Extended travel restrictions across the UK, coupled with the re-imposition of lockdown in England through to December, has led Clarion Events, the organiser of the UK's principal furniture trade exhibition, January Furniture Show, to reschedule the show (now Furniture Show Birmingham) from late January to 25-28th April 2021.
Cleere Scamell, event director, says: “The furniture show at the NEC is the most powerful UK trade event of its kind. Over the past months we have been working towards January, determined to deliver the strong show the sector needs. The large footprint of the show, combined with a very targeted professional audience, means that we remain confident in being able to fully implement the Government’s All Secure Standards guidance for event safety.
"However, recent developments, combined with the necessarily long lead times exhibitors need to prepare and present their products, mean that it is important for us to be realistic, and put safety first at this stage. Additionally, after a turbulent year globally there are significant supply-side issues in parts of the furniture sector, and this move will allow more time for material supplies to normalise.
“Over the past few weeks we have been surveying furniture and interiors buyers across the sector, and I am pleased to share that we have had a very strong and positive response from regular visitors, who are in favour of moving to April. 84% of buyers say they will certainly attend, and a further 13% plan to attend when they have more details about the practical Covid measures in place.
“Particularly encouraging has been the response from those who have been unable to visit over recent editions of the show during the traditionally busy January period, but will now take the opportunity to visit in this new spring window. Interestingly, the reaction from these buyers is equally as strong as those of our regular visitors, so we expect to see many new clients in April.
"We are in the process of connecting with exhibitors, visitors and other industry stakeholders, and this will continue over the course of the next few weeks as we finalise plans for Furniture Show Birmingham in April. With nearly six months to go until the show opens, we are looking forward to what will be the first large-scale opportunity for the industry to get together.”
The announcement comes a week after news of Spring Fair 2021's cancellation, and mirrors moves made by German events including Heimtextil and Ambiente to bypass the winter months and opt instead to run spring shows.