With plenty of buyers, orders and business done, Scotland’s Trade Fair Autumn’s earlier date in mid-August proved to be a huge success for retailers and suppliers alike.

Moved from its traditional late September date to August 20-21, the show at the SEC in Glasgow attracted buyers from all over Scotland and overseas.

On the back of a busy tourist season there was a great buzz at the event, as visitors stocked up for the second half of 2023. With 115 exhibitors from gifts and homeware to crafts, cards, jewellery and textiles, the new early date allowed retailers to source stock and place orders in advance of English trade gift shows.

The new Craft Gallery proved a hit with a host of creative suppliers of jewellery, crafts and textiles, which were particularly popular with galleries, high-end retailers and those looking for something a little different.

Lesser & Pavey

The Launch Gallery for new young companies was full, with 17 exhibitors including Muka Jewellery, The Ink Balm, LilyBee, Purple Sage Soap Company and Victoria Gordon Art.

Elsewhere, buyers enjoyed seeing new exhibitors such as Enesco, Academie, and Lancaster & Gibbings, as well as connecting with show favourites such as Glen Appin, Siabann, Maccessori, Art Cuts and many more.

Simon Henderson, director of exhibitor Earth Squared, said: “This show has been good on many accounts with good orders processed. The date change made the show more relevant in the buying calendar for shops as it was ahead of Autumn Fair, so shops could place orders here first without the rush at Autumn Fair.”

Christmas orders were flowing as well, giving the suppliers decent lead times to fulfil them. Exhibitors and buyers alike enjoyed the show which is a manageable and friendly size, allowing more time for networking and reconnecting.

Kirsty Gibson, area sales manager of exhibitor Enesco said: “This is our first time at Scotland’s Trade Fair, and we have seen many new customers – especially ones that we have wanted to supply for years – so this allowed us to meet them face-to-face. The new timing is useful as we can show our Christmas stock and get ahead on sales for next year before the January shows.”
Visitor Judith Gray, head of buying from National Museums of Scotland, added: “It’s very important to have a show at this time of year as you can spend more time seeing suppliers, searching for new ones, and seeing the products in person. Nothing beats sourcing at a trade fair.”

Mark Saunders, director of show organiser Springboard Events commented: “Confidence at Scotland’s Trade Fair Autumn 2023 leapt after a tough couple of years. The show saw an increase in exhibitors of 10% and a huge increase of new exhibitors.
“Products were of a very high quality and perfectly suited to gift shop buyers up and down Scotland, and buyers responded with a vastly improved turnout on the past two years, and placed orders confidently over the two days. Suppliers were delighted with the number of buyers they met at the show and the number and quality of orders they received.
“The primary reason for the increased market confidence was an earlier dateline for the show which moved from late September to August. This meant buyers are able to place orders before the Autumn series of shows in England with more budget at their disposal. In addition, very strong overseas tourist numbers in Scotland have driven more people through gift shops.
“Finally, for overseas visitors, the low pound means gift shop purchases are very good value. If these conditions continue through late summer and autumn, it bodes well for Scotland’s Trade Fair Spring in January.”


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