Have a Textile Crafts Business? Explore the Benefits of Attending H+H Americas

Have a Textile Crafts Business? Explore the Benefits of Attending H+H Americas
Photo: Koelnmesse / h+h cologne / Eric Michael Clarke

Many of us flocked to knitting, crocheting, quilting and other fiber arts to cope with the COVID-19 lockdowns. As hobbyists fueled the craft industry’s growth, global trade show organizer Koelnmesse took note. For years, the German events company has hosted H+H Cologne, an international trade fair for handicrafts and hobby supplies.

When the pandemic restrictions ended, Koelnmesse saw an opportunity for a sister show in North America. The company launched its first H+H Americas in 2022, which was well-received, with attendance growing yearly. Its third show will take place May 1–3, 2024, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention & Conference Center in Rosemont, IL, northwest of Chicago.

We spoke with Darrin Stern, vice president at Koelnmesse and director of H+H Americas, to see what attendees and exhibitors can expect at the 2024 show.

Photo: Koelnmesse / h+h cologne / Eric Michael Clarke

1. What is H+H Americas?

H+H Americas is the business-to-business trade show and conference for businesses and individuals who make their living in crafts. The annual H+H Americas in Rosemont, IL is the premier event for the North American Handicraft Industry and the sister event of H+H Cologne (Germany), the world’s largest trade fair for the crafts sector. Designed for the B2B community, this trade show is unique as it offers a physical trade show in combination with a digital marketplace open to any professional in the crafts industry. Unlike other events, H+H Americas operates without any membership restrictions and offers seasonal products and services to the entire crafts sector carefully timed for buyers in May 2024.

2. Who are your primary exhibitors?

Exhibitors of H+H Americas will feature products from:

  • Fabrics & Quilting
  • Spinning/Weaving
  • Needlework / Fabric / Quilting Implements
  • Thread
  • Haberdashery / Notions
  • Packaging
  • Hobby, arts and crafts
  • Sewing / Quilting / Knitting / Embroidery Machines and Accessories
  • Knitting, Embroidery, Rug and Crochet & Cross Stitch Thread / Yarn / Wool
  • Shipping & eCommerce
  • Literature
  • Tapestry / Gobelin
  • Marketing Services

3. Who are your primary attendees?

H+H Americas is open to anyone who makes a living through crafts. Retailers, multi-unit operators, e-commerce, designers, content creators, influencers, professional makers, importers, distributors and suppliers.

Photo: Koelnmesse / h+h cologne / Eric Michael Clarke

4. What can attendees learn at the show?

H+H Americas is the premier event for the craft and hobby industry, where you can discover the latest trends and products from around the world. Whether you are looking for unique boutique suppliers or larger market brands, you will find them all under one roof. H+H Americas is also a great opportunity to meet friends, network with peers, have fun, and get education and inspiration from experts and influencers. Don’t miss this chance to benefit from the best that the industry has to offer!

Photo: Koelnmesse / h+h cologne / Eric Michael Clarke

5. What are the benefits of exhibiting?

Exhibiting at H+H Americas is a great opportunity for businesses in the creative industry. By participating in this event, they can meet their current clients and strengthen their relationships, showcase their products and services to potential new audiences—current and new categories of buyers—expand their customer base and understand the competition and market influences that affect their industry.

6. What excites you the most about the 2024 show?

H+H Americas will be exciting for a number of reasons: expanded educational opportunities, expanded inspirational opportunities, fashion shows, for example, and exhibits. What excites me most is that we are truly bringing industries together to improve their businesses, expand their reach and grow as individuals.

Photo: Koelnmesse / h+h cologne / Eric Michael Clarke

Thanks, Darrin! You can learn more about H+H Americas at www.hh-americas.com.

Editor’s Note: This interview was edited for length and style.

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