A packed audience for a main stage session presented by Sew and Vac Media.

Photos and videos courtesy of h+h americas.

The second edition of h+h americas took place from June 21-23, 2023, and saw significant growth both in attendance and number of exhibitors. More than 2,500 professionals from 22 countries attended the sold-out event which featured 267 exhibitors, up from 196 in 2022. This represents a 34% increase in exhibitor numbers. The show was held again at the Donald E. Stephens Convention & Conference Center in Rosemont/Chicago and served to unite the industry.

Attendees consisted of major retailers such as Michaels, JOANN, and Blick Art Materials as well as independent store owners from all across North and South America and Europe, and included buyers from South Africa, Australia, and Singapore. The show kicked off on Wednesday morning featuring a State of the Industry panel discussion reviewing where the industry is now, the challenges we’re currently facing, and where we need to go in the year to come. Thursday’s keynote by Kathy Cano-Murillo of The Crafty Chica and Friday’s keynote with Justine Tiu, co-founder of The Woobles were both inspiring.

“We are grateful and humbled by the fast-building momentum and strong support for our show. It seems that our event has really closed the gap for a much-needed and relevant handicraft tradeshow for the North American B2B community,” said Mette Petersen, president and managing director of Koelnmesse Inc.

“Many domestic attendees really appreciated the increased number of quilting and fabric lines as well as the ability to touch and feel international products normally not seen in the US.”

“A big thank you to all who worked hard to make the second edition of h+h americas a successful one – especially to our North American team and our conference partner, Craft Industry Alliance. We are proud that we now can provide two strong and viable events on each side of the Atlantic for the handicraft industry,” said Gerald Boese, President and CEO of Koelnmesse GmbH.

h+h americas truly values collaborations. Show manager, Darrin Stern, points out that the show now has 20 media and association partners. “Their input has resulted in the successful onsite integration of pavilions for newcomers, craft books, cosplay, and more,” he says.

Next year’s show will take place May 1-3 in the same location. The new earlier dates will enable North American retailers to view international product introductions in Chicago just five weeks after h+h Cologne which will be held March 22-24, 2024.

“With h+h americas being the first week in May, it perfectly supports our introduction of new products. We are thrilled to showcase our latest offerings to the enthusiastic attendees.” said Lissa Alexander, Director of Marketing at Moda Fabrics.

“With the early May date, we can bring our team together at h+h americas, unveil our new line, and invite our retailers to witness it firsthand. This move allows us to transform h+h americas into a show where we optimize our time with customers at the very start of the new season launch. It’s a fantastic opportunity for our sales representatives.” Jan Hurwitz, Vice President at Premier Needle Arts and General Manager of Berroco.

Watch highlights from Day 1 of h+h americas 2023.

Watch highlights of Day 2 of h+h americas 2023.

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