After 17 years with the business, the last decade of which on Spring Fair, Autumn Fair and Glee, portfolio director Nick Davison has left Ascential (organiser of the shows) to join ITE and head up of its four international events (in Bremen, Abu Dhabi, Houston and Shanghai.
Commenting on his time in the card and gift trade, Nick told PG Buzz: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time both working on and running events in Ascential’s retail portfolio. During my time I have made many friends and had the pleasure of working with some extremely talented colleagues. I am sad to be moving on, but know that the Spring Fair is in safe hands and will continue to offer our customers (both visitors and exhibitors) the best possible platform to do business. The gift, greetings and home industry is one of the very best around and it will be very strange not being a part of it. I wish all involved every success for the future”.
Having recently joined the Spring Fair/Autumn Fair team as group commercial director is Mandy Cluskey. Mandy brings with her retail knowledge accumulated during her years with Retail Week, where she was associate managing director, leading the strategic development of the brand (including the ongoing development of The Retail Week Awards and Retail Week Live). She has also been involved in specialist retail sectors as her group commercial positions spanned the retail division, which also encompassed legacy brands such as Drapers, Professional Beauty, Aesthetic Medicine and Retail Jeweller.
“I am very much looking forward to my new role and getting to know those in the industry and putting my experience to good use to further drive the brands for Ascential, our exhibitors and our visitors,” Mandy told PG Buzz.
Meanwhile, Alison Graham, Ascential’s event director with special responsibility for the greeting card sector at the show is someone who knows the machinations of cardies better than most. With only a few days to go before Spring Fair (Feb 4-8, NEC), Alison was persuaded to be put on the spot by PG Buzz to share a few of her personal revelations…
Three words that best describe you? “Loyal, honest, considerate.”
Is there a quirky fact we don’t know about you? “I was on Noel Edmonds Multi-Coloured Swap Shop.”
What was your first job? “I was a sales assistant in a Co-op department store.”
What was the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received? “Listen and digest. Knowledge is key in any market.”
What business advice would you give to someone else today? “Know your market, engage with a passion and listen to your customers.”
What are you currently reading? “Eeny Meeny by M J Arlidge.”
What’s your favourite film? “Inn of the Sixth Happiness which stars Ingrid Bergman.”
What are your favourite TV programmes? “Thrillers like Line of Duty and Broadchurch.”
Where’s your favourite place to go on holiday? “Turkey.”
How does a ‘normal’ (ie non-Spring Fair) day start and end for you? “I get up at 5.50 am and make a cup of coffee. I watch Netflix on my commute and get ready for the day ahead.
I am ready for bed by 11pm and I read a few pages of a book.”
How do you like to relax? “With music. I have a rather eclectic taste which spans all genres of music.”
Which one item would you take to a desert island? “My iPod.”