After 18 months since the last show, home, gift, and fashion trade show Autumn Fair, which is co-located with Moda at NEC Birmingham, opened its doors to thousands of buyers yesterday, 5 September.
The event is running until 8 September and is co-located with Moda, the womenswear, footwear, accessories and activewear trade event, for the first time this year.
Regular Autumn Fair visitor Justine Okin, founder of My Best Product Ever, said: “Being able to meet and introduce ourselves to the owners and innovators of these brands face to face makes all the difference. It takes us a couple of days to get through the halls but it’s so worth it. We’ve discovered some amazing products today.”
Deborah Oakes from Snap Dragon said: “It’s brilliant to be back, the merge with Moda is so good and convenient, it makes perfect sense to have everything in one place. For someone in fashion it makes the event that much better. I’ve found a company I would never have found before and will be going back to order.”
Organisers launched an Autumn Fair app for this year’s event. Andrea Summerfield from Summerlands commented on the app: “The app is really useful and allows you to find what you’re looking for easily, meaning that you have extra time to browse, and visit stands you usually wouldn’t see.”
Lewis Stevenson from first time Autumn Fair exhibitor, The Seed Card Company said: “Our first order was taken by 9.15am, we’d already covered the cost of our stand by 11am, over 30 orders done by 5pm, and over 100 serious leads to follow up on. We have never been to a show like it. We are booking Spring Fair and doubling the size of our stand.”
David Midd, sales manager of Mustang, said: “We’ve had the best opening day of any Moda show to date – and that was by 2pm. We opened eight new accounts and also have a pocket full of leads to follow up as I was too busy with other customers. There’s a super atmosphere, from different kinds of businesses too.”
Joel Turner, managing director of Keddo also enjoyed the first day, saying: “Like many in the industry we were a bit apprehensive about this season, but we have been incredibly busy all day and what was so pleasing were so many new accounts opened. The co-location has been a huge success – and there was such a buzz in the aisles and on the stands which is wonderful to see.”
The day closed with the official launch drinks for Curated Meetings. During her welcome speech, UK Regional Director at Hyve Group Julie Driscoll said: “Curated Meetings has been a strategic focus for Hyve’s global business for the last 12 months and I’m delighted we are the first of Hyve’s shows to see it come to life.
“The reason for the curated meetings programme is to provide a lead-sourcing programme that specifically allows brands to meet buyers looking for new products. Tomorrow and Tuesday, hundreds of meetings will take place offering a bespoke, highly curated, time efficient and hassle-free service.”