Many of you visited the fair in April and purchased amazing products for your stores, for those of you who didn't make it you are still able to view and buy from the makers through our online catalogue which will remain live with their profiles until the end of this Month. As from the 1st of June it will showcase only our 2020 exhibitors.
We have been busy recording the buyers from this year and are delighted to announce that there was a 24% increase in buyer attendance from our 2018 fair, a fantastic result considering the political and economic climate. Over 70% of our buyers spent two to three days with us demonstrating how important BCTF is in their buying calendar.
Platform Gallery: Really pleased to announce that we at the Platform Gallery were a sponsor of the British Craft Trade Fair in Harrogate last month. After over 20 years of attending the BCTF Harrogate to find new and exciting makers for the Platform Gallery's exhibition programme and Craft Shop it was a great honour to work in partnership with their team. What a year to start the award, the standard was really high with hundreds of makers creating stunning stands.
Heart Gallery: It was fabulous to see the usual high standard of work at BCTF; this is our favourite Trade Show and pretty much on our doorstep. There was a nice mix of newcomer and established maker and the calibre of stand display made the event a visual delight.
There seemed to be a renewed buzz at this year's show, and many exhibitors we spoke to said they had been approached by both new and established venues and had gained good orders. Hopefully this is an indication of a turning tide and good things to come for the retail sector as exhibitors were very positive and upbeat this year.
The one change for BCTF in 2020 is that we are introducing a retail day, which means that for one day only the general public will be invited to the show and will be able to purchase directly from exhibitors. This development reflects changing market conditions and we are fortunate that BCTF has the flexibility to respond and adapt.
We have found that makers are doing more consumer facing shows to supplement their incomes in a rapidly shifting socio-economic climate. They need to branch out and diversify and this one-day addition will enable them to do both. The public day will also help raise awareness of the BCTF brand encouraging more exhibitors offering you more choice.
This initiative will also make the visiting pubic aware of local shops stocking our exhibitors work, potentially promoting sales through those stockists in the future.
Everyone in the home and gift industry has seen how shows are changing and while change is inevitable, BCTF will always be a trade event and its buyers will - as they always have been in the past - be put first.
We have strict guidelines in place which will ensure this happens some of which are shown below.
- Most makers have ranges that they sell to the public and not to trade, these are the ranges which they will showcase to the public.
- Any new collections being launched at BCTF will only be shown on the trade days.
- Makers with one off pieces again will only showcase these on the trade days.
- Any products held with local stockists will either not be shown or the sale will be directed to that stockist.
You and our exhibitors are the most important element of BCTF and everyone's support is needed to ensure it's future success.
As you know many prizes were awarded and If you weren't able to visit the winners stands whilst at BCTF now is your opportunity to see who the judges selected.