Feedback from exhibitors and visitors for last week’s Harrogate International Nursery Fair, has shown that the event did not disappoint.
With an additional hall opened due to demand and a new show layout offering a better flow than previous years, the show organisers had high hopes; if slight reservations due to the current UK political climate and the ongoing knock-on affect of the Covid pandemic.
However, the actual outcome was more positive than could have possibly been expected.
“Exhibitor space was in high demand this year and at one point sold out resulting in the opening of an additional hall,” commented show organiser, Adrian Sneyd. “However, with the challenges faced by the UK in recent months, we – and many exhibitors – were hesitant as to whether the buyers would turn up with confidence. And they certainly did. Visitor numbers were up on last year – and buyers spent three days checking out new products and placing orders.”
Andy Crane of BabyStyle – one of the show’s biggest exhibitors – said: “We had a great show, maybe not record-breaking numbers – but actually much more sensible and considered ordering. The most positive part was that retailers seemed to have allowed much more time this year and were really engaged with looking at all the ranges and newness that was on offer.
“We had a ‘Home Range’ for the first time and the buy in for shop floor models was terrific, so many retailers backing us with trying these products out, plus really positive comments across the whole range. I am delighted overall, we saw pretty much every customer and also every major that we deal with, some new customers but mainly existing loyal retailers. We also had eight international customers from as far as Uzbekistan to see our new offerings and business from outside the UK was also very successful. As always many other talks with other brands and a real sense of camaraderie from the whole trade.”
Andy continued: “I was genuinely concerned over the recent cost of living issues and wondered how that might affect buying decisions and the mood of the show. I was very pleasantly surprised how positive people were at Harrogate. Good show, good fun and good networking with new and old friends. Harrogate is back with a bang and Adrian and his team put on another winning show.”
Casa Tomara also returned to the event this year and Barry Brennan, managing director, commented: “Casa Tomara had an amazing show. Numerous new and existing customers came on stand and were blown away by the miniuno range of recession-proof products. All of our visitors were impressed by the high quality of the collection, and even more by the competitive price points of our products. Harrogate has exceeded our expectations this year and we will be returning with an even bigger and better stand next year.”
Sam Tyack, sales director of Trixie, added: “Having had a good show last year, this took it to another level. Our Trixie stand was full all day every day and my colleagues from Belgium were so impressed with the range of buyers and also how amazingly friendly everybody was. The atmosphere day and night was brilliant and I’m glad we picked this show as the first to properly launch into the UK.”
The fair will return to the Harrogate Convention Centre from 15-17 October, 2023.