EXPERIENCE THE SYNERGIES
Anyone dipping a toe into our industry finds that they quickly make contacts. The atmosphere in the nursery products sector is friendly and is characterised by a strong sense of solidarity between the different players. The trade fair organisers have a particular role to play here and their regular events in the B2B and B2C areas are now providing the groundwork for getting back together again.
OUR LEADING TRADE FAIR
Kind + Jugend
Once a year, Cologne becomes the international centre for nursery products – when the doors to the Kind + Jugend trade fair are opened for three days in September to an audience of specialists from around the world. Some 1200 exhibitors from home and abroad display the product innovations that families around the world can expect. In the B2B field, the Kind + Jugend fair in Cologne is the undisputed clock that divides the industry’s year into two parts: ‘Before the fair’ and ‘After the fair’.
As the manufacturers’ association for nursery products, we are committed to a close and trusting collaboration with the Cologne fair. The organiser is a Passive Member of the Association. And conversely, our own management represents the interests of the nursery products industry on the Kind + Jugend advisory board. The advisory board meets once a year to discuss the future development of the fair and new trends and changes in the market.
At its annual press conference ahead of Kind + Jugend, the BDKH presents to the media the latest trends and innovations in nursery products.
During the fair itself, the Association is the force behind the Trendforum at Kind + Jugend, where our experts, member companies and collaborative partners get to deliver interesting presentations on topics relevant to the industry. In 2019, the BDKH invited visitors to a multimedia presentation in English on the topic of ‘Car Safety Seats 4.0’ in the Innovation Awards area in Hall 11.1. Richard Frank, Director Global Engineering at Britax Römer, and Erik Salters, Senior Engineer of the Advanced Child Research Group Car Seats at Dorel Juvenile Europe, reported on features and functions of current and future child car seats and responded to visitors’ questions.
During the trade fair in Cologne, the BDKH can be found at the stand of our umbrella organisation, the European Nursery Products Confederation (ENPC), in the boulevard between Halls 10 and 11. This is where, on day 1 of the next fair, the Association and its members are inviting attendees to a new press format – ‘Media Speed-dating’.
INFORMATION FOR FAMILIES
A new development for the Association is its collaboration with Fleet Events of Hamburg, organisers of Babini (formerly BABYWELT). This is the leading consumer fair for the pregnancy and baby sector in the German-speaking world and it shares many of our objectives. Together we form the perfect partnership for providing young families and parents-to-be with information on products and services. High-quality nursery equipment and detailed advice on the ideal product for individual circumstances are important matters for us. As co-hosts and discussion leaders, we are the face of the Association, presenting key notes and trend reports at the various virtual and physical Babini events taking place across Germany.
At our own BDKH stand and also in the Child Safety Skills Centre at the Babini fair, we keep young families informed about risks and accident prevention through our ‘Little Heroes Living Safely’ initiative. Here, experts from our member companies speak about various product sectors and answer attendees’ questions. Together with Fleet Events, the BDKH is also planning to run joint networking events in association with the trade fairs.
The BDKH at the digital Babini
At the first digital Babini trade fair on 24 and 25 April 2021, which ran from 10am to 5pm each day, the organisers welcomed many new and expectant parents wanting to explore the risk-free virtual space of the fair. At the virtual BDKH stand, visitors not only benefitted from expert discussions followed by Q&As in which they could also participate, but also a competition with nursery products as prizes. Topics covered by the expert panels included, for example, ‘Baby’s sleeping environment’, ‘Rear-facing travel in cars’, ‘Baby carriers to make life easier’ and ‘The social media platforms of Generation Z’.
OUR UMBRELLA ORGANISATION
European Nursery Products Confederation (ENPC)
Membership of the BDKH includes representation in the European umbrella organisation, the ENPC. This enables the Association to represent the interests of its member companies at a European level as well as a national one. The ENPC umbrella organisation, which is based in Brussels, represents a total of seven producer associations – from Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Belgium, Austria and Spain. The Board of the ENPC, consisting of representatives of the individual national associations, meets regularly for thorough discussions.
It is in our common interest to speak with a strong voice to European institutions and national administrations, and to cooperate in formulating political decisions relating to the industry. This involves, for example, scrutinising new statutory developments. There is an emphasis on collaborating in various working groups and committees at an EU and an international level. The ENPC gets involved whenever new standards and norms are being developed. It uses its expertise to play an active part and thus represents the sector’s interests.
AAn example of a current project is an international standard for prams that has just been drawn up: https://www.iso.org/news/ref2606.html
SPECIALIST SKILLS AND MEETING POINT
The full-service commercial law firm Oppenhoff operates internationally and has been advising the Association and our members from day 1 on trading contracts, supply contracts, licensing agreements and sales agreements, as well as on matters relating to product liability, trademark protection and competition law. At Oppenhoff’s conferences, the BDKH not only enjoys the law firm’s hospitality at its offices in Cologne, Frankfurt and Hamburg, but also benefits from expert presentations by the firm’s lawyers.
At a BDKH workshop in 2019, for example, in a presentation on product piracy, attendees learnt the differences between forgery, ‘factory overruns’, illegal production, copies, counterfeits and reimports, and how manufacturers can protect themselves against these. In the same year, Oppenhoff’s lawyers outlined the then new German Packaging Act to our members and explained the effects of the Geo-blocking Regulation on matters such as general terms of business. In 2020, the key topic was the widespread changes to German cartel law, with the 10th amendment to the Restraints of Competition Act which, amongst other things, tightened up the monitoring of abuses in the digital economy. Legal changes in the area of influencer-marketing, too, are currently on the agenda. Here, Oppenhoff has also produced a checklist specifically for BDKH companies.
Corona Task Force & the BDKH Questions of Law
In the early days of the coronavirus crisis in particular, the latest information and recommendations from Oppenhoff’s Corona Task Force proved highly valuable to the Association and its members. Topics ranged from emergency aid for companies and issues of cartel law, insolvency and restructuring, all the way through to obligations under employment law including reduced working hours, working from home and employment protection.
In its regular format, ‘BDKH Questions of Law’, we explore with an Oppenhoff lawyer a topical legal issue, such as the question of what ‘essential work’ means in the retail area and who defines what is essential. This came about during the first coronavirus lockdown, when the BDKH urged that specialist nursery products retailers should be classified as ‘essential’ and be allowed to open.