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“This really is Autumn Fair’s time”

I understand that some 100 companies will be exhibiting in the Children’s Gifts, Toys & Gadgets hall (including 22 newcomers) – is this the most ever? This is the most Children’s Gift, Toys & Gadgets suppliers who’ve exhibited at Autumn Fair International in quite a while and at the time of writing over the summer we are up by ten per cent so far on our final show position last year.

Can you run through some of the major companies who will be on the show floor? We have loads of great companies with us this year, too many to mention individually, but many retailers will recognise names such as Le Toy Van, Grossman, Keel Toys, Professor Puzzle and much more.

No longer in the shadow of its larger cousin, Spring Fair, the autumn trip up to Birmingham for Autumn Fair is once again firmly on the radar of toy firms. Samantha Loveday speaks to toy account manager Bhavika Pattni to find out why, before asking what some key firms will be showing at the NEC

networking show taking place at this time of year so people who don’t attend the show are missing out on a potentially very valuable opportunity.

What would you say to convince them to exhibit next year?

The downside to selling so much exhibition stand space is we don’t have room for a Toy Demo area this year, but it’s something we might look into doing again in future years if it becomes a viable option again.

We have over 60,000 exciting new launches

ready to be showcased. Bhavika Pattni, Autumn Fair

Other big stands have been taken out by Scootaheadz, Be My Bear and Wowzer.

Are there any particular ones you would highlight as ‘must visits’? We’re particularly excited about Axiski, an innovative and exciting company that’s come up with a new type of sledge that works on all kinds of snow– they’re very cool.

Are there any new features being introduced to the hall? Is the toy demo area still running?

Why should toy retailers make the trip to Autumn Fair this year? Autumn Fair is the prime retail trade event taking place in the second half of the year and the very best opportunity for shops to stock up on the latest must-have products ahead of Christmas. All of our research indicates that buying patterns have evolved considerably over the past few years and retailers are now spreading out their budgets throughout the year in order to minimise risk and

buy products that are on trend. Christmas is such a key season for toy sellers and many independents leave their buying until autumn. Autumn Fair is renowned for being an excellent order-taking event because retailers know our exhibitors have thousands of new products that are in stock and ready for delivery.

What benefits will they get that they won’t from attending other shows? One of the most brilliant things about Autumn Fair is we have several different product sectors represented, meaning there are fantastic cross-over buying opportunities. This means that toy retailers and other shops can also stock up on greeting cards, gift wrap, party items, children’s gifts, general gifts … you name it, we have 60,000 exciting new launches ready to be showcased. Along with some of the biggest suppliers in the industry visitors will see some really unique products and

unusual items that they won’t be able to find at any other show in the UK.

Why should other toy firms who are not exhibiting make the trip to the show? People who haven’t visited Autumn Fair for a few years will be surprised by how much it has flourished and what an exciting event it is, meeting the most current requirements of British retailing and also offering a wide programme of educational seminars covering everything from eCommerce and social media to future trend forecasts from global experts. It is also the prime

Just look at the range of companies we have here at the show, everyone from industry giants to sole traders launching their brand new creations for the first time. It’s pretty well known in the industry that if you really want to be seen you should attend the Autumn Fair, especially if you want to ride the wave of these changing retail buying patterns, which show every sign of continuing in the same direction for the foreseeable future. This really is Autumn Fair’s time.

Do you see the toy presence at Autumn Fair continue to grow? Without a doubt. This is a growing sector with more new exhibitors than we’ve seen joining for a number of years. There’s huge potential for the future and we hope to welcome many more companies to Autumn Fair in 2015.

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