19 July 2024, 07:21
By Phil Spademan Jun 29, 2023

Getting BFM's new exhibition into gear

As its membership base grows, the British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) has created an online hub to bring together furnituremakers and component manufacturers ahead of next year’s inaugural Furniture Component Expo, sponsored by The VITA Group, which will take place at Telford International Centre on 24-25th April, writes the trade association’s new MD, Phil Spademan …

The Furniture Component Expo has already been well received across the industry, and we’re seeing support from manufacturing partners who are signposting suppliers to attend. We’ve had a great deal of interest and a firm commitment from exhibitors, who feel there is a real gap in the market for this type of B2B event. It will offer a platform for suppliers to the furniture industry to expand their business and give manufacturers a route to discover new and innovative ideas.

Our team is now in the process of curating the seminar programme, which will feature topics such as regulations, sustainability and regulatory frameworks. An Innovation Trail, and a wider industry discussion including import and export and the global economy, are also being developed. The exhibitors are being invited to sponsor the event and/or seminar theatre, and can book space at the theatre as well. Visit www.fcexpo.co.uk to find out more.

The inaugural Furniture Component Expo comes at the same time as we’re seeing thriving membership numbers and a strong interest in our new retail category. 

Launched at the January Furniture Show this year, the Approved Retailer membership category for furniture retailers recognises companies committed to selling and promoting British-made goods. Open to retailers across the UK, the category is supported with a new Code of Practice that will demonstrate a commitment to customer service, as well as a pathway towards Net Zero.

To be admitted to membership, retailers must sell products made by British furniture manufacturers in the UK (although not exclusively). As an Approved Retailer, they’ll then receive marketing material to help them inform customers of British-made products, and gain access to a range of BFM benefits to support their commercial activities and staff members. These include – but are not limited to – commercial legal and HR advice, organised networking events, access to industry reports and news, and an Approved BFM Retail Member logo. They are also eligible to participate in our new Future of Furniture campaign.

Since the launch of the category, we’ve attracted new members including Furniture Village and ScS – contributing to the +5.9% membership growth across all categories, including associate and manufacturer, in recent months.

Membership numbers continue to grow, as we strengthen our offer and provide compelling benefits to join. This includes a number of upcoming events that members can get involved with, such as the regional meetings scheduled to take place in the Midlands in September and the south in November, as well as free webinars on health and safety topics and the environment. We also have the Future of Furniture campaign, which enables members to tell their stories about their pioneering work in sustainability and innovation.

It’s an exciting time for the BFM, and our team looks forward to developing even more initiatives to ensure we offer value and engagement for our members.

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