For anyone building a product or retail business, the international trade show Spring Fair, which takes place in NEC Birmingham twice a year, is an absolute go-to destination to find anything you can imagine.
Whether you are browsing for ideas and checking the new market trends or are interested in creating new partnerships, or solidifying existing ones, you are certainly in the right place.
So, armed with a show guide, map and a spacious shoulder bag for all the interesting materials available in abundance at trade event the size of Spring Fair, I have taken the trip from London to Birmingham, on a sunny February morning, with great excitement.
Trade shows are indeed a fantastic opportunity for a creative business to showcase their works, not only because visitors and possible collaborators and partners get to experience first-hand the works on display but they also get to touch the products and feel the quality of the materials, things that the glossy pages of a catalogue cannot help with.
Across 14 show sectors, buyers and visitors alike, are presented with the latest trends in all industry categories, from home and gifts, fashion, greetings cards, stationery and children’s toys, to kitchenware, furniture, DIY hardware, jewellery, beauty and wellbeing.
Out of all these different – and very large sectors - in the limited time I had available, I managed to see the Greetings & Gifts and Retail Solutions sections, and I must admit I was totally blown away by the splash of colour and creativity.
The variety of creations on display was fantastic.
From greeting cards, wrapping paper and envelopes to stationery, calendars and craft kits, I couldn’t help but stop at each and every stall to admire the bright and colourful displays complemented by smiley faces, always happy to present their collections and engage in conversations with the passers-by.
More than 300 exhibitors, many of them new, added a unique element to the show and clearly highlighted the fact that the British really do love their cards (and that's great, because I love them too!).
Every single occasion you can imagine was represented on cards and other printed products, making it easier than ever to source exciting and innovative designs.
My visit to the show was a fantastic intro to the industry and having a display at future events showcasing my own designs and products is definitely something to add to the agenda.
Because when you create something that you are really passionate about, you MUST share it with the world! :)
I am taking with me a lot of great lessons, positive energy and passion from all these creative spirits that have built their path successfully in this business and I am looking forward to being present myself with Authentik London at the next event.