After last year’s cancellation of Paperworld, trade fair organiser Messe Frankfurt quickly moved to consolidate its consumer goods-focused exhibitions. Taking place 3-7 February 2023, there are now three co-located events – Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld.
While it might not be a bad thing for suppliers targeting the B2C paper-based hobby, crafting and social stationery sectors, where does that leave the B2B workplace supplies channel? A new ‘Working’ theme has been added to Ambiente, with Messe Frankfurt’s sales pitch based very much on the blurring of the lines between the home and office environments. This is something that makes sense given the rise in hybrid and remote working over the past three years.
The future of work
“Workplaces are increasingly changing into social places,” says Yvonne Engelmann, Director of Ambiente Living, Giving and Working. “The establishment of coworking spaces as a new form of office organisation meets the urgent need for flexibility and mobility. This requires adequate rooms and equipment for (co)working as well as professional, attractive communal areas.”
With that in mind, the Future of Work section will sit in Hall 3.1, in close proximity to the interior design product space. A complementary programme of lectures and guided tours will take place during the first four days of the show. Monday 6 February will feature talks on purchasing in the modern workplace, the use of AI, and document management.
Tuesday 7 February sees Sustainable Office Day taking over the Future of Work zone. Run by German sustainability organisation BAUM, it will include practical examples of what a ‘green’ office looks like, how to implement sustainable procurement in the workplace, and the promotion of the circular economy.
For those who remember business products suppliers covering three floors of the Messe Frankfurt showgrounds, the new Office area may come as a bit of a shock. Although occupying only about a third of Hall 4.2, it will feature well-known brands like Acme United, Durable, HSM, Hopax, Novus-Dahle, Rocada and Trodat.
A regular visitor to Frankfurt over the years – and a proponent of the networking opportunities it affords – has been Geoffrey Betts, Managing Director of UK supplier Stewart Superior. However, he won’t be making the trip this year.
“We are very focused on programmes and expenditure, and can’t justify the expense,” he notes. “The market continues to change and I think the collapse of Paperworld demonstrates the fundamental shift perfectly. I might look at going next year, but would regard it as unlikely.”
Workplace360 will keep an open mind about the relevancy of the Ambiente Working format and hopes to bring you a full report of the show. Look out for feedback in the next issue.