If you’re looking for a quick summary of the UK’s furniture and furnishings trade buying events in 2015, you’ve come to the right place! Every year, Furniture News compiles a summary of the UK exhibitions calendar, to help our readers maximise buying opportunities, identify the most suitable marketing platforms and, hopefully, prevent a few headaches.
The 2015 UK events diary sees some new additions – most notably the launch of the January Furniture Show, which is set to be the sector’s largest. Eagle-eyed readers might notice that there are also a couple fewer shows than in last year’s roster, but in some cases that’s because they simply haven’t announced official dates yet. I’ll try to keep this article as up to date as possible, but links to these shows are provided in the footer in case you’re tempted to do your own research.
The bulk of these shows will have been previewed/reviewed before by Furniture News, so it’s well worth searching this website for more information on individual events.
So, without any further ado, here’s the furniture trade’s UK events diary, 2015 …
The year kicks off in the capital with Home, which relocates to Olympia following the closure of Earl’s Court, and takes place from 11-13th January alongside Top Drawer and the Craft designer-maker show. Visitors will find an exclusive selection of designer homewares, as well as the return of the Retail Masterclass seminar programme.
The Furniture Show, organised by the Associated Independent Stores (AIS) buying group, takes place at the Cranmore Park Exhibition Centre in Solihull, not far from the Birmingham NEC, from 12-14th January. While the first day is reserved for putting exclusive product in front of the buying group’s members, the subsequent two are open to the trade in general. Whilst small, the event features several high-quality exhibitors, many of which occupy AIS’ preferred supplier portfolio.
When event organiser UBM Live announced the closure and part-relocation of Interiors UK in January 2014, the trade didn’t have to wait long before a replacement event, the January Furniture Show, was announced. Taking place across halls 1-3 and the Pavilion of the Birmingham NEC mid-week from 13-15th January (the date was pulled back to better accommodate buyers wishing to visit imm cologne the following week, and the 2016 edition will run from Sunday 24th to Tuesday 26th), the show will feature the year’s biggest complement of furniture exhibitors and new product. Celebrating 25 concurrent years of furniture shows at the NEC, the January Furniture Show will also see the launch of The Furniture Awards, developed in association with Furniture News.
The Scottish Furniture Representatives Association (SFRA)-organised show has been rebranded Northpoint, and will run between 25-27th January at Highland Hall, Edinburgh.
Moving into February, and Spring Fair International, Europe’s largest home and gift trade fair, returns to the Birmingham NEC from 1st-5th of the month. This year’s edition promises a Home sector – now in hall 1 – 64% larger than before, including furniture, textiles, home accessories, lighting and an extensive offering of wall art. Also present will be Retail Shop – which will provide a full offering dedicated to cutting-edge technology and retail sector solutions – alongside numerous retail-oriented special features.
Skipping ahead, Spring Long Point, a growing event which takes place in showrooms across the Derbyshire town of Long Eaton, will take place from 11-13th May.
May Design Series returns to ExCeL London from 17-19th May for a third year, promising an event ‘curated for business’. The show, which comprises Furniture, kbb, Lighting, Decor and DX sub-sections, will feature an internationally-focused buying opportunity, with a 50/50 split between British and international exhibitors.
Independent design festival Clerkenwell Design Week commences on 19th May, taking place in showrooms across the London design district until 21st May.
The Minerva Spring Exhibition will be held at Telford’s International Centre, from 19-20th May, open exclusively to members of the Minerva and SMG buying groups.
Midpoint returns to Cranmore House, Shirley, from 16-17th June, while, the following month, Solex, the Leisure & Outdoor Furniture Association’s annual fair, returns to the NEC from 7-9th July.
Next up is the UK’s second-largest furniture show, Manchester Furniture Show. Running from 19th-21st July at the increasingly modern Manchester Central venue, the event promises a wide selection of new product in a convivial environment.
Finally in July, Home & Gift takes place at Harrogate International Centre from 19th-22nd.
The second edition of the new Irish Furniture & Homewares Show will run from 22nd-25th August at the National Show Centre, Dublin.
September brings a swathe of events, beginning with the AIS members-only event at the Cranmore Park Exhibition Centre in Solihull over 1st-2nd.
Next is Autumn Fair International, a well-established pre-Christmas buying platform, which returns to the Birmingham NEC from 6-9th September, promising furniture, furnishings and accessories, plus the debut of a new lighting section.
Glee, an outdoor- and garden centre-focused event that boasts some outdoor furniture, is back at the NEC from 13-15th September.
Concurrently, Home returns to Olympia for its second annual showing.
Long Point returns to Long Eaton for its autumn edition from 14-16th September.
The regional event for the South-west, the SWMRAF’s South West Furniture Show takes place from 15-17th September, in the Sedgemoor Auction Centre, North Petherton, Somerset.
In late September, London welcomes the world’s design leaders as a number of interiors-focused shows occur across the capital, some part of the London Design Festival, taking place in venues across the city from 19-27th September. These include Decorex International, back at Syon Park on the outskirts of London, from 20th-23rd September, offering its usual mix of high-profile special features.
100% Design, which has recaptured much of its vitality, relocates to the Olympia from 23-26th September. Then there’s Tent and Superbrands London, which returns to the Old Truman Brewery from 24-27th September.
From 22nd-23rd September, Telford’s International Centre will welcome the members of the NBF for the ever-popular Bed Show. This fair, along with the Gala Dinner and awards programme that accompanies it, is the strongest platform for the bed industry in the UK, and features beds, bed-making machinery and component suppliers.
Running concurrently is new event, Bridge, a curated bedroom furniture show down the road from the NBF event at Ironbridge Gorge Museum.
Finally, there’s the Autumn Furniture Show, scheduled to take place from 6-7th October (members only on the first day), also at Telford’s International Centre. Minerva’s expanded buying group show offers an impressive range of exhibitors, and the organiser hopes to further expand the event as it becomes more of an established fixture.
So, that’s all, for now. Our apologies for any errors – it’s always best to check the official websites for clarity – and we hope to be able to add details for those absent events when they become available. As we mentioned at the outset, don’t forget that you can consult Furniture News’ Events page for updates to the exhibition diary – both at home and abroad.
More detailed information can also be found in Furniture News magazine prior to and following each show, including interviews with organisers, details of special features, exhibitor and visitor views, new products and dedicated event supplements.