Harrogate International Nursery Fair has been a trade-only show for over 45 years, and for the first time during the 2016 show it will combine the last day as both a trade and public open day.
This means companies making baby products who exhibit at the show can showcase their goods to shops and retailers on the first 2 days, then use the final day when public can attend to raise their profiles and market to their end consumers.
Sunday 20th March 2016 – Trade only
Monday 21st March 2016 – Trade only
Tuesday 22nd March 2016 – Trade and public open day
Display of Chiggs Wheels at trade fair
The announcement initially proved controversial, with exhibitors wondering how the new format will work as the final day will be a ‘no selling’ day, and will be to provide visitors with information only.
Here at Chiggs we have exhibited our Baby Feed Wheels and Baby Medicine Wheels at this trade show twice in the past, although not for a few years now, and we are considering taking a stand at the 2016 show. So we have a few queries about how it will work!
Will non-trade visitors want to attend a baby show where they can’t buy anything? It’s on a Tuesday, so unless people are on maternity leave, will many be at work? There will be demonstrations and seminars for mums and dads-to-be to encourage attendance… will this be enough of a draw?
Exhibitors will have to only display retail price on the Tuesday, as consumers won’t need to know wholesale prices. Any retailers visiting on the Tuesday will have to ask for the trade price “under the counter!”
Consumers visiting on the Tuesday who are interested in products will be directed towards local stockists…. in our case, if Chiggs exhibits that will be Little Star Company, a baby goods shop in Harrogate, or Magpie a greeting card shop also in Harrogate.
Little Star Co, Harrogate
The show organisers have reported positive feedback from the majority of exhibitors…
Adrian Sneyd, show organiser, commented: “Initially there was a little confusion about how the trade and consumer day would be structured and there was concern that additional stock and payment facilities would be required. However, now that exhibitors understand that this is not the case, there will be no selling at the show; they are beginning to see the benefit of raising brand awareness to consumers.”
It’s a bold step from Harrogate Nursery Fair organisers, and has probably arisen because large companies are not paying to attend Harrogate trade show, they are doing their own individual company Show Cases instead. It’s very expensive to exhibit, and many smaller businesses like mine struggle to afford a stand. With fewer companies exhibiting at Harrogate, fewer independent shop owners are attending, and attendance figures are down; opening the show to the public may address this.