Overall attendance at the Exclusively Shows 2019, held last week in London, rose by just over 5% fuelled by ‘a relatively new breed of visitors to the show: the influencers and consumer press’, according to the Shows’ owner and organiser BHETA (British Home Enhancement Trade Association).
The co-located trade shows Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical took place at the Business Design Centre in Islington on June 11 and June 12.
BHETA added that ‘the number of core show visitors was on a par with previous years. The number of retailers attending was up, although the number of delegates per retailer decreased’.
Will Jones, chief operating officer of BHETA, said: “Exclusively 2019 was a quality show featuring over 150 exhibitors presenting over 275 of their brands. The feedback from exhibitors has been positive, with many commenting on the quality of visitors to their stands including new customers, as well as the increasing numbers of influencers and bloggers.”
He continued: “It was very pleasing to witness the show’s Brand Showcase initiative – now in its third year – gain considerable momentum, with the attendance figure more than double that for 2018.This, alongside the Trend initiatives with [trend forecasting agency] Scarlet Opus, highlights how the content of the show does needs to adapt and mirror the changing face of the market.”
Scarlet Opus presented two Trend Talks, created four Trend displays (incorporating exhibitors’ products that the agency predicts will be big news in the upcoming seasons) and hosted several Trend Tours during the event.
The Brand Showcase is a dedicated space located in the atrium above Exclusively Electrical which features displays of a selection of exhibitors’ products for invited consumer press journalists and media influencers to view.
PR consultant Richard Watts, who manages the Brand Showcase, said: “From our Monday night press preview, up until the doors closing on Wednesday, the Brand Showcase was buzzing, as we welcomed more members of the media than ever before.
“Now established as a must-attend event for lifestyle press, exhibitors particularly welcomed the huge increase of influencers attending the show, due to the instant engagement this generated for them. Brands have seen an increase in followers, consumer reach and ultimately product sales, thanks to recommendations from some of the biggest UK influencers relevant to our industry.”
Tony Golby, national trade sales manager of George East (Housewares), commented: “Business has changed dramatically in recent times. Who would have thought 10 years ago that we would be as excited about meeting a blogger as about making contact with a department store chain or cookshop group?”
Two key retailers shared their views on Exclusively 2019. Lakeland buyer Kathryn Farrell said: “Exclusively was a great place to touch base with my key suppliers as well as check out some new products and trends. It’s a great example of a trade show that provides quality over quantity. I had some valuable meetings and conversations, and used up every minute of the time I had available. In fact, I could have done with longer! The timing is perfect for a mid-year catch up and it saves our suppliers trekking up to [our headquarters in] the Lake District to see us.”
Martin de la Fuente, senior buying manager: general merchandise of Ocado, added: “Exclusively is a great place for the Ocado team to get together with so many key suppliers in one place. It’s a great use of two days to catch up on trends, new products and seek out new suppliers. Exclusively is one of the most important dates in our diaries.”
Exclusively Shows’ operations director Simon Boyd concluded: “We are delighted with the mix and quality of retailers that attended. Exclusively embraced many new retailers who are championing new and evolving routes to market, alongside large respected high street names and, of course, hardworking and determined independents from all corners of the UK.”
The 2020 edition of the Exclusively Shows will be held at the same venue on June 9 and June 10.