16 July 2024, 21:30
By Furniture News Feb 14, 2023

New matchmaking platform to debut at Autumn Fair

Autumn Fair, taking place from 3rd–6th September 2023, will see the launch of Connect @ Autumn Fair, described by show organiser Hyve Group as "a transformational new approach to buying, designed to revolutionise the traditional trade show model by connecting retailers and brands on a scale never achieved before".

Endorsed by retailers including John Lewis, WHSmith and Choice, Connect @ Autumn Fair promises to "lead the way for the retail community and transform the buying experience by fuelling thousands of pre-arranged buying meetings before the show even opens", says Hyve. 

Connect @ Autumn Fair will give thousands of UK buyers and retailers the opportunity to make contact with all 600+ Autumn Fair exhibitors before the show, says Hyve, and will be able to discover brands and products by selecting from hundreds of chosen data points.

Sophie Burton, buyer, John Lewis, comments: "I would definitely get involved with Connect. It’s great to get a tailored schedule ahead of the day’s events."

Over 6000 meetings are anticipated to take place at Autumn Fair. Each meeting will be 15 minutes long, and all meetings are "double opt-in" – both parties have agreed to meet. Meetings take place on the stand, so buyers can explore the full product range. Buyers can participate in as many double opt-in 15-minute meetings as they would like, limited only by availability and mutual interest. If more than 15 minutes is required, a follow-up meeting can be arranged at or after the show.

Nicola Meadows, portfolio director at Spring & Autumn Fair, says: “Buyers' time is precious, and justifying time away from the retailing space has never been harder.

"Connect @ Autumn Fair changes all this. Visiting a trade show should not be about chance – buyers can now source and plan their time at the show in advance, and know they are meeting suppliers that will meet their needs. With access to extensive information on every exhibitor and product category, from origin and sustainability credentials to pricing and minimum order values, retailers will be able to pre-select meetings with brands whose products most suit their needs.

"Exhibitors will, for the first time ever, be able to discover and connect with buyers, based on over 100 datapoints. Through this revolutionary meetings programme, powered by cutting-edge but easy-to-use technology, we connect the right people, at the right time, and deliver game-changing impact to our customers, their businesses and their industries. With Connect, we remove all the potential anxiety, and the element of the unknown, and allow buyers and exhibitors to be prepared and informed. This is the biggest investment we have ever made in Spring & Autumn Fair’s history. Connect @ Autumn Fair is ripping up the rulebook on events and creating value our customers didn’t realise was possible.”

Connect @ Autumn Fair is powered by meetings technology company Personatech, which developed and operates meetings programmes for retail events including ShopTalk and GroceryShop.

Buyers will be able to join Connect @ Autumn Fair by registering for a free ticket to visit the show, from April.

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