Now in its second year, the Autumn Furniture Show will feature more than 70 exhibitors, reflecting the ongoing success of its organiser, Minerva Furnishers Guild. Taking place again at Telford International Centre, from 6-7th October, the event is set to be timely and intimate, welcoming buying group members and non-members across both days.
It has been a positive year for the Minerva buying group. Not only did it celebrate its 25th anniversary with a glitzy gala dinner in May, but has attracted a good number of new members and suppliers in the last 12 months, making its annual open trade event stronger in turn.
The timing of the show makes it an ideal platform at which to source new products ahead of Christmas and the January sales, and to get an early glimpse of some of the next year’s trends. It promises over 70 exhibitors, including leading brands, international players – including some NBF members, and a few surprises besides – across two halls of the exhibition centre.
“The show this year has attracted some of the biggest names in the furniture industry, including bed companies who will have exhibited at the NBF show only a few weeks prior,” says business development manager Paul Riches. “That is a huge endorsement of the show’s significance from their perspective.”
The exhibition has a relaxed atmosphere, supported by the venue’s generous parking and catering facilities, and accessible location.
“Minerva has made significant progress in the last 12 months,” says Paul. “Planning this exhibition has been easier this year due to the high number of early reservations – a number of exhibitors booked even before last year’s show had closed, which is every organiser’s dream scenario!
“Word of mouth has played a big part, as we have been approached by several new suppliers, national and international, all looking to take advantage of the show’s seasonal timing and growing importance in the furniture exhibition calendar. This has resulted in several guest exhibitors attending for the first time, in line with the group’s objectives of seeking products from the global marketplace.”
The biggest development this year is extending opening to the full trade for the entire duration of the event – quite a departure from the members-only format it long adhered to.
“The Minerva team felt that there was a wider retail audience to attract, and at the same time the possibility of building an exhibition brand,” says Paul. “The team were already extremely experienced in organising exhibitions on behalf of its members, and had secured the ideal venue at the International Centre in Telford, which has proved so popular over the years.
“Members backed the idea, as it was felt it would attract new suppliers and products, which would ultimately benefit the membership. In fact, the increased footfall will benefit everyone.”
This development means that the autumn show will no longer feature exclusive lines for the buying group’s members, although Minerva is working with the likes of HTL, Parker Knoll and Highgrove Beds to further develop this popular and rewarding avenue.
“Exclusive lines will only be shown at the guild’s members-only show in May,” confirms Paul. “Minerva’s ongoing philosophy is to differentiate its offer and provide greater exclusivity for members – but that’s just one of the benefits of membership.
“A buying group can only be as good as the companies it works with, and Minerva’s camaraderie is one of its strongest attributes. Minerva will continue to provide its members with the support retailers – particularly independents – need to stay successful in this challenging marketplace. Members constantly talk about how valuable it is to be connected to like-minded people, to negotiate the diffculties and share industry intelligence.”
According to Paul, Minerva has ambitious plans for the development of the show into a significant fixture on the furniture industry’s exhibition calendar, making it a one-stop furniture event that will appeal to all furniture retailers.
“This exhibition, with its 70-plus exhibitors, including some of the top names in the industry, is the perfect show to visit,” he says. “With its relaxed atmosphere, excellent facilities, central location, taking place at the perfect time of year to view new product launches for 2016, can you afford to miss it?”
This year’s Autumn Furniture Show promises a host of suppliers and manufacturers:
Aerre of Italy
Ancient Mariner Furniture Co
Baker & Wells
Bodahl Mobler of Denmark
Carlton Furniture/Vintage Sofa
Celebrity Motion Furniture
Collins and Hayes
Corndell Quality Furniture
Crown Home Décor Co
Global Furniture Alliance
Global Home Group
Gooch Oriental Carpets
P F Collections
Parker Knoll Upholstery
Taylors of Cheshire
The David Knight Collection
The Globe Company