Greetings Today magazine, giving you the bigger picture

First for festivities

Harrogate Christmas & Gift opens its doors on Sunday


SUNDAY sees Harrogate Christmas & Gift Show open its doors as one of the first trade fairs of the year – and the perfect place to start looking for the 2018 festive products and trends.

Running through until Wednesday, January 14-17, the show is at Harrogate Convention Centre, and covers not only products for Christmas, but also the home, gift, and visitor attraction sectors – plus greetings.
And with a larger number of greetings and stationery suppliers exhibiting than for many years, there’s plenty to interest all retailers with space for cards, both Christmas, everyday and occasions.
Malcolm Naish, MD of Lema Publishing and this year’s chairman of the board organising the show, said: “Many visitors to this show will recall the Royal Baths being used for many years to house the wholesale greetings card publishers.
“When this was no longer viable, as so many card wholesalers had closed down, Harrogate lost this category. Move on 10 years to 2018 and we now have many of our buyers, particularly the garden centres, stocking cards.
“While this is a new category for the Harrogate Christmas & Gift Fair, the product category is a natural addition to most buyers’ product mix, and exhibitors can also invite their existing customers to enjoy an early preview of their ranges.”
And it’s not just about the business side – new for 2018 is the Big Night Out, an evening of comedy to be enjoyed by exhibitors and visitors alike at the Old Swan in Harrogate after the opening day of the show starring top comedians Dave Spikey (above left), from That Peter Kay Thing and Phoenix Nights, and 2011’s Show Me The Funny winner Patrick Monahan (above right).
There are more than 100 exhibitors at the fair, with 17 in the greetings, stationery, wrap and calendars sectors, and almost 5,000 visitors are expected from across the board in retail.
As the UK’s number one trade event for the Christmas market, the Harrogate show offers a one-stop-shop for absolutely everything festive and is at the prime time of year for retailers and buyers planning for the following season.
However, exhibitors won’t only be presenting Christmas products as, over the last four or five years, ranges on offer have expanded to include garden and homeware, year-round gifts, stationery and cards, floral products, toys and novelties and even food items.
Show organiser Simon Anslow said: ‘Harrogate Christmas & Gift has not only grown significantly in exhibitor and visitor numbers in recent years, but the diversity of products on offer has grown too.
“Visitors include buyers from department stores, independent retailers, tourist attractions, heritage centre shops, church and cathedral shops and also garden centres from across the UK.
“Obviously, these types of outlets are looking for gifts and add-on ranges for the entire year and consequently, exhibitors are presenting products at the show to reflect this demand.’
This year, visitors will be spoilt for choice with seven halls of the Harrogate Convention Centre packed with exciting new products. Many exhibitors have are long-time attendees while there are more than 30 brand new exhibitors this year.
Simon added: “Visitors will be able to see all of their favourite companies such as Premier Decorations who will be filling Hall H in its entirety with Christmas products; plus their new Outdoor Living and Halloween collections.”

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