Paperworld Frankfurt 2013 – A different kind of experience


Many people and manufacturers from the States asked me to tell them about Paperworld in Frankfurt in Germany. Since the last years CHA Winter and Paperworld were ALWAYS on the same weekend, I have never been able to attend Paperworld, since I went to CHA the last four winters. BUT this year the CHA convention was on purpose and with regards to Paperworld scheduled earlier. Good move CHA- now just move the thing two weeks AFTER Paperworld- that would make all of us even happier 😉


What is Paperworld?

It is the leading international fair for paper, office supplies and stationary with an extra exhibition area called creative world, which is the world’s biggest trade fair for the creative sector. Based on the Paperworld Creative section, the fair is the highlight for the hobby, crafts and artists’ requisites segments. There is also Christmas world…but I have not even set food there…so I spare you with details…I think we all get the picture 😉


So here are some observations from the Creativeworld at Paperworld in comparison to  CHA: 

  • This convention is HUGE – the whole area is unbelievable…CHA is like a super-duper mini dollhouse in comparison. And if you think your feet hurt after being at CHA…pffff – LOL…peanuts
  • You will meet many people you met at CHA at Paperworld – mainly Europeans 
  • Allmost all booths are huge – tall and in a very simplistic but in a beautiful way set up
  • The focus is definitely on the product – almost no projects in the booths – unless there is a demo or an artist playing


  • although gaining new costumers is a goal at every trade show, the focus here is equally on cultivating existing business relationships
  • networking is key here – all people are treated nicely – I actually liked this and found this a very big difference- at CHA I often sense that you are only treated nice if they know you or they have the feeling you could be beneficial. But I still remember those days when nobody knew me there and I was treated not nice by certain people or manufacturers – it is not a good thing to do…You should be nice to people and not in a fake way plus…you always meet twice in your life…don’t forget!
  • Everything is orderly…yes I know…what to expect, it is Germany- LOL- but there is also a lot of rules that are very german – the way how to talk with people etc. Although we are not flowery…we have lot’s of unwritten rules. The most known one is the informal and the formal You…but that is the easiest one- LOL


  • Almost every booth has tables and chairs- often several – that are for meetings and talks, most booths have a fridge and coffeemaker or even a little serving station – as it is key to sit down and talk business 
  • Most of the times those tables and chairs are occupied at all booths- and it is a lot of appointments ahead
  • Scrapbooking is not really a big element in the Craft and Hobby and Art Section in Europe yet. Booths dealing mainly with Scrapbooking Paper or Scrapbooking Supplies were tiny and very different from CHA (besides our booth – at Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L – that booth was WAY bigger, but also because you need Adhesives in all kinds of areas in the Craft Section 🙂 )


  • Trendwatch in Europe was a bit similiar as to the US – lot’s of homedecor, Washi Tape (gosh I am outwashi-taped- really!) and wearable art (upcycling recycling) 
  • taking photos is not very common during the convention – in fact most booths even do not let you take photos and it makes it calmer – there is a lot of competition there and everyone is checking out the newest products – some are not seen before, some are only announce online (some manufacturers work directly releasing toward paperworld)
  •  A huge amount of retailers etc from Eastern European and Asian countries were at the show


  • The food is way more healthy and better than at CHA in the Convention hall (I know you expected only sausages there…but no 😉 )
  • Most booths are fine art manufacturers and wholesale booths and then comes wholesalers for craft supplies and then a whole lot of different little booths from all kinds of craft and art sections
  • The show hours were very long…to tell you the truth too long, we were all exhausted. 9 am to 6 pm were the show hours -CHA is mostly 10 am – 5 pm. Add the time for booth prep and booth closing and you are on your feet, talking non-stop for 10 hours a day.


It was fun playing with Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L new and old products – while watching Jimmy Leslie an  awesome artist from NJ paint at the Liquitex booth – what a nice and down to earth guy.- we chatted a lot (I might have pulled a squeaky excited star crush voice when I talked first to him 😉 – always embarrassing to start with “You don’t know me, but I know you” LOL- ) and gosh I couldn’t wait to come home and get my fingers messy with paint.


And let’s not forget the fun evenings I had -here with Jing from Quatar, Barbara from Rome and Anna from Poland- it was so good to see the girls again and ….also Rudi from Austria- who took the picture 😉 – and spent some more time with them when usually at conventions!


And of course spending time and working  with Betina at the 3L booth was the best! The crew from 3L/Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L is amazing and I am very fortunate to work with them for many years.

So…that was probably more when you actually wanted to know about paperworld…and please just because I compared CHA and Paperworld- there is no real comparison since the emphasis in these shows is different…but hey….apple and pears are still fruits 😉 LOL-

Have a good one



  1. Oh Nat, obviously being German, I knew immediately what you meant about formal and informal rules. But you really hit the nail on the head when you said that at CHA you are not treated very nice if you are not well known. Yeah, my first CHA visit (I only have been twice) drove home the fact that even in the papercrafting world it’s a cut throat business. Sad. People who have a “next door neighbor” type of personality online, are totally different in person. I don’t mean that in a “bad” way, but it really broke my heart to realize that this hobby is so cliquish. Anyway, one of these days….. I’m coming home to Germany!!!!

  2. OMG Natalie
    I so wish I could go one year. I’d always wanted to go to CHA but now think if I’m ever rich I’d like to go there instead. can ordinary every day people go?
    Annette in Oz

  3. Danke für den Bericht! Einmal wollte ich hin – seinerzeit, mit meinem Papier, hatte sogar schon ne Karte… Aber es war Schneechaos in München und die Züge fuhren nicht… Hat wohl nicht sollen sein. Klingt aber wirklich interessant. Bist du auch wieder auf der Creativa?

    • Ich liebe Deine Papiere noch immer und horte sie 🙂 Ich bin, glaube ich, nicht auf der Creativa – aber man weiß nie 😉 Ich sag Bescheid, wenn ich mehr weiß. Muss auch erstmal schauen wann das ist . Liebe Grüße, Nat

  4. great reporting!

  5. You little diamond you… Hugs xxx

  6. Very interesting, Nat. Thanks for sharing. A bit disappointed to hear about the way some people at CHA are more interested in you if you are a “somebody”! You are right about treating everyone well, with respect!

  7. This was so interesting – thanks for sharing, Nat. And I’ve just watched the last CJS and wanted to say thanks for that outstanding effort. I’ve enjoyed it so much this year, as last year, and wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all the time and effort it must have taken.

  8. Luciana True Colors says:

    Adorei o post !!!
    obrigada por compartilhar !!
    Luciana – True Colors

  9. Fantastic post! I’ve often wondered about Paper World and this helps tremendously!! Do they also have seminars (business) and/or creative workshops like CHA? or is it only tradeshow? Are parts open to the public or is it only the trade?

    • as said it is a trade show only and not open to the public and they take this really more serious then CHA. I assume they do have seminars – but to tell you the truth, I hadn’t even had time to look at it. They had creative mini workshops on the floor – but very short. This is about networking more than learning how to use things – surprisingly. But especially in fine art- they get and pay people to come to stores and teach how to use it ,after purchasing. It is a different approach when in the craft and hobby area.

  10. Sue Clarke says:

    I have never heard of Paperworld but was happy to read about it..
    I so enjoy how you share your pics and comments from the places that you go to…makes me feel like a was there for a sneak peek.

  11. I’ve never been to either show, but loved hearing about the differences. What a treat it would be to go. Thanks for sharing all your insights. Glad you had a good time.

  12. You’ve got to be exhausted…hope you have a few days off before you start again!

  13. Wow – how cool! I had the name of the show before but did not know what it was!

  14. Hi Nat. That sounds really fun. Do you know of any similar fairs that are of similar quality to this one and of CHA that are open to the public rather than trade?

    • mmhh- similiar…that is hard to say. All the consumer shows I have seen were very different to the trade shows I saw. But there are like Creativa or Kreativwelt in Germany- not sure though about the U.K. Sorry.

      • Thanks for the info. I’ll start with the ones you mention and that might give me some more ideas of what to search for. Even using “Consumer” might help. Hadn’t thought of that!

  15. Nat, good morning from PR!…this sounds splendiferous! would like to be there….hope you seek more and more tips and techs, for all of your fans, and i am among these!….enjoy..

  16. laurie hunt says:

    Thanks Natalie. While I’ve never physically been to CHA, I have seen on “Live from CHA with Charity Wings.” I had heard of Paperworld but knew very little about it. This was really informative.

  17. Elly Vitullo says:

    Wow, Nathalie, I had never heard of this fair. Thank you for sharing! Sounds like my kind of thing, being a paper addict… 😉
    Waving HI from The Hague

    Op 31 jan. 2013 om 06:57 heeft “Nathalie’s Studio” het volgende geschreven:


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