19 May 2024, 22:28
By Furniture News Aug 03, 2018

Autumn Fair – the Gateway to the Golden Quarter

Offering unrivalled scale, variety and choice, home and gift marketplace Autumn Fair – which describes itself as the “Gateway to the Golden Quarter” – is set to help buyers stock up for the peak sales period and discover new opportunities for profit …

Promising visiting retailers new features and areas, expert advice – from the likes of Theo Paphitis and Holly Tucker – and innovative product, from quality British goods to exotic, handcrafted pieces, this year’s Autumn Fair is set to be one of the best yet. 

Spring & Autumn Fair MD Louise Young says: “As well as being able to order products at Autumn Fair for the busiest retail period of the year, buyers will be able to see the upcoming trends, and get ahead of the competition by seeing 2019 product launches before anybody else. Through a renewed collaboration with Pinterest, we will also enable our visitors to take a glimpse of the trends to come, and effortlessly take them away on ready-made digital moodboards.”

Theo Paphitis, of BBC Dragons’ Den fame, will host the new Small Business Sunday #SBS Pavilion, an area dedicated to celebrating new and unique products from ambitious start-ups and small businesses. He says: “I am thrilled to be bringing #SBS to Autumn Fair, giving 12 small businesses a free platform to showcase their wares and access a brand new marketplace.”

This year, Autumn Fair is also celebrating handicraft, with a special platform for handcrafted, artisan goods from across the world. Global Handicraft will offer buyers the opportunity to explore a unique area of the market, featuring everything from fine ceramics to exotic textiles and quirky lighting from more than 50 international brands.

There will be no shortage of British-made product, either. Autumn Fair will welcome some of the best British manufacturers and designers, including cushionmaker Evans of Lichfield.

With international trade being a significant aspect of Spring Fair earlier this year, Autumn Fair is set to build on its sister show’s success in capturing the interest of international buyers seeking genuine British product. 

The next feature is DesignFirst, which will offer up to 30 innovative brands a chance to present their products at prime locations across the show. Louise says: “It will bring new talent, new blood and new brands to Autumn Fair.”

Autumn Fair’s Home sector has seen significant growth, and will offer an overview of some of the best contemporary homewares manufacturers, including: handmade lampmaker Copper Fish; oriental ceramics specialist Mandarin Arts; unusual and industrial-inspired furnishings from Soho Vintage; and eclectic wholesaler Minster Stylish Living. 

And there will be no lack of things going on from which to choose. This year, Autumn Fair will host four theatre and workshop spaces, each of which will deliver a unique area of retail insight. 

The Main Stage is set to be a central hub for buyers and retailers of all kinds, with high-profile speakers – such as Holly Tucker MBE, co-founder of notonthehighstreet.com and UK ambassador for Creative Small Business, and small business champion Theo Paphitis – offering inspirational messages and retail advice.

For online retailers, the event is introducing the Master Online Retail Theatre. All content will have the online independent retailer in mind, while looking at the objectives of buyers from larger online retailers. Speakers will include experts from Ecommerce Masterplan, Findmeagift.com and Findyourinfluencer.co.uk.

Next is the Master the High Street Theatre. From last-minute tips for a successful final quarter to trend-led video content aimed at helping retailers buy smarter, this stage is aimed at independents which want to see their bricks-and-mortar store or online shop come out on top. The likes of Pinterest and Google Digital Garage will talk about how high street retailers can make themselves more visible online.

Finally, there is Fashion Talks, which will present an in-depth look at trends and retail insights through a series of unique fireside-style chats and discussions. Among the speakers will be Beaulagh Brooks of the Birmingham school of Jewellery, and Amy Hobson, from social media and digital marketing trainer, SocialB.

Autumn Fair will take place from 2nd-5th September at the Birmingham NEC (with the Volume halls opening a day earlier).

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