As Glee gets set to open its doors in late June for the first time ever (from June 28 to June 30 at NEC, Birmingham), the garden centre trade event is inviting retailers to visit the event and experience a ‘summer of garden love’.

The show will offer a launch platform to over 400 exhibitors – more than 150 of them new for 2022 – and the biggest contingent of global brands since 2019.

The event will have a summer festival feel thanks to a new outdoor demo area entitled Fire, Grill & Chill, which gives outdoor entertaining companies a chance to show off their skills. Brands such as Landmann, Kadamo Joe, Fandango Fire Tools, Cheeky Charlie Oven Company, Northwest Asia and Kadai will display their latest barbecues, pizza ovens and grills in this area, which will also feature a drinks truck, ice cream, and daily live music, and will provide the backdrop to the Glee Party on June 28 at 5pm.

Shining a spotlight on new product development will be the Glee Innovator Zone, which has helped more than 275 companies penetrate the garden retail market since 2009, bridging the gap between pre-commercial new product ideas and market-ready launches from established brands.

Lesser & Pavey

Extending the celebration of all things new will be the GTN-sponsored New Product Showcase, where exceptional new products will compete with firm favourites and proven best-sellers for the New Product Awards.

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On June 28 and June 29, the top three shortlisted entries will make pitches to a judging panel of industry experts, who will be looking for key factors such as innovation, design, promotion and saleability. The winners of the 17 award categories will be announced at close of play on June 29.

The spotlight will also shine on exclusively British made products, in recognition of the enormous demand for locally sourced articles. UK garden manufacturers will be easy to locate thanks to the Made in Britain exhibitor filter, which you can access here. Buyers can also filter for sustainable products made of natural, recycled, recyclable or compostable materials, browse specific product categories, or find suppliers from other countries.

With sustainability and wellbeing of central importance, the exhibition will see the launch of Giving at Glee: a series of initiatives that give back to the community. Visitors and exhibitors alike are invited to dress in their brightest floral attire for Floral Thursday on June 30 and help raise money for the Greenfingers charity. Show organiser Hyve has also partnered with Grow My Tree, which will enable all attendees to participate by planting their own tree.

Cross-Sector Sourcing
With eight dedicated product sectors, Glee will offer crossover buying opportunities, from plants and organic garden care to indoor and outdoor furniture, giftware and apparel.

The Home, Gift & Clothing sector will provide inspirational sourcing for retailers from seasonal decorations, greeting cards, stationery, outdoor clothing and accessories, picnicware, games, toys, books, home fragrance, home décor and more, for the Christmas season and S/S23.

Brands exhibiting in this sector include Woodmansterne, UK Greetings, Noel Tatt, Museums & Galleries, Vent for Change, Stubbs Mugs, Creative Products, Deluxe Homeart, Emily Victoria Candles, Bolsius, HJ Hall, Tilnar Art, Willsow; English Tea Shop, M&Co, Kidzplay, Summit/PMS International, Giftware Trading, JT England, Mood Bears, Leon Boots Co., and the Lake District Umbrella Company.

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Taking Centre Stage
The best of garden retailing will once again be celebrated at Glee with the Buyers Power List awards, held on June 28 at 5pm. These prestigious accolades recognise the individual buyers and buying teams who have gone above and beyond to make a difference within the garden retail industry in the past year.

As always, Glee will offer visitors content free of charge via The Stage seminar programme, which has been curated to tackle key themes and trends that are shaping consumer demand and the future of garden retail.

This year’s schedule will include topics such as ‘The opportunity for growth in the current environment’ (Tuesday June 28, 11am-12pm), ‘Sustaining and managing growth’ (Tuesday June 28, 1.30pm-2.15pm), ‘2023 Home and Outdoor living trends’ (Wednesday June 29, 1.30pm-2.15pm), and ‘How garden centres can adapt to a sustainable and successful long-term online strategy’ (Thursday June 30, 11am -11.30am).

The show will again play host to trade associations Gardenex, GIMA and HTA, all of which are looking forward to seeing existing members on the show floor, meeting potential new members, and offering advice and expertise to those who need it. GIMA will run its popular speed-networking service Buyers Connect* while Gardenex will host 30 international Buyer Connect events**. These business meetings offer a golden opportunity to make personal contacts with the most sought-after buyers and suppliers, without wasting any precious show time.
Glee event director Matthew Mein said: “We are incredibly excited about the first-ever summer edition of Glee, and proud to invite garden centres and other retailers to this year’s sell-out show. Our industry still faces significant challenges – mostly due to macro-economic factors and supply chain logistics – but it never ceases to inspire with constant innovation, drive and positivity. The millions of new gardeners who joined our ranks during lockdown are here to stay and will be rolling up their sleeves in the great outdoors for years to come. Glee is THE place where retailers can fulfill the requirements of all their customers: be they grow-your-own newbies and houseplant enthusiasts, veteran allotment holders, al fresco entertainers or houseproud and garden proud Brits. With over 400 exhibitors raring to go, the sourcing opportunities at Glee this year are tremendous. We can’t wait to see you all at the show!”

Entry is free of charge to all pre-registered visitors. Register here: www.gleebirmingham.com/visitor-registration

*The GIMA Buyers Connect service is open to all exhibitors, but demand is high and spaces are limited. To register your interest contact GIMA at info@gima.org.uk

** To find out more about the Gardenex Buyer Connect events, contact Gardenex’s Charlie Parker at charlie@gardenex.com

Fast Facts
What:
Glee 2022
Where: NEC, Birmingham
When: Tuesday June 28-Thursday June 30
Opening Hours: 9am-6pm (Tuesday & Wednesday); 9am-4pm (Thursday)
Who: Glee is a trade-only event
Website: www.gleebirmingham.com

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