For the last 25 years, Interiors UK has enabled brands to present their product to the industry’s key buyers. The 2013 edition of the UK’s largest furniture and furnishings event is set to provide an even bigger and better offering for exhibitors and visitors.

This year, over 600 prominent interior products manufacturers from around the globe will descend on Birmingham’s NEC in the hope of moving their product from showroom floors to retailers’ shelves.

The exhibition will cover all areas of the home, from furniture, lighting and flooring to accessories and furnishings. Ranging from traditional to contemporary in style, the latest products to hit the market will be introduced from a range of leading brands and independent firms.

Alongside an inspiring and comprehensive exhibition, Interiors UK will orchestrate informative, thought-provoking seminars and talks in the Seminar Theatre throughout the show. Leading industry experts from the retail and interior sectors are set to provide a series of discussions inspired by the over-arching theme of the show, Modern Retailing.

Speakers will give exclusive insights into a range of topics, such as visual merchandising, the future of retailing, how technology is disrupting the retail space, retail innovation and how to grab a customer’s attention.

One of the most comprehensive to date, the line-up features keynote speakers such as Nayna Macintosh (director of store design at Marks & Spencer), Jonathan Webb (Retail in Action), Mark Hughes-Webb (Brandhub), Callum Lumsden (Lumsden Design), Melinda Ashton Turner and Naomi Cleaver.

The programme offers inspirational career stories from interior designer and BIID president, Sue Timney, as well as property developer and TV presenter, Sian Astley. Google’s Nic Cumisky will be offering advice on engaging customers using mobile smartphones and tablets, and Melinda Ashton Turner will discuss how to entice customers into stores by creating the optimum first impression.

Continuing the retail-based theme, a range of retailer display areas – curated by a variety of designers – is set to take centre stage throughout the show and main entrances. This year’s guest designer will be renowned interiors expert, Nina Campbell, who will create the entrances and host a feature space in Hall 3.

The show’s organiser, UBM, is pleased to have Nina on board. “Nina is thrilled to be designing the entrances at the Interiors UK show in January. The individual halls will be defined by one of Nina’s loves – colour. Expect a marriage of traditional, well-loved and opulent designs with a new, fresh and contemporary colour palette.”

New for 2013, the Shoreditch-based eclectic interior design shop and cafe, Pitfield – owned by designers Shaun Clarkson and Paul Brewster – will take shape in pop-up form in Hall 4. Shaun will also create the popular champagne bar in Hall 1, which will be located in the fabric pavilion – a display of innovative and inspirational fabrics.

Designersblock will return this year with design department store, DB&Co, to create a brand new store concept, brand and identity. The Designersblock department store will feature a wide range of products – including furniture, accessories, toys and lighting – sourced from Designersblock’s network of up-and-coming designers and makers.

The area will also house the regular features of the show, such as the New Design Britain awards and Birmingham City University (BCU)’s display, alongside Interiors UK’s seminar theatre, VIP lounge and press office.

Looking to the future of the furniture industry, the New Design Britain awards highlight groundbreaking work from up-and-coming design talent. Sixteen deserving finalists have secured a place to display their unique and innovative products across four categories – furniture, accessories, surfaces and fabrics.

Industry-recognised judges for the furniture and accessories categories are: Scarlett Design UK’s Rob Scarlett; the National Design Academy’s Anthony Rayworth; designer at Willis & Gambier, Martin Rapko; and Hutchinson Furniture’s Mark Hutchinson. Judges of the surfaces and fabrics categories include esteemed journalist and author Barbara Chandler, CEO of ACID Dids MacDonald, and Fromental’s Diane Goode.

Interiors UK has once again teamed up with BCU to highlight innovative design talent. The trend forecasts display has been created in close collaboration with Global Color Research and digital wallcovering brand, Tektura.

Students from the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design have been invited to explore two 2013/14 trend predictions from Mix Publications – Flint and Clash. While Flint comprises deep, autumn tones – such as brown, burgundy and orange – Clash contrasts bold yellow, purple and blue hues.

By working closely with Interiors & Lifestyle Futures, BCU has collaborated with regionally-based designers and manufacturers to develop a range of outcomes for each trend. The display highlights the students’ work, and demonstrates how trends can be applied from the original thought to the end product.

Heading into its sixth year, the partnership between Interiors UK and Birmingham City University has resulted in over 500 students engaging with interiors industry experts – resulting in work placements, internships and employment.

Now in its fourth year, Heico Fasteners UK’s design competition will highlight work from the next generation of furniture upholsterers, providing an additional reason to visit the company’s stand. This year, students have been challenged to design a chair that incorporates Heico’s powder-coated and crystal buttons and decorative nails. The independent judging panel will be chaired by former president of The Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers, Joan Milton.

Furniture News will again be present at the show, taking its usual place on stand A11 in Hall 4. As always, visitors are welcome to stop by the stand for a complimentary copy of the magazine and a drink.

Taking place from 20th-23rd January at the NEC, Birmingham, Interiors UK provides an ideal platform to welcome the new year with sourcing, networking and business opportunities within the dynamic and innovative interiors sector.

To pre-register for a ticket, readers should visit Interiors UK’s website, which also provides further information regarding event highlights, industry news and travel information. In the meantime, read on to discover more, in the industry’s most comprehensive preview feature ...

www.interiorsuk.com