The main event
OPI speaks to Michael Reichhold the man who is once again responsible for making sure that the crowds keep flocking to Paperworld Frankfurt, the number one event in the European calendar
Undoubtedly Paperworld Frankfurt is the largest trade fair for paper, stationery and office supplies in the world. Held over four days the event attracts more than 2,000 international exhibitors and thousands of visitors from all over the world.
Few shows can match the exhaustive exhibitor line-up and certainly its scale. However, one of the secrets of the show’s success over the years has been Messe Frankfurt’s carefully developed blend of not just an exhibition, but also a healthy number of seminars and networking opportunities.
There are a series of lectures and seminars discussing a broad range of important topics planned – from design forecasts for 2009/2010 to environmentally friendly products and manufacturing. A highlight at the Office and Paper Products Forum will be a talk by Jeanette Huber from the Institute for the Future (and a past speaker at OPI Europe) whose subject will be Megatrends and future markets for the paper, office supplies and stationery trade.
The Trend Show, in particular, has become less of a curiosity over time and is a notable highlight for many. For Paperworld 2009 it has been re-vamped with the organisers passing on the design and realisation to bora.herke, one Germany’s best-known design practices.
The brainchild of Claudia Herke and Cem Bora, the German company has worked with Messe Frankfurt for ten years at other events and are true experts when it comes to trends. It will be fascinating to see what they think up for the OP market.
As this year’s show is starting on a Saturday, OPI’s annual European Office Products Awards dinner will take place for the first time on a Monday. The day may have changed but once again the red carpet will be rolled out for a night of glitz at the show’s largest networking event.
Messe Frankfurt is also launching its Green Office Campaign – a focus on environmental protection and sustainability in the office – at the event.
Taking time out from his busy pre-show planning, Michael Reichhold, Director, Paperworld Frankfurt talks to OPI about the event.
OPI: The talk pre-show has focused on why has the Paperworld has been shortened from a five to a four-day show and is now starting on a Saturday. What was the reason for the change?
MR: In surveys during Paperworld 2007 and 2008 more than two-thirds of firms exhibiting said they were in favour of a four-day sequence. A survey of traders over this period came to the same result. This year we shall be drawing the obvious conclusions from the clear results of these surveys and will be shortening Paperworld by one day, holding it from Saturday to Tuesday. In this way international traders will be able to use the connected sequence of days during the week to travel to Frankfurt.
OPI: Will you be maintaining your focus on the specialist retail trade in 2009?
MR: The specialist German retailer will continue to benefit from our focus on the specialist trade, which we shall be strengthening in 2009 by including the Saturday. In this way we shall be offering a programme on two days which is specially tailored for the national retail trade. From 9.00 am we shall be welcoming traders from all over Germany with coffee and live music – the perfect way to create the right mood for an action-packed day at the fair.
OPI: You also go to great lengths to make the trip to Frankfurt as easy as possible for traders.
MR: From more than 20 German towns and cities, from Hamburg to Munich, we are offering traders a comfortable and low-priced trip to Frankfurt. Attractive hotel offers will complete the no-worry all-inclusive package for traders.
OPI: The Trend Show seems to be taking centre stage this year. Can you expand on what visitors can expect?
MR: The Trend Show is popular every year but at Paperworld 2009 we’ve got bora.herke in charge for the first time of both the design and realisation. Visitors (and traders in particular) to the show can look forward to an outstanding presentation of trends, which will not only tell them the kinds of shapes, colours and materials that will be popular in the coming season. It will also give concrete tips and suggestions on how to present the goods in your own shop.
OPI: What is so special about Paperworld?
MR: Over four days Paperworld 2009 combines the very latest products from all segments of the industry, brings together both market leaders and innovative small companies, provides inspiration, shows trends, and gives a great opportunity to compare notes with colleagues from all over the world.
Paperworld Frankfurt: Setting the trends
bora.herke’s Claudia Herke offers her take on the concept behind The Trend Show and the trends for the next season
Why is Paperworld a good platform for the trend show?
CH: Fairs offer a platform for new products and a place for manufacturers, buyers and industry from around the world to meet. A fair like Paperworld appeals to all the senses, visitors can see, touch and feel one couldn’t wish for a better platform for trends.
What surprises does the Paperworld trend show hold for trade visitors?
CH: Above all, the Paperworld trend show presents the latest trends and provides tips on how to feature them in-store and shop windows but they also demonstrate how to stage a mix of basics, longsellers and new products in an exciting way. A paper, office supplies and stationery range, which is attractive and interesting to customers, comprises a well-balanced combination of trendy and classic products. The structure of the trend show attempts to reflect the season’s major influences and basic concept. With these unconventional presentations we aim to stir up emotions and touch visitors in a long term way. Most importantly, in addition to clearly defined information, we want them to take away memorable images they won’t forget.
Why four different trend ‘worlds’?
CH: With four trend themes, we aim to provide retailers with sufficient resources to show customers their entire product portfolio for the year in a contemporary and trend-relevant way. The colourful ‘Power’ trend is more of a summer theme, which appeals particularly to children and young people. ‘Slow’, which is characterised by cosiness and comfort, is perfect for autumn and goes well with the hobbycraft and creative design themes. The elegance of ‘Delicate’ is ideal for staging festive themes and the neutral trend ‘Geometric’ suits every season of the year.
What will the trends for next season look like?
CH: Next season’s buzzwords are value, authenticity and reliability. We are living in a fast-moving era that is both varied and exciting. At the same time, there is a growing desire for reliable and authentic values one can count on. The underlying mood for the new season is a balance between durability and innovation, dynamism and calm. A love of design and high-end reduction, combined with elegance and classicism, are important factors as are high quality and modern purism. Nature and ecology continue to exert a major influence. Individuality is also an important element. Everyone has their own idea of what is trendy and what is in.
Do the themes of sustainability and trends affect one another?
CH: Sustainability is not a trend but rather a new awareness, a value and a global theme which manufacturers, buyers and consumers need to confront. Sustainability is an element in the widest variety of themes. It is not a short-lived trend but a necessity.