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Re-edit and relocation declared a success

Autumn Fair’s new look and feel ‘injected sense of vibrancy and excitement’


AUTUMN Fair’s re-edit and relocation have been declared a success following the end of ITE Group’s four-day show at Birmingham’s NEC.

Julie Driscoll, UK regional director for Spring & Autumn Fair, said: “The show’s new look-and-feel has injected a new sense of vibrancy and excitement this year, and we’re delighted with how well our exhibitors have welcomed the show re-edit.
“Our aim has been to ensure visitors and show attendees leave Autumn Fair feeling informed, inspired and excited for the year ahead – and initial feedback suggests we’ve delivered one of our best shows ever.”
The season’s largest home, greetings and giftware marketplace, Autumn Fair was re-edited for 2019 and kicked off in a new location within the NEC, the Atrium, hosting revamped and refreshed show sectors and stages.
Across 11 carefully-curated show areas, visitors and exhibitors were able to make connections, drive deals and, thanks to a world-class seminar line-up, source expertise and inspiration for the upcoming year.
Lucy Howard, sales manager at Emma Ball Ltd said: “Sunday was our best-ever trading day for orders in 18 years of business. The show’s been getting better every year. Value of orders also seems to be higher.”
Paul Hooker, from exhibitor Joe Davies, commented: “The new location is working well and there’s a nice buzz about the hall. All our regular customers are finding us and it’s great to be opening so many new accounts in our new location.”
Headlining the speaker sessions were renowned retail experts and personalities, Theo Paphitis and Mary Portas.
Talking to Ashley Armstrong, retail editor at The Times, Mary discussed her latest book, Work Like A Woman, and explained her belief that the sector needs to embrace and value soft skills, heralding a comeback for more traditional attributes such as empathy, instinct, kindness and trust.
During his session on the Inspiring Retail Stage Theo also spoke about the current challenges facing retailers, as well as offering practical solutions and expert advice.
Following a major investment programme from show organisers ITE Group to help improve visitor flow and facilitate cross-buying opportunities for all, the event saw the
addition of a dedicated Sourcing hall which introduced visitors to a global snapshot of on-trend products from international suppliers.
Exhibitors from across North Africa, the Middle East and Far East Asia were on hand to talk to buyers about how best to make the most of the growing international retail sourcing and procurement market.
Visitors were also given the opportunity to get up to speed on the latest sourcing trends with the hall’s Sourcing Theatre and trend installation, courtesy of show partners Colour Hive, where sessions included insights into new supply chain technologies, and key sourcing regions, such as Quanzhou, China.
Continuing from initiatives launched at Spring Fair 2019, the show focused on delivering a visitor experience which reflected a more socially responsible and sustainability-conscious sector.
Through the Power Of One campaign, visitors were encouraged to pledge one small and achievable lifestyle or business change to reduce their environmental footprint and boost their sustainability credentials.
Event director Jessica Dawnay said: “When it comes to trends for 2019/20, many of our visitors are looking for ways they can be 100 per cent sustainable within the next two years.
“That’s why our Power Of One campaign has been so crucial in demonstrating to visitors that we can all make a difference, no matter how big or small. We think this is only going to continue to grow as a trend, so for 2020 we’re even going to have dedicated trend showcases featuring only the most sustainable products for buyers to look at.”

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