The investment that has helped transform Spring Fair International over the past two years is set to continue as organiser i2i Events Group ploughs a further £600,000 into the 2013 edition of Europe’s largest presentation of gift.
The latest investment – bringing the total to £2.3 million in three years – will be focused on driving the global reach of the internationally recognised brand. These investments will allow Spring Fair International to accelerate its position as the largest and most significant hub for giftware in Europe.
Spring Fair’s global reach and profile will be further extended by a new hosted buyer programme. This will attract more key overseas retailers to the NEC and result in increased orders for exhibitors.
At the heart of the programme will be the inaugural World Congress for Department Store Buyers held at Spring Fair, which will involve retail tours, gala dinners and trend seminars to guide high level buying. The programme will be run by Csilla Gemeskuti, an experienced hosted buyer manager. A newly appointed international marketing manager will work with an experienced sales network across Europe whilst focusing on building relationships with international press and trade associations. An intensive international public relations campaign will complement these efforts.
Spring Fair 2013 will also herald the introduction of a new merchandising feature in Christmas Gifts; a new Ecommerce Theatre in Volume Gifts; a buyer lounge in the Greetings hall; a Home Fragrance Emporium in Hall 7, along with new entrance points in the atrium and Hall 12 to improve the spread of footfall. The 2013 edition will see new features join existing favourites such as The Trend Bar, The Licensing Lounge, Cook Live!, The Stage, Toy Demo Area, Fashion Accessories Catwalk and The Jewellery Show Catwalk Café.
Orders worth £2 billion are expected to result from next February’s show as the organiser pledges to again improve the offer – already regarded by many retailers as the best in Europe. It is anticipated that some 70,000 buyers from 120 countries will, for the first time, view 300,000 brand new products – many from new exhibitors and start-ups.
Buyers will be able to source from an unrivalled offer of categories across gift including contemporary gift; gift & home; kitchen & dining; greetings & stationery; Christmas gifts, floral and seasonal decorations; art & framing; toys, games and kids’ gifts; body, bath & home fragrance; fashion jewellery & accessories, along with sub brands The Party Show and The Jewellery Show.
Louise Young, i2i Events Group Divisional Director, comments: “Spring Fair is the hub of the industry and is dedicated to providing the most comprehensive range of products available. We are investing to be the best. Our priority is continual development. We are, of course, aware that we must always be looking to improve, which is why we are not resting on our laurels and have implemented changes recommended by our customers as we plan for next February. By growing the show and improving the exhibitor and visitor experience year on year, we are ensuring Spring Fair’s reputation as the place where the industry comes to do business.”
The 2012 event was 13% bigger than in 2011 and three halls were added to accommodate the show’s expanding supplier base and the significantly larger stands taken by many returning exhibitors.
The transformation of last February’s Spring Fair followed a two-year consultation with exhibitors, visitors and trade associations. The organiser redesigned and modernised the exhibition to resemble a destination department store featuring Europe’s largest offering of home and gift products, with more crossover buying opportunities.
Comfort for retailers was paramount as i2i Events Group strove to create a more enjoyable and vibrant atmosphere which would persuade buyers to stay longer at the show and see more products and exhibitors.
Louise Young adds: “The aim is to place inspiration, innovation and improved customer experience right at the heart of the event. Feedback from our visitors and exhibitors indicates we are achieving that, but we can never be satisfied, which is why next year’s show will again see us raising the bar to meet their needs.”
Spring Fair International takes place from 3rd – 7th February 2013 at the NEC in Birmingham, UK.