“The next show begins before the last show ends” – an interview with Petra Kischkewitz, project manager of the COOKIES Show
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This year’s January edition of the COOKIES Show was held for the first time in Palazzo Italia, Unter den Linden in Berlin. As a result of the move, the exhibitor space doubled to 2000 sqm. Luna Journal talked to the show’s project manager, Petra Kischkewitz about the new trend format, the COOKIES Talk, and why visitor quality is more important than visitor quantity.
Luna Journal: What did the exhibitors and visitors make of the new space?
Petra Kischkewitz: The Palazzo is of course an architectural contrast to the industrial architecture of the power plant, so both locations have their fans. This is exactly what makes Berlin, with its diverse locations, so interesting for trade fairs. The new venue and our design concept were very well-received by exhibitors and visitors.
How did the first and second editions of the Cookies Show differ?
On the exhibitor side, we presented the brands Bullboxer, Camper, Colmar, Hummel Sports, Koel4Kids, KAVAT, Rose et Chocolat, Spiral, Vado, and Zebra for the first time. New lifestyle brands included SHADEZ, swaddlies, Mr. Tail, touch wood, and tstwo. In addition, our new presentation and trend format COOKIES Talk celebrated its premiere at the second edition of the Cookies Show.
What was the response of the new exhibitors? What are you planning to do in the future?
Of course, new exhibitors are always full of expectation. They were happy to have participated, so the response was very good. This is important for us, because in the end, what counts is the experience and evaluation of the exhibitors, who ultimately create a domino effect.
How did this Cookies Show go? Can you give us a first impression? Or has there already been an evaluation?
We are very satisfied with the second edition, which began, among other things, with the doubling of the exhibition space. There was a very good reception of our clear focus on an excellent working atmosphere for exhibitors and visitors, quality instead of quantity, and the topic of rethinking the trade fair. We were especially pleased by the growing number of international visitors. The final evaluation will follow in the coming days.
What was the feedback from the exhibitors?
Our exhibitors were also very satisfied, and are looking forward to the summer edition, which they have confirmed with verbal bookings.
Was there a good visitor footfall?
Of course, the three days of the fair were not all equally well attended at every time of the day. So, there is in part the desire for a little more visitor footfall. But since visitor quality is our primary goal, that aspect was very good. I would like to quote one of our exhibitors: “Every shot was a goal”.
How was the feedback from the visitors?
That was great. Many buyers, including Görtz and the Berlin dealer Kleine Helden, said goodbye to us personally. They explicitly praised the very good working atmosphere and emphasised that we should definitely retain and expand our concept. Everyone was pleasantly surprised to be offered bottled water or coffee and a bite to eat, especially if they had arrived on the shuttle from the Premium.
How did visitors rate the panel discussion?
The visitor feedback was very good. Even international visitors sought contact with our speakers. Since the talks were held in German, many individual discussions followed in English.
The participants are carefully selected according to the topics. It is very important to us to have experts who can make a significant contribution to the topic. The talks were not about marketing or sales, as you would typically find at trade fairs.
What were the main topics discussed? What conclusions have you drawn from the panel discussion?
All contributions, whether podium discussions or presentations, were consistently geared towards support, ideas, and trends for bricks-and-mortar retail. The focal points were healthy children’s feet (increasing retail competence), retail trends, product displays and window displays, and shoe trend presentations. The conclusion from the big panel discussion on the opening day was that retailers and manufacturers must work together even more closely to reach the end-consumer. One approach would therefore be a permanent exchange of ideas.
The successful children’s shoe manufacturer Richter is celebrating its 125th anniversary and was one of the exhibitors at the Cookies Show. In your opinion, what is Richter’s recipe for success?
The people behind the company and the brand Richter, their commitment, drive, and vision. Richter is a fine example of how, if something is done with passion, it will be successful.
The Cookies Breakfast Club was specifically designed for bloggers. Which bloggers attended the meeting?
We welcomed the bloggers little years, Spreeblogger, Grossstadtküste, Frau Mutter, Eileena Ley, Tollabea, Wohnklamotte, BineLovesLife, Lila van Meer, Untis Welt, and many others to the Breakfast Club.
How big was the uptake for the window painting workshop? How was the workshop received?
“Made with love”, the window dressing workshop with illustrator Karin Lubenau, took place on all three days of the fair and was well-received. There were also many little fans, which we had not planned. Just like the entire decoration concept, the exhibited window displays provided inspiration and impulses for bricks-and-mortar retailers. They were connected to the talk by Heike Belgert, shop window specialist from ArtWindow, on the subject of designing window displays.
The next fair begins before the last fair ends. Are there already plans for the future editions?
Of course, we are already busy planning the next edition, because the next show begins before the last show ends. The third edition of the Cookies Show will take place from 3-5 July in Berlin.
Image: Petra Kischkewitz