Spring Fair, the UK's leading wholesale marketplace for home, gift, and fashion, taking place from 5-8th February 2023 at NEC Birmingham, has announced the Inspiring Retail Stage content programme, which delivers a schedule packed full of speakers including Theo Paphitis, as well as inspiring and informative insights, awards, plus the essential home and gift trends for 2024.

Created as a platform to champion retail, the Inspiring Retail Stage’s full schedule of live content will kick off on Sunday 5th at 11am with ‘Do you know which key numbers will help you grow your business? Five Crucial Figures You Need to Know to Boost Your Business In 2023’ by Forbes.com contributor and small business retail expert Catherine Erdly.

With sustainability remaining top of the agenda at Spring Fair, highlights also include ‘A Disruptive New Model for Corporate Sustainability and ESG’ with former UNESCO special envoy and MD of Element Four, Georgia Elliott- Smith at 12.10pm who proposes a model of disruptive sustainability that challenges the status quo and embraces activism. At 1.20pm, John Pearce, CEO of Made in Britain, then brings together a panel of speakers from leading British manufacturers including Dartington Crystal, Wrought Iron and Brass Bed Company and Little Soap Company to examine the latest innovations in sustainability messaging, as businesses step up to meet increased demand from buyers, retailers and consumers for information about the environmental impact of goods.

Day one closes with drinks at 5pm and a celebration of UK retail and the businesses that are making a difference. In partnership with Modern Retail, Spring Fair will host the Good Retail Awards for a fourth year, recognising good practices in UK retail and sharing successes in all areas, from high streets supporting their local businesses, to businesses transforming their operations to put sustainability at the core.

On Monday at 11am the stage welcomes retail expert Jonathan de Mello for ‘Retail State of Play: Market Overview’, as he provides key market insight into the current retail landscape, including: the cost of living crisis and its impact on the retail sector now and over the next few years; current winners and losers in retail and what can be learnt from them; the travails of the online pureplays; and retail trends such as fashion rental, the metaverse and ESG.

At 12.10pm, TrendBible delivers its ‘Trend Update: 2024 Home and Lifestyle Trends’. During this presentation with trend editor Wendy Lowe, TrendBible will uncover how householder behaviours and lifestyle choices are set to underpin product and design trends for the home over the next 12 months and beyond.

Josh Pitman, MD of Priory Direct-Planet Friendly Package follows with ‘How To Minimise the Environmental Impact of eCommerce, With the Ultimate Goal of Making A Fully Sustainable Industry’. For visitors keen to learn ‘How to Sell on TikTok’ don’t miss Therese Oertenblad, founder of Small Business Collaborative, and Elizabeth Stiles, fashion and textiles brand consultant, as they share their top tips for selling on TikTok with soul in order to grow community and sales. They will speak to an independent retail buyer about what is working for them, and share tips on how they can get more from the platforms.

TrendBible opens the stage on Tuesday morning at 11am with another insightful ‘Trend Update: Celebration and Gifting Trends for 2024’, providing insight into the key trends impacting consumers and the opportunities which will elevate celebration, occasion and gift ranges to new levels.

For budding podcasters, join Alex Ryan, marketing mentor and BIMM Institute lecturer for ‘Zero to Podcaster in 30 Days’, and then stay put for ‘The Department for International Trade: Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ panel discussion. Hear about DIT’s campaign, championing the UK’s priority sectors through an innovative, localised marketing campaign that will promote the best of British goods and services, and the support DIT can offer to help access overseas markets.

At 2.30pm The Sun’s business editor Ashley Armstrong will host ‘In Conversation With Theo Paphitis’. In a challenging time for business and retail, high street hero Theo will delve into some of the challenges facing businesses across the UK, as well as the opportunities that can arise out of tougher trading conditions.

At 3.45pm Helena Mansell-Stopher, CEO at Products of Change, will lead a panel discussion on new packaging legislation, how it impacts the retail sector, and how to embrace the new wide-ranging packing requirement challenges.

At midday on Wednesday, Steve Manser, head of marketing at DCUK will host a session on ‘Child Mindset Marketing: Are you Kidding?’ Following on from the previously popular Magic Marketing and Mindsets series, this is an engaging session all about the very best child-like traits, attitudes and approaches we should be encouraging in ourselves and our colleagues. Steve will outline some of the best (and most fun) ways that people can learn some great marketing, selling and business tips from the little ones. 

The latest Inspiring Retail Stage programme can be found here.