Widespread heavy snow on its first day failed to put a damper on this week’s Spring Fair International, which closed its doors this afternoon.
Quality buyers turned out in force, and both they and exhibitors were enthusiastic about the new-look show, the organisers said today. It had been redesigned to provide better rest and relaxation facilities and clear product zoning for visitors, with the Kitchen, Dining and Housewares sector in Hall 1.
The poor weather on Sunday threatened to have a significant effect on attendance but, event director Roz McGuinness told HousewaresLive.net, exhibitors were upbeat about who they had seen.
“The feedback I’ve had back from our exhibitors in Kitchen & Dining is that they’ve had good quality visitors, all the right people, and in most instances those people who did come on Sunday were serious buyers who placed good orders,” she said.
“There’s definitely caution in the air and they’ve got a lot to follow up after the show, but they’ve seen all the majors in, which is really good. We had good numbers, and we have to take our hats off to the people who ignored the BBC and who didn’t stay indoors! By Sunday night the snow had melted here and by Monday everything was back to normal.”
She said that visitors had been “positive about the new look to the show – the wide boulevards and the seating – and Kitchen & Dining are very, very excited about being back in Hall 1,” she added.
One of the most popular features at Spring Fair in recent years has been Cook Live!, with its mix of product and cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs. This year it had been further developed, and saw, amongst other big-name cookery personalities, BBC television’s MasterChef presenters John Torode and Gregg Wallace take to the stage.
“Cook Live! is really well attended,” said McGuinness, “and we added more content this year. And chefs such as Ken Hom, Gregg and John and Mich Turner did us proud.”
The Kitchen, Dining & Housewares hall also hosted a new feature this year called Trend Box, showcasing some of the most innovative new launches.
Said McGuinness: “The Trend Box, where we reflected the autumn/winter trends, was really well received. And the new fine dining restaurant in Hall 1 was a nice addition giving everyone the opportunity to entertain customers in a more relaxed environment.”