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Spring & Autumn Fair confirm new advisory board

Spring & Autumn Fair’s new advisory board is designed to drive the continuous enhancement of the two shows, ensuring UK retail has a thriving marketplace to do business in.

The board, chaired by Stephen Spencer, ambience director at Stephen Spencer + Associates, comprises 15 of the industry’s leading figureheads including John Halliday from British Independent Retailers Association; Sarah Ward of the Giftware Association; Karen Wilson from the Greetings Card Association; Ben Massey from the National Association of Jewellers; exhibitors including Stephen Illingworth from Widdop & Co; Nick Ronald from Casa Verde; Aylish Ellwood from Enesco; Tim Hollis from Talking Tables; Jason Bensohn from One Dot World; as well retailers Kay Hutcheson of Coopers of Stortford; Samantha Gibbs from Nest; and Maggie Thornton from Alligator Pear, who all provide valuable industry insight and advice assisting in the on-going development and growth of Spring & Autumn Fair.

Jackson Szabo, portfolio director at Spring & Autumn Fair said: “The new advisory board is a very exciting development in the shows’ history. Spring Fair has brought the retail industry together for over 70 years and Autumn Fair for over 30 years they have become the nucleus of the industry and enabled so much great business to be done.”

Laura Rae, head of community at Spring & Autumn Fair added: “As we look ahead to Autumn Fair in September and our 75th Spring Fair, we know how important it is to garner support and insight from our key partners and community. Together we can offer the best experiences possible and continue to develop and safeguard the shows to fully meet the needs of the industry now and for many years to come.”

The board is committed to guiding the shows to achieve a host of outcomes including identifying trends and opportunities within the retail industry, identifying key visitor groups, expanding the regions visitors come from and optimising experiences.

Chair, Stephen Spencer explained his outlook on the formation of the Advisory Board: “Having been a buyer, visitor, and exhibitor, at Spring and Autumn Fair for over 30 years, I’m excited and honoured to chair this advisory board.

“Innovation, arising out of genuine collaboration, are key not only to futureproofing these shows, but also to helping shape the future of the Gift and Home sectors out on the High Street. We’re fortunate indeed to have such an array of talent and experience on the board.”

Five of the shows’ longstanding exhibitors have also joined the Board, including Tim Hollis, retail brand development manager of exhibitor Talking Tables. He said: “I was thrilled to be asked to join the Hyve advisory board, combining a fantastic group of retailers and suppliers, focusing with the Hyve team on how Spring and Autumn Fair can be re-positioned so they are relevant for today. Trade shows remain the beating heart of our industry and conducting business face to face at these shows remains so important.”

For more information, please visit www.springfair.com and www.autumnfair.com

Autumn Fair takes place from 1-4 September 2024 and Spring Fair returns 2-5 February 2025, at NEC Birmingham.

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