Those who knit, sew and crochet are considered ‘old fashioned’ and don’t have anything to do with social media? Anyone who believes that is way off the mark these days! The DIY and crafts scene is becoming more diversified, younger and more closely networked. As a result the industry, and in particular the specialised trade are faced with the big challenge of optimally serving the consumers across all distribution channels, including the many options that the online offers and social media channels provide. This year,  h+h cologne addresses this theme.

The Talk speakers of ‘my lovely livingroom’ will offer plenty of know-how on this topic. Harm-Jörg Heikens from DaWanda, Europe’s biggest online marketplace for handmade products, DIY materials and instructions with over 7 million registered users, will be analysing the users’ interests and behaviour that make it possible to recognise trends early and to set new trends oneself. As Director Sales & Business Development, Heikens is in close exchange with manufacturers, distributors and companies from the industry and the digital world. With this network DaWanda strives to provide new market impulses and synergies to encourage more people to engage in creative DIY-projects. Heiken’s lecture ‘Everything is measurable on the Internet – the optimal online marketing strategy’ is an absolute must for the trade visitors.

Mikaela Ioannou, a media scientist, who has also been a Facebook ambassador since 2016, is going to discuss the topic ‘Social Media as an opportunity for the retail trade’ on the Talk Sofa. As a Facebook and Instagram expert she advises retailers, online shops and companies about target group definition and address. This agenda item is perfect for trade visitors, who want to know what effect good contents have on buying behaviour and how turnovers can be increased.

Bloggers can achieve small wonders
Thomas Selter, Managing Director and owner of Gustav Selter GmbH, is also one of the guests on the Talk Sofa, and he’ll be sharing with the bloggers Janine Binder (Jetztkochtsie), Stefanie Feierabend (Feierabendfrickeleien) and Julia-Maria Hegenbart (Feinmotorik). “Bloggers stabilise the industry”, this is the joint theme and deals with how the industry profits from bloggers and about the bloggers within the handicraft and hobby supplies industry. The focus will also be on rules for bloggers and influencers, their credibility and their success. “One can’t activate bloggers at the snap of a finger,” said Thomas Selter. “But if a good relationship is established which costs time and requires partnership-like understanding, then bloggers can achieve small wonders.” “We’re  still not really able to assess what the creativity of the bloggers, their followers and the permanent communication of the bloggers with their followers means,” continued Selter. The background of the Talk is an extremely successful presentation of new products in conjunction with the first Addi-blogger get-together last year.

Last, but not least Angela Probst-Bajak, marketing and communications consultant of the Initiative Handarbeit e.V., Professor Dr. Ingo Markgraf with the lecture ‘The Y generation – who are these digital natives and what are they like?’ are represented as talk guests. His recommendation is: “Those who want to win over the Generation Y as customers, have to know how YouTube channels, Snapchat and Instagram work.”

The event programme of h+h cologne 2018 has even more to offer. What would ‘my lovely livingroom’ be without Trendwatch for instance? The famous graduate fashion designer Anke Müller from Swafing GmbH, is responsible for ‘new fabric designs’. She will present the most exciting trends of the coming season. Furthermore, Anastasios Voulgaris, Head of Design for Burda Style’s pattern collection, is keeping an expert eye open for the new trends of the year. And the accessory designer and first winner of ‘cleverly stitched – who sews the best?’ will be up on stage with the ‘Trendwatch with Tobias Milse Genève’. Furthermore, the international trend fashion show of the members of the Initiative Handarbeit, who will present the current creations directly on the catwalk, is going to be an absolute crowd-puller.

A complete overview of all of the experts on the Talk Sofa as well as all activities of ‘my lovely livingroom’ and the complete special event programme with the dates and times can be found online at www.hh-cologne.com.