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Harrogate in fashion as exhibition signs up until 2023

by Joe Gallop

Harrogate Convention Centre welcomed the return of Harrogate Fashion Week this February, with its summer exhibition to follow in July, as the event has signed a two-year deal with the venue.

Harrogate Fashion Week, which took place from 6-7 February, followed the return of the exhibition last August in the spa town, after the cancellation of its summer 2020 and winter 2021 shows due to Covid-19.

The event, aimed at independent fashion retailers across the UK, was launched in 2018 by organisers Wendy Adams and Sarah Moody. This month’s show was the biggest to date, with over a hundred brands up from 80. Some 700 visitors attended across two days and organisers said they plan to build expand to 1,000 per day.

Adams said: “We anticipated the future of the competition and thought the time was right to return fashion back to Harrogate. We’ve benefited from keeping prices as low as we could and include as many add-ons to give agents and brands value for money.

“I think Harrogate Fashion Week will definitely go from strength-to-strength post-pandemic, based on the fact we’re getting more brands coming to us because they feel the other shows don’t work for them anymore or they’re pricing themselves out of the market. The pandemic has been tough but our exhibitors trust us and like our personal touch, and we’re seeing new exhibitors choosing Harrogate as their main show of the season.” 

During the pandemic when it was shut as an event venue, Harrogate Convention Centre was redeployed by the NHS as a Nightingale Hospital. Harrogate Fashion Week is one of a string of newly signed returning exhibitions with two, three or four-year contracts at the venue. 

Paula Lorimer, director of Harrogate Convention Centre, said: “Harrogate is in a very strong position to bounce back positively and help return confidence to the exhibitions sector.

“These stalwart shows provide a financial backbone to our venue and the wider town, and it’s heartening that we’ve had such a positive bounce back since re-opening. The events we’ve hosted to date have shown a real appetite for live in-person events, where buying confidence is strong and attendance matches or near matches pre-pandemic figures.”

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