At its core, retail is an industry powered by people and, with 85 per cent of professionals still indicating that face-to-face meetings are the key to building strong business relationships, it's never been more important for buyers to be attending the right trade shows.
With less than three weeks to go before Home & Gift, the industry's favourite event, returns, here's a look at the 8 reasons that buyers won't want to be anywhere else but Harrogate from 14-17 July.
1. The industry's biggest names – Home & Gift is introducing even more of the industry's biggest brands this year including Fifty Five South, Parlane, Premier Decorations, Forma House, Caspari, Village Candle, Designed in Colour, Also Home, Tyrrell Katz, Le Toy Van, S'ip By Swell, Jellycat and Kikkerland to name just a few.
2. Undiscovered brands – Not just a destination for the biggest, most well-known brands though, Home & Gift will also be presenting more than 160 brand new exhibitors in its line-up, with a new sector, Design Now, entirely dedicated to emerging names and new design.
3. First show of the season – By far one of Home & Gift's biggest appeals is its perfect timing within the buying calendar; giving retailers the opportunity to make strategic purchasing decisions, based on the first 6 months of trade, when it comes to festive stock and bestselling gifts ahead of the vital Christmas period. Visitors will also get the very first look at the many new product launches happening at the show.
4. Inspiring speakers – Whether you're an independent store or a seasoned department store buyer, everyone can learn something from the ShopTalk programme, which includes everything from case study presentations and panel discussions, to hands-on clinics and masterclasses. Some great names include Sophie Conran, Entrepreneur and former Dragon Piers Linney, jewellery designer and reality star Rosie Fortescue, and designer and author Peal Lowe.
5. New online tools – A brand new online platform makes it easier than ever before for visitors to explore the 700+ suppliers on the Home & Gift website, as well as enabling them to 'favourite' key exhibitors, download shopping lists and plan pre-arranged meetings with suppliers through the site's Visitor Login portal.
6. Something for everyone – With eight carefully though-through sectors— Including the new Design Now, Taste and Craft—and an improved show layout to guide visitors through them, every retailer is sure to find something to suit their specific aesthetic and store offering at Home & Gift.
7. A show like no other – As much as Home & Gift is a crucial buying opportunity for visitors, it's also a celebration of the beloved retail industry, which is why the show takes such joy in providing relaxed environments for meaningful connections to be made and real business to be done. Striking the perfect balance of business and socialising, the show truly does have a unique spirit of its own.
8. At home in Harrogate – From picturesque walks and the iconic Turkish Baths, to the famous Bettys Tearooms and the great array of restaurants to spots for a late-night drink, there really is something for everyone in the beautiful town of Harrogate when it comes to Home & Gift afterhours. Visitors should keep an eye out on the Home & Gift website as special deals for local restaurants, bars and attractions are revealed closer to the show.