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Ex-Dragon brings teeth to Spring Fair talks

Sustainability leads as Theo Paphitis heads show’s speaker line-up


Retail entrepreneur and former TV Dragon Theo Paphitis is heading an impressive line-up of speakers at the upcoming Spring Fair.

With the show running at Birmingham’s NEC from 5-8 February, 2023, for the keynote speech from the Inspiring Retail Stage on Tuesday, 7 February, Theo will be in conversation with The Sun’s business editor Ashley Armstrong, delving into some of the current challenges facing businesses across the UK, as well as the opportunities that can often arise out of tougher trading conditions.

Above: POC’s Helena Mansell-Stopher takes to Spring Fair’s Inspiring Retail Stage
Above: POC’s Helena Mansell-Stopher takes to Spring Fair’s Inspiring Retail Stage

Among those sharing informative insights on the Inspiring Retail Stage on the same day will be Products Of Change’s ceo Helena Mansell-Stopher, who will lead a panel discussion on new packaging legislation, how it impacts the retail sector, and how to embrace its wide-ranging packing requirement challenges.

Created as a platform to champion retail, the Inspiring Retail Stage’s full schedule of live content will kick off on Spring Fair’s opening day, Sunday, 5 February, at 11am, and day one closes with a celebration of UK retail and the businesses that are making a difference – in partnership with Modern Retail, the trade show will host the Good Retail Awards for the fourth year, recognising the good practices in UK retail and sharing the successes in all areas of retail.

With sustainability a key focus of the show, the first day’s seminar highlights include A Disruptive New Model For Corporate Sustainability & ESG, with ex-Unesco special envoy and managing director of Element Four Georgia Elliott-Smith at 12.10pm proposing a model of disruptive sustainability that challenges the status quo and embraces activism.

Then at 1.20pm, John Pearce, ceo of Made In Britain, brings together a panel of speakers from leading British manufacturers, including Dartington Crystal, Petra Palumbo and Little Soap Company, to examine the latest innovations in sustainability messaging, as businesses step up to the increased demand from buyers, retailers and consumers for information about the environmental impact of goods.

Above: Theo Paphitis is leading Spring Fair’s speaker programme
Above: Theo Paphitis is leading Spring Fair’s speaker programme

While the full seminar programme is available on Spring Fair’s website, Monday’s timetable sees retail expert Jonathan de Mello for Retail State Of Play: Market Overview, as he walks the audience through key market insight into the current retail landscape, including the cost-of-living crisis and its impact on the retail sector now, and over the next few years, then Josh Pitman, md of Priory Direct-Planet Friendly Package, with How To Minimise The Environmental Impact Of eCommerce, With The Ultimate Goal Of Making A Fully Sustainable Industry.

On the trends front, TrendBible will be delivering Trend Update: 2024 Home & Lifestyle Trends on Monday, 6 February, at 12.10pm, uncovering how householder behaviours and lifestyle choices are set to underpin product and design trends for the home over the next 12 months and beyond.

And that’s followed at 11am on Tuesday by Trend Update: Celebration & Gifting Trends – against a backdrop of global unrest and financial crisis, celebration offers respite, where an escapist desire dominates coupled with a search for authenticity. TrendBible provides insight into key trends impacting consumers and the opportunities which will elevate celebration, occasion and gift ranges to new levels.

Top: Theo Paphitis returns to Spring Fair

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