written notes from a notebook to the PC and there translates them into typescript, or presentation boards connected to a PC or tablet.

Those who present new products at Paperworld are rewarded with lots of new contacts. “Our aim was to meet international, and especially German, customers. Our expectations in this regard were not only met, but clearly exceeded. All the major buyers were there. We won 'Product of the Year' with our 'Smart-Writing-Set', and that brought loads of visitors to our stand,” confirmed Jürgen Pfeiffer, Director of Sales and Marketing for Germany / Austria at Moleskine, who exhibited in the Stationery section in Hall 6.1 at Paperworld. The visitors in the Remanexpo product group in Hall 6.0 also showed themselves to be extremely satisfied with the many new contacts they made. Thus, for example, the Pedro Schöller Printservice company: “As far as we are concerned, Paperworld is the best platform for initial contact with new customers, who are looking for a sustainable, rebuilt toner cassette that conserves natural resources. The target group is, first and foremost, European customers, but we also had some promising discussions with buyers from Qatar, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates,” says company signatory, Thomas Meisenberg.

According to the visitor survey, this year, around two thirds of the exhibitors were satisfied to extremely satisfied, both with the number of new contacts and with their assessment of the quality of the visitors. Alongside these two criteria, the level of orders and the degree to which visitor target groups had been reached was judged better than a year ago – and, indeed, by two percentage points in each case. This leads to the conclusion that, once again, more than three quarters of the exhibitors are now either satisfied or even extremely satisfied with Paperworld as a whole.

'Future Office' – also for facility managers and architects
Paperworld 2017 threw a particular spotlight on the office work of tomorrow. “Even just in Germany, the number of office workplaces is constantly increasing and everyone is talking about what tomorrow's world of work will look like,” says Cordelia von Gymnich. “Increasing digitalisation of work processes and new forms of collaboration will change the office workplace still further. The special exhibition 'Future Office' has impressed with its demonstration of what that might look like and what can already be achieved.” Located centrally in Hall 3.0, where manufacturers of office supplies were exhibiting, the special show not only attracted specialist retailers and wholesalers. The lecture programme, held as part of the special exhibition, appealed equally to architects, planners and facility managers. More than 300 people in this target group signed up for the special lectures and guided tours on the Monday and Tuesday. The event was organised in conjunction with Consultant Architects, Matter, World Architects and the Hesse Chamber of Architects and Town Planners.

“Further development of Paperworld, to include architects when considering the whole issue of the offices of the future, is now under way. The new target group is good for Paperworld.  At the same time, we have established that large-scale retailers, such as food retailers, for instance, have been actively making use of Paperworld” says Andreas Soick, Sales Manager at Tesa. Numerous manufacturers amongst the exhibitors have deliberately extended their product presentations for the new target group. These include Alco, Dahle Novus, Durable, HSM, Ideal Krug and Priester, Maul, Safescan and Tesa, who all exhibited in the immediate vicinity of the special exhibition on the 'Future Office' in the Paperworld Plaza section. Members of the German Association of Brand-Name Paper, Office Supplies and Stationery Manufacturers were also represented in this area. Frank Indenkämpen, Managing Director of Novus Dahle, sums up his experience: “Our presence at the show represents a clear acknowledgement that Paperworld is the leading trade fair in our sector. We have used it as the ideal platform on which to showcase our portfolio in its entirety and get people to appreciate it to the full. It is the perfect opportunity to present our two brands, Novus and Dahle, to an international audience.”

Increased interest from retailers in lifestyle trends 
For years now, Paperworld has managed to successfully bring together the two poles 'Office' and 'Stationery' under one roof and thus create the world's largest range of paper, office and stationery products, a range that is unique in both breadth and depth. Specialist retailers and wholesalers, professional buyers and decision makers can find innovative solutions here for the workplace of tomorrow, together with ground-breaking lifestyle trends for retail lines in terms of gifts, packaging and wrapping, school requisites, stationery and greetings cards. Product groups for private and home requirements report between three and 13 percentage points increases in the interest shown by visitors in the ranges on offer – with stationery products well ahead of all the rest (35percent), writing and drawing instruments (26percent), school requisites (26percent), wrapping paper and packaging (23percent), greeting cards (19percent) and gift items (24percent). At the same time, interest in office supplies (33percent), office paper (33percent) and printers & IT accessories (17percent) remains at a constantly high level.

The large selection of products has resulted in both more specialist retailers and more wholesalers being represented than a year ago. At the same time, the buyers took more time to sort through the ranges of goods on offer: the typical length of stay at the show has extended significantly to two or even three days. Kaweco-CEO Michael Gutberlet, too, has noticed a huge demand for lifestyle trends when it comes to stationery: “Our target at Paperworld is to extend our network of international distributors and to establish contact with new buyers. This year, we have been able to draw our products to the attention of numerous retailers in the lifestyle sector and thus to secure some new and very promising sales channels for ourselves. Paperworld remains clearly the leading trade fair for us and is a must-attend event in the international trade-fair calendar.”

The major lifestyle and office trends were presented in the Paperworld Trend Show. In a number of lectures, the renowned bora.herke.palmisano Trend Bureau provided retailers and wholesalers with information about the latest currents in fashion, interior design and architecture. In the course of their subsequent guided tours of the Trend Show displays, they demonstrated the impact of these trends on the products in the paper, stationery and office supplies sector. The three trend scenarios identified were labelled 'suitable solutions', 'curious funfair' and 'solid grade' and offered retailers a well-founded guide to the new products and help with ordering suitable selections of them.

New hall layout a success; greetings card manufacturers pleased
Messe Frankfurt instituted a large number of developments for Paperworld 2017, which have already born fruit. Hence, for example, the newly constituted arrangement of product groups in the stationery section. As a result, Hall 5.1. contained, as well as the greetings card publishers, companies exhibiting stationery products, gift packaging, ribbons, napkins, gift items and calendars. The new layout not only attracted the approval of trade visitors like the booksellers, who constitute a target group, which has grown continuously for years now. The manufacturers, too, emerged as extremely pleased. “There is a clear and visible upward trend at Paperworld – both the mix of exhibitors in Hall 5.1 has improved significantly, as have the numbers of visitors. We made a great many appointments and met up with all our systematic customers. As far as we are concerned, Paperworld is the major hub for the international world,” says Axel Wittler, Export Manager at bsbobpacher GmbH.

Werner Lippels, Chair of the Working Association of Manufacturers and Publishers of Greetings Cards (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Hersteller und Verleger von Glückwunschkarten - AVG) agrees: “Our members in the AVG and other manufacturers are extremely pleased with the restructuring of Hall 5.1 and the combination of the greetings cards and wrapping-paper segments. Both the Saturday and Sunday went really well.” One of the highlights of the hall was the special display Mr. Books & Mrs. Paper, which impressively demonstrated, in easy-to-imitate ways, how booksellers and other retailers can skilfully combine different product segments together, so as to create additional sales and encourage customer loyalty. Yet more stimulating ideas for the retail trade were provided by Wrap up – a display of the latest trends in gift wrapping with Ulla Büning. An expert in packaging and gift-wrapping, she demonstrated, in her presentations, some of the tips and tricks that make for effective gift wrapping, as well as some of the latest trends to emerge from the manufacturers.

Strong partner for the specialist retail trade
The fact that specialist retailers feel at home at Paperworld is shown, not only in the increased visitor numbers from this segment of the trade, but also in the increased length of time people spend at the show. More than 2,200 retailers came to Frankfurt to get valuable new ideas for their selections as a result of the Paperworld Insider customer programme alone, which offered extra facilities to German-speaking retailers with up to ten employees. “In the world of creativity, you need to be always on the ball; that is why Paperworld is, for us, one of the most important trade fairs. It is especially good for us, too, that Creativeworld takes place in parallel, so that the spectrum is obviously broader. And, thanks to 'Insider', where you can switch off for a while and recharge the batteries over a cup of coffee, we can easily get through our 20-point list,” says Hans-Joachim Bumke, Teeoase & Creative Trends, Bad Gandersheim / Lower Saxony.

There was an equally positive reaction to the initiative from InterES, Büroring and Prisma. The purchasing and marketing associations of the paper, stationery and office supplies sector welcomed their members at the Retailers Rendezvous in Hall 3.0. The retailers had the benefit of special terms with the exhibiting suppliers that had been negotiated for the show. And the communal get-together on the Sunday was used by many as a way of winding down after the day at the show with a little networking and a snack. “We were able to have some good discussions with both retailers and wholesalers at Paperworld and talk about the issues of the future. It is a good platform for developing some new ideas together, which we shall be implementing in the coming weeks and months. That is very valuable,” says Wolfgang Möbus, General Manager f InterES.

Focus on procurement; commercial buyers at Paperworld
The Monday of the show was reserved for commercial buyers of office supplies with the Paperworld Procurement business programme. The exclusive programme offered a varied range of products and services for buyers from companies, public administration and institutions with a minimum of 100 office workplaces, who were looking to buy office materials and paper to meet their own organisation's requirements. More than 300 visitors were welcomed to the Procurement Day in the Saal Europa in Hall 4.0. The Association for Supply Chain Management, Procurement and Logistics (Bundesverband Materialwirtschaft, Einkauf und Logistik e.V. - BME), the trade journal C.ebra and the Office Gold Club (OGC) sponsored the business programme as cooperation partners. For Toni Bienroth, buyer for the Hesse Association of Pharmacists (Hessischer Apothekenverband) from Offenbach, the Procurement event is an ideal combination of top-flight specialist lectures, a networking platform and product presentations: “I came specially to hear the lectures on the Procurement Day. The keynote speaker, Götz Schartner, interested me particularly, with his talk on the subject of data security. His lecture was very lively and approachable and you felt immediately that it concerned you. And the Office Gold Club is a great opportunity for a get-together with my contact persons in other companies and organisations.”

As well as the programme for procurement professionals from the major companies, Messe Frankfurt, in conjunction with the magazine Working@Office, also offered assistants, and hence staff who are responsible for major orders in large companies, their own exclusive programme. As well as offering lectures on calmness of approach and respectful communication in business life, aimed specifically at the target group, the Assistants' Day on the Saturday of the show also provided some new ideas on the selection of products in the Paperworld halls of office supplies. Guided tours to the stands of selected exhibitors and to the special exhibition 'Future Office' also featured as part of the programme. This year, some 150 assistants took part – in effect, around 50 more than a year ago.

Further comments on Paperworld by exhibitors and professional
associations can be found here:

Next events:
As in the past, the quartet of consumer-goods fairs will be held around the last Saturday in January:
Christmasworld: 26 to 30 January 2018
Floradecora: 26 to 29 January 2018
Paperworld and Creativeworld: 27 to 30 January 2018

Further statements, information and images can be found at:

* Basis: 2016 figures FKM certified (Society for the Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics (Gesellschaft zur freiwilligen Kontrolle von Messe- und Ausstellungszahlen – FKM), Berlin)

†1 Based on FKM-certified figures for 2016: 1,607 visitors (261 from Germany and 1,346 from outside Germany)

‡2 Based on FKM-certified figures for 2016: 34,033 visitors (10,782 from Germany; 23,251 outside Germany)

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With more than 2,300 employees at some 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €647 million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.
With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
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