spring fair @home Virtual Success for Spring Fair

@Home 2021 Despite moving online for this years event, both the organisers and suppliers felt that they still gained from the virtual event. Hyve Group, those who put on the event each year, spoke to Housewares on the feedback they recieved and the work that was put in behind the scenes.

For anyone who isn’t already familiar with it, Spring Fair is the UK’s leading home, gift and greetings industry. A destination for all things retail, Spring Fair offers a comprehensive line up of home furnishings, toys, stationery, gifts and greetings and much, much more, with appearances from some of the industry’s leading brands. Like so many retailers, Spring Fair, and its

parent company, Hyve Group, have had to adapt during lockdown; with in-person events well and truly off the table for the past year, we turned to the virtual space to make our shows happen. The number one challenge we faced was this: how do we bring brands and buyers together to trade effectively without being able to facilitate the sensory experience of products and collections? We are well aware that Spring Fair is an essential platform for buyers when it comes to sourcing; they are able to touch and feel products and assess their suitability for their shops. Obviously, this experience can’t be recreated online. Spring Fair @Home was designed to bring buyers as close to product as possible. Our

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Product Showcase sessions allowed brands to present their products in an authentic and personable way, whilst the Virtual Showroom offered a one-stop shop for lookbooks, brand videos, essential contact details and much more. With all of this available to access all the way up to the physical show this September, the Spring Fair website is now an additional platform for brands to showcase themselves and an extra place for retailers to come and source their next collections. The feedback we received speaks for itself: “Thank you Spring Fair @Home, I was really concerned about this year, I love the trade shows but this has been a great alternative being virtual” “As much as I am missing be able to visit in person, this is a great way to be able to all the wonderful products.” “We really appreciate all your hard work. It’s so important to keep the trade shows running as a way to celebrate all those involved from the beginning where artists and designers create the imagery through to the amazing licensees and manufacturers and the resilient

independents” From the comments and messages we

received during and following the show, one thing’s become very clear to us; whilst our audience loved having a digital touchpoint, people are ready and raring to get back the NEC Birmingham for Autumn Fair, which will be taking place this September. As a team, we can’t wait to get back to doing what we love; putting on great shows and inspiring the industry. This year, we’ve developed our Refuelling Retail manifesto - which you can read over on the Autumn Fair website – to highlight our commitment to our community and provide a beacon of hope, support and inspiration as we emerge from what has been a challenging year for us all.

We are very conscious that there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and how we emerge, which is why we have put our Safe and Secure guidelines in place, putting the health and comfort of our community above all else. We hope to see you at Autumn Fair on 5th – 8th September 2021. March/April 2021

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