UK and international retailers and suppliers came together this week for home and giftware marketplace, Autumn Fair. Re-edited for 2019, the show kicked off in a new location within the NEC - the Atrium - hosting revamped and refreshed show sectors and stages.

Julie Driscoll, UK regional director for Spring & Autumn Fair, says: “The show’s new look-and-feel has injected a new sense of vibrancy and excitement this year, and we’re delighted with how well our exhibitors have welcomed the show re-edit. Our aim has been to ensure visitors and show attendees leave Autumn Fair feeling informed, inspired and excited for the year ahead – and initial feedback suggests we’ve delivered one of our best shows ever.”

Headlining the show were speaker sessions from renowned retail experts and personalities Mary Portas and Theo Paphitis. Mary discussed her latest book, Work Like a Woman, and explained her belief that the sector needs to embrace and value soft skills, while Theo spoke about the challenges facing retailers, as well as offering practical solutions and expert advice. Joining the show with his unique #SBS (Small Business Sunday) initiative, Theo's partnership saw 12 independent suppliers take up free exhibition stands as part of a competition championing young businesses.

On the showfloor, this edition saw a transformational re-edit, following a major investment programme from organiser ITE Group to help improve visitor flow and facilitate cross-buying opportunities. One of the major changes was the addition of a dedicated Sourcing hall, which introduced visitors to a global snapshot of products from international suppliers. 

Continuing from initiatives launched at sister show Spring Fair earlier this year, the show focused on delivering a visitor experience which reflected a more socially responsible and sustainability-conscious sector. Through the Power of One campaign, visitors were encouraged to pledge one small and achievable lifestyle or business change to reduce their environmental footprint and boost their sustainability credentials.

Event director Jessica Dawnay comments: “When it comes to trends for 19/20, many of our visitors are looking for ways that they can be 100% sustainable within the next two years. That’s why our Power of One campaign has been so crucial in demonstrating to visitors that we can all make a difference, no matter how big or small. We think this is only going to continue to grow as a trend, so for 2020 we’re even going to have dedicated trend showcases featuring only the most sustainable products for buyers to look at.”

Prospective visitors and exhibitors can now register and book for Spring Fair 2020, which will take place at the NEC from 2nd-6th February.