Scotland Spring Trade Fair attracts bigger exhibitor pool

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The organiser behind the upcoming Scotland Spring Trade Fair has attributed an eight per cent rise in exhibitor bookings to several dedicated show area improvementsThe show takes place at the Scottish Exhibition and Convention Centre (SECC) Glasgow from 23-25 January 2011. Event director, Mark Saunders, said the eight per cent increase in exhibitors participating, to almost 500 brands, should see the event sellout. Total floor space is just under 3,500sqm.Springboard took over the Spring Trade Fair four years ago. It also relaunched the sister Autumn event two years ago at the SECC. “A combination of strategies we put in place three years ago to improve and rebuild the show are starting to bear fruit and have put the show back on track,” Saunders told EN. Of particular note was its Launch Gallery, which pulls together companies under two years old into a single showcase.“Previously, these companies were scattered around the show. We created a separate area and charged a lower rate to exhibitors under two years old,” Saunders explained. “This made the show more attractive to new exhibitors and for our visitors.“The other thing we have done is create a ‘Showcase Scotland’ area. Ultimately, we’re servicing the Scottish retail market, and they are looking for Scottish-made goods. So we brought all these companies into one space with the show, which has gone really well for us by giving us a focal point,” he added.  A dedicated gift food area, which will feature 100 companies in 2011, also reflects increased cross-over between gift retailers and food providers, Saunders added.The gift market remained robust despite the challenging economic conditions of recent years, Saunders said. He claimed the relaunch of the Autumn Trade Fair was also helping to cement the shows as a trade platform for suppliers.  According to unaudited figures, visitor numbers doubled at the Autumn Trade Fair from 750 to nearly 1,500 from 19-20 September 2010. A major catalyst was relocating from Alberts Hall in Stirling to the SECC, the organiser said.
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