New Textile Handicrafts Show h+h americas To Launch in Chicago Next Year

August 30, 2021

The North American textile handicrafts industry is about to get a new trade show. Set to launch in Chicago June 22-24, 2022, h+h americas will be the first international offshoot of h+h cologne, the world’s main industry event for textile handicrafts produced by and annually held at Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany.

Designed to unite the soft crafts industries in North America, the new show comes in response to increased demand for a strong and unified national show for the North American handicrafts sector as a result of the growing pandemic-induced popularity of handicrafts in the U.S. Not only has the industry been recording double-digit growth rates, but it is also estimated that just under 30 million Americans crochet, knit, sew, quilt or embroider, providing an ideal foundation for a successful trade show premiere in the U.S. marketplace, according to Koelnmesse officials.

“Our decision to launch h+h americas is in line with our strategy to make shows more international and more accessible to our customers via online channels,” said Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse GmbH. “This step will strengthen our trade show in Cologne while responding to the growing demand in the American market.”

He added that by taking the well-known h+h brand overseas, Koelnmesse is establishing a top-class ordering platform in the U.S. for North American buyers. 

To be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention & Conference Center in Rosemont, Ill., and sponsored by Craft Industry Alliance, the inaugural h+h americas will reflect all the soft crafts product segments of its sister event, including home textiles, tapestry, sewing, knitting, crocheting, haberdashery, quilting, needlepoint, business software and marketing solutions. 

Attendees will comprise soft craft retailers, wholesalers, designers and the online trade, which will also be able to access the show virtually. Representatives from Koelnmesse Inc., Koelnmesse’s Chicago-based subsidiary, said they expect North American exhibitors to be joined by several European companies. 

“For many years we have been asked by our customers when h+h would come to North America, as not everyone can travel to Cologne,” explained Mette Petersen, president and managing director of Koelnmesse Inc. “The COVID situation has accelerated the demand for soft craft products in North America, and we feel that now is the right time to bring the well-known h+h brand to the U.S.”

She added that Chicago offers the ideal location for the show’s launch with its easy access for domestic and international travelers and reasonably priced hotels. 

“We are thrilled to partner with Koelnmesse to bring h+h cologne to the U.S. For us, the h+h cologne trade show in Germany is the premier craft industry event,” said Abby Glassenberg, co-founder and president of Craft Industry Alliance. “The opportunity to bring this event to North America and to work together to create a fresh, inspiring and elevated show experience for buyers and exhibitors is unbeatable. This show will propel the whole industry forward.” 

Information about exhibition opportunities, participation and speakers at the event will follow shortly. 


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Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: