I don’t know how about you, but I keep forgetting when all important events and Interior trade Shows are happening. Unless, I get an email reminder but sometimes still it will get buried under tonnes of press releases, newsletters and quite important emails in my inbox. I have it my diary of course, but I never actually have time to sit down and properly list all exhibitions I want to attend.Today, I decided to be super organised and write everything down but also I wanted to share my least a few tips for you. I have been attending interior trade shows since I first time joined Decorex “Interiors 2010” and I’ve joined my first ever seminar with Kelly Hoppen! I can’t believe it’s been 6 years since! Recently, I’ve shared with you plan on what I want to too at the Autumn Fair this coming Tuesday, and inspired by myself I decided to write the whole yearly plan! (pic. New Designers shot taken by Kasia Rajch Mikolajuk)
Attending exhibitions and trade shows can be really exciting but also quite painful, your feet will hurt after a long day walking from stand to stand. You have to go prepared.
- First of all, forget the high heels, honestly. You really want a pair of comfortable flat shoes. Secondly, you need a big bag.
- If you heard of people going to trade shows with hand luggage, is not a fairy tail. You will be given tonnes of brochures but also you can get samples and occasionally small gifts from brands to try and take home. These days, brands are usually prepared with branded tote bags packed with brochures, business cards and often pen or pencils, so even if you forget one, there will be plenty to grab! Sometimes they have memory sticks, but they may run of them by the end of the busy day.
- You will also need a personal notebook or iPad, although your mobile phone notepad will be handy as well, just take a quick note of a name of the brand you interested, as it may happen they will run of their promotional packages. Technology is also a good saver in this case, as most large shows like NEC Birmingham or Surface Design Show operate on scan code. When you register, you will provide your email address and once you chat with a representative of stand you are interested in their products, they can just simply scan your badge and send you later all requested samples or brochures. If you attending shows that are spread over various locations like Clerkenwell Design Week, then your personal notepad it’s a must have.
- Large trade shows like Ideal Home Show, have their own places to grab a bite but if you’re going to various sites, is good to have a sandwich in your bag., especially if you run on a short schedule between seminars, you can just eat while listen and saves you waiting in queues.
- Make yourself a list of seminars, talks and brands you want to see and save the stand names. Most likely you will be given a timetable brochure but sometimes you have to pay for these. If you are very savvy like me, it’s easier to just take your notes and write names of companies you want to visit, but often is just easy to ask other exhibitors and they will direct you. It’s easy to forget who you wanted to see, or forget time while you browsing so setting a timer in your phone is a good solution.
Now, I have listed for you 3 biggest and most popular cities that hold large interior trade shows and events in the UK. Some of the dates are not updated yet, other already passed. I will keep on eye on this post and regularly updating this throughout 2017 as there is more shows, that are just not announced the dates yet.
Birmingham might not be up there on most people’s lists of UK cities to visit, but you may be missing out a lot. There is actually plenty of attractions to choose from, shops galore and great restaurants and eateries to dine in, you can definitely enjoy a fun-filled, relaxing and budget weekend away here. It’s worthy to stay over a night and explore a little more than just a trade show and there’s also some great hotels to choose from over at www.ihg.com. Don’t forget to check out Cadbury World, the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, National Sea Life Centre and the Bull Ring.
Interior Shows and events:
Autumn Fair, NEC Birmingham 04-07 September 2016
Grand Designs Live NEC,Birmingham 19-23 October 2016
Spring Fair, NEC Birmingham, 05 – 09 February 2017
January Furniture Show, NEC Birmingham 22-25 January 2017
KBB Birmingham, NEC Birmingham, 04 – 07 March 2018
|Pappelina at Clerkenwell Design Week image source|
London is the obviously the heart of design culture in the UK. While visiting the capital city is worthy to learn more about the heritage of the country by visiting some of London’s most popular attractions including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the majestic St. Paul’s Cathedral. Take a ride on the London Eye, an informational cruise down the Thames, or even ride around from attraction to attraction on one of the superb Hop-On Hop-Off buses. If you’re planning to go shopping, London is one of the best cities to visit with Camden Market, Oxford Street and Covent Garden amongst some of the city’s best shopping destinations.
Interior Shows and events:
Top Drawer A/W, Olympia, London, 11—13 September 2016
The London Design Festival, Various Locations(see below) 17-25 September 2016
Decorex International, Syon Park, 18-21 September 2016
Focus/16, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour 18-23 September 2016
100% Design, Olympia London, 21-24 Sept 2016
London Design Fair, Old Truman Brewery, 22-25 September 2016
Design Junction at King’s Cross 22-25 September 2016
Top Drawer S/S, Olympia, London, 15—17 January 2017
Clerkenwell Design Week, various locations 23-25 May 2017
Surface design Show, Business Design Centre, 07 – 09 February 2017
K&B Design, Excel 07 – 09 March 2017
The House Fair, Olympia June (date unconfirmed)
New designers, Business Design Centre, Part 1, 28 June – 01 July 2017
Part 2, 05 – 08 July 2017
|campus at King’s Cross, London, #DJKX|
Last but not least, Manchester is an awesome (and I am super serious) destination in the UK with a plenty of different things to choose from. You have to see the Manchester Cathedral and the Town Hall, and those visiting the city can’t miss shopping in Manchester Arndale or the Intu Trafford Centre. Don’t forget to check out the Manchester Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry where you’ll be able to learn loads about the city’s heritage and history. If you’re into live music, stand-up comedy or theatre, don’t forget to see what’s on at the Manchester Arena, Lowry Theatre or the O2 Apollo. Manchester Art Gallery also has great exhibitions throughout the year, so don’t miss what’s currently happening while you here.
Interior Shows and events:
The stitching and Sewing Show,Event City 08 – 10 September 2016
Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, Granada studio, 06 – 09 October 2016
Ideal Home Show Christmas, Event city, 10 – 13 November 2016
Little Northern Contemporary craft Fair, Altrincham Town Hall, 4th December 2016:
Winter Wonderland, Event city, (for kids) December 2016/January 2017
Future everything, Dates not confirmed for 2017 (previously March 2016)
Manchester Furniture Show, Manchester Central, 16 – 18 July 2017
Ideal Home Show, Event city, 08 – 11June 2017
I usually rush coming to each town for an event only for few hours. I always regret that I am only going for a day. I promised myself that my next interior trade shows, will be over 2 days so I can enjoy the show and finish up with a fancy cocktail and dinner and then I have plenty of time next day to explore the city as well. You should consider that too! I also really hope, one day I will be invited to Milan, Paris & New York but also my dream is to go to Singapore or Copenhagen… even just for a one day!
*Collaborative post but opinion as always my own,girl gotta eat you know 🙂