Spring Fair sees largest attendance in five years

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Significant reinvestment in features and stronger market conditions have lifted visitor attendance at this year’s Spring Fair International to its highest levels in five years. According to Emap Connect Home and Gift MD Louise Young, footfall over the five-day event increased by 3,000 to 74,000 (pending ABC-audit), while exhibitor numbers were up eight per cent to 3,000. “We put significant investment into the brand over the last two years – in the region of £2m – reinvesting across marketing, operations, presentation and sales as well as how we manage our customers,” she told EN. “Everything we do is based on customer service and experience, and making sure that buyers are getting the maximum value when they come to the show, which means exhibitors get maximum ROI.”Young attributed the result to the resilience of the British retail market, along with rising investment from “style conscious” UK consumers in interior design and fashion. She highlighted 25 per cent growth in the fashion jewellery and accessories section, buoyed by two new dedicated catwalks. Other key features in 2011 included the Trend House, Toy Demo, lifestyle bar and live cooking seminars, Young said. A major change which will be repeated in 2012 is the temporary 50m by 7m covered hallway constructed to provide better access between halls five and nine. “This long tunnel was dressed with lights, which added some theatre and was a great success,” Young claimed. “The footfall has not always been great into hall nine. Building a walkway improved access and enabled us to change the way we use the NEC.“In 2012, we plan to use all the halls again at the NEC, so making that link and facilitating customer flow was very important,” she added. As previously reported in EN, Emap has invested in bringing on new designers and consultants to overhaul Spring Fair and introduced seven new features at the 2011 show. Got a news story for Exhibition News? Send us an email: exhibitionnews@mashmedia.net
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