As well as feasting your eyes on a diverse range of gifts, homewares and greeting cards at Autumn Fair (Sept 3-6, at Birmingham’s NEC), you will also be able to feed your ‘grey matter’ too.
The Inside Retail Theatre at the show promises an impressive line-up of speakers that includes Jeremy Corner, owner of Blue Eyed Sun (and PG columnist) who will be addressing retailers on the first day of the exhibition about making the most of social media and digital marketing on the high street.
His talk, entitled ‘The digital high street is approaching; how to future-proof your business’, will take place 12.15pm-12.45pm in Hall 5 stand number 5B80-C81. Summing up what the session will cover, Jeremy says that it will be a succinct presentation that will share insight into “What is changing on the high street and how will this affect independent retailers?” as well as:
- What digital opportunities are there to differentiate and grow your high street brand? and
- What are the obstacles with using digital solutions and how can you overcome them?
Another speaker who is well versed in the ways of the greeting card industry is Simon Pryce, director of Nottingham-based Skylight Media, which has designed websites for over 30 different greeting card publishers.
Simon will be involved in three sessions:
Monday 4 September 11:45 – 12:15 Web Check-Up Part One: My website – why isn’t it selling?
The précis of the talk: You’ve spent thousands on your website, but it’s just not returning its investment. What are you to do? There are some fundamental actions and activities you really should be doing, but if no one’s told you what they are, how are you ever going to know? Simon Pryce will be joining Sophy Searight, editor of Inside Retail editor on stage.
Tuesday 5 September 11:45 – 12:15 Web Check-Up Part Two: New website? How do I get what I want this time?
Simon will be on stage talking about creating a website second or third time round and how to ensure the lessons you learned last time round aren’t forgotten. He will cover the differences between bespoke, custom and template design; what do you actually want/need/can afford?; where do you go to find people that can help you and how to give the right brief.
And Wednesday 6 September 11:45 – 12:15 Web Check-Up Part Three: Google AdWords – Am I wasting money? As Simon sums up: “Yes, probably! AdWords really does work, but be careful with it; budget to avoid loss and ensure you’re spending what you can afford to speculate, as it can take time to become effective.” In this session you’ll also learn how to avoid some of the common traps and pitfalls.
Elsewhere, a first for Autumn Fair, will be one stop group workshops, which will be limited to groups of 15. Topics include store design, social media and e-commerce.
Respected forecasters WGSN will also be revealing what will be trending over the coming months.
There will be 1,300 UK and international exhibitors at Autumn Fair with The Art File, Paper Salad, Brainbox Candy and Dean Morris Cards among the greeting card exhibitors in Hall 4. In addition, the Cardgains Village (which will encompass ‘pods’ from many different publishers and gift suppliers to the buying group) will once again have a prominent position in the Hall. The suppliers exhibiting as part of the ‘Village’ include A Made Hand, BOC Gases, Boxer Gifts, Carte Blanche Greetings, Cherry Orchard, Creative Party, Grass Roots, History & Heraldry, IC&G, Intelligent Retail, Is It Art, Ling Design, Peartree Heybridge, Pioneer Qualatex, Sarunds, GBCC, Wax Lyrical, Xystos and Yankee Candle.
* The Volume sector opens on Saturday September 2.