26 May 2024, 16:50
By Furniture News Feb 22, 2024

New advisory board to help steer Spring/Autumn Fair

Hyve, the organiser of Spring and Autumn Fair, has announced the creation of a new advisory board designed "to drive the continuous enhancement of the two shows and ensure that UK retail has a thriving marketplace in which to do business".

The board, chaired by Stephen Spencer, ambience director at Stephen Spencer + Associates, comprises 15 of the industry’s figureheads, including: John Halliday from the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira); Sarah Ward of the Giftware Association; Karen Wilson from the Greetings Card Association; and Ben Massey from the National Association of Jewellers. 

The board also includes exhibitors such as: Stephen Illingworth from Widdop & Co; Nick Ronald from Casa Verde; Aylish Ellwood from Enesco; Tim Hollis from Talking Tables; Jason Bensohn from One Dot World, and retailers: Kay Hutcheson of Coopers of Stortford; Samantha Gibbs from Nest; and Maggie Thornton from Alligator Pear.

Jackson Szabo, portfolio director at Spring & Autumn Fair, says: “The new advisory board is a very exciting development in the shows’ history. Spring Fair has brought the retail industry together for over 70 years and Autumn Fair for over 30 years – they have become the nucleus of the industry and enabled so much great business to be done.”

Laura Rae, head of community at Spring & Autumn Fair, adds: “As we look ahead to Autumn Fair in September and our 75th Spring Fair, we know how important it is to garner support and insight from our key partners and community. Together we can offer the best experiences possible and continue to develop and safeguard the shows to fully meet the needs of the industry now and for many years to come.”

With its futureproofing remit, the board is committed to guiding Spring & Autumn Fair to achieve a host of outcomes including proactively identifying trends and opportunities within the retail industry, identifying key visitor groups, expanding the regions they come from, and optimising visitor and exhibitor experiences. 

Chair Stephen Spencer says: "Having been a buyer, visitor, and exhibitor, at Spring and Autumn Fair for over 30 years, I'm excited and honoured to chair this advisory board. Innovation, arising out of genuine collaboration, are key not only to futureproofing these shows, but also to helping shape the future of the gift and home sectors out on the high street. We're fortunate indeed to have such an array of talent and experience on the board.”

Autumn Fair will take place from 1st-4th September 2024, and Spring Fair from 2nd–5th February 2025, both at the NEC Birmingham.

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