Home TopicEvents Harrogate Convention Centre secures two British craft shows for next three years

Harrogate Convention Centre secures two British craft shows for next three years

by Joe Gallop

Harrogate Convention Centre (HCC) has signed a deal with Kerrison Craft Exhibitions to host two British Craft shows between this autumn and 2025.

British Craft Trade Fair (BCTF) and British Craft & Design Fair, which are expected to attract 10,000 visitors each year, will add to the venue’s three long-term exhibition wins earlier this year.

The BCTF will come to HCC for the first time in April 2023 and is set to return in 2024 and 2025. Having run in the district for 45 years, the event has a database of over 4,000 registered expert designer-makers within a two- and half-hour drive of Harrogate Convention Centre.

Despite also running an online show, Kane Thomas, event director at Kerrison Craft Exhibitions, stressed the importance of physical interactions for the trade: “Face-to-face exhibitions are still extremely important for all industries, although they are vital for an industry focused on aesthetics, design, and texture, meaning that products ideally need to be seen in real life and held to truly experience their full beauty and worth.”

The show was hit hard during the pandemic, with a notable decrease in potential buyers and makers especially independent businesses. The trade fair made its return this year after a two-year hiatus. Thomas expects to see over 300 exhibitors at the next BCTF.

“In our last show in April, 72% of buyers attending the show this year had never visited BCTF before, which is a fantastic achievement itself. Whilst we are lucky to have a strong following of return buyers year on year, it’s also our job to introduce new buyers to the market and our makers to create new business deals for them.

“2023 is already looking positive for BCTF, with many new and returning designer-makers signing up to exhibit for both BCTF North (Harrogate) on 16-18 April 2023 and the launch of BCTF South (Sandown Park) 7-9 May 2023.”

Meanwhile, British Craft & Design Fair, launched by Kerrison in partnership with Handmade in Britain, will take place in Harrogate this November and May 2023. The show will feature more than 150 exhibitors and is expected to attract thousands of visitors from Yorkshire and beyond.

Harrogate Fashion Week (until 2023), the Flooring Show (until 2024) and the Bridal Week (until 2025), were previously acquired by the venue as it continues to bounce back after having to go completely dark as it was redeployed by the NHS as a Nightingale Hospital.

British Craft & Design Fair Autumn 2022 will take place on 25-27 November, while British Craft Trade Fair 2023 will take place on 16-18 April.

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