22 Aug 2022

Autumn Fair Launches Connect @ Autumn Fair, a New Large Scale Meetings Programme Designed to Transform How Business Gets Done in the Retail Community

19th August 2022 – Autumn Fair, the UK's leading marketplace for wholesale home, gift, fashion, and sourcing, today announced the launch of Connect @ Autumn Fair, an entirely new, large scale meetings programme to be held during Autumn Fair 2023 from 3rd - 6th September at the NEC Birmingham, which brings together more than 15,000+ visitors and 600+ UK and international suppliers from across the retail industry.

Connect @ Autumn Fair helps the Autumn Fair community connect and do business via individual meetings. More than 3,000 buyers and over 600 suppliers are expected to participate in over 6,000 high value meetings onsite at Autumn Fair 2023.

To ensure they are valuable, all Connect @ Autumn Fair meetings are double opt-in (both people want to meet each other) and scheduled based on each individual’s availability. Meetings will be held at exhibitor stands so buyers can view and fully experience their whole range of offerings.

Suppliers are joining Connect @ Autumn Fair to:

  1. Meet prospective customers, generate qualified leads and secure orders
  2. Re-engage with existing contacts to identify new sales opportunities to work together
  3. Launch and showcase their new season’s assortment to 3,000+ buyers

Buyers are joining Connect @ Autumn Fair to:

  1. Discover and be inspired by new and emerging products – find their company’s next bestsellers in time for the golden quarter
  2. Use their time at Autumn Fair 2023 in the most efficient way possible – quickly and easily meet the suppliers behind the products they need
  3. Find the specific product features and supplier terms that their businesses need

Julie Driscoll, Divisional Managing Director of Autumn Fair organiser’s Hyve Group plc says; “Connect @ Autumn Fair is a game changing new meetings programme crafted to fundamentally shift the future of buying and sourcing within the retail industry and represents the biggest change to Autumn Fair in its 30-year history.

“The meetings programme will supply extensive information on each supplier from country of origin and sustainability credentials through to price points and minimum order values enabling retailers to pre-select meetings with companies whose products most suit their buying needs. The pre-scheduled double opt-in meetings enable suppliers to generate extremely high value qualified leads. This tangible return on time and return on investment is globally unique and reinforces Autumn Fair’s market leading seasonal event status.”

Buyers can participate in Connect @ Autumn Fair at no cost.

Suppliers are joining Connect @ Autumn Fair to meet with buyers from across retail, including:

  • Independent Gift Stores/Boutiques
  • Home/Furniture Retailers
  • Lifestyle Stores
  • Garden Centres
  • Jewellery Stores
  • Fashion Retailers
  • Department Stores
  • Destinations/Attractions
  • Discount Retailers
  • Toy/Children’s Gift Stores
  • Farm Shops
  • Supermarkets
  • Pharmacy/Chemists
  • Bookshops
  • Independent Fashion Boutiques
  • Wholesale/distribution
  • Interior Design/Architecture
  • Hospitality
  • Importer/Exporter

All Autumn Fair suppliers are automatically enrolled in Connect @ Autumn Fair.

Sarah Ward, CEO of the Giftware Association says; “Connect @ Autumn Fair is the evolution of the trade show model that the retail industry needs. Exhibitors will be able to find and meet more interested buyers more easily, creating more opportunities and ultimately doing more business! Being able to fully promote their product ranges, price points and delivery times before the event in the Connect @ Autumn Fair platform and pre-schedule meetings with buyers they want to meet is a step change in helping exhibitors and buyers get the most out of Autumn Fair. I believe that this is what the industry has been missing.”

John Halliday, Director of Membership & Marketing at British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) adds; “Bira are delighted to see Hyve further investing into the Spring & Autumn Fair programme. The new meetings tool, Connect @ Autumn Fair, will provide all exhibitors and visitors with a completely new experience and position the show as a sector leader. The technology behind this new platform will fundamentally transform the event experience, enabling a far better return on time, investment, and value. This is a no brainer and will enable companies to search, meet and do business on their stand with the right people at the right time.”

Lucy Reece-Raybould, CEO of British Footwear Association says; “British Footwear Association (BFA) are delighted to support the new meetings programme, Connect @ Autumn Fair. Our footwear community exhibiting in MODA should certainly benefit from this as it enables them to do business a lot more effectively. Using the latest technologies, exhibitors will be able to pre-schedule as many mutually agreed meetings, at their stand, as their calendars allow and, more importantly, only with relevant and engaged buyers. In a nutshell, buyers can effortlessly discover new brands and products for the next season, exhibitors will be able to access new leads, improving both of their return in investment and time.”

Amanda Fergusson, CEO of Greeting Card Association says; “Connect @ Autumn Fair sounds like a really interesting addition to the marketing opportunities on offer to highlight relevant brands to buyers, and connect exhibitors with the buyers they want to see.”


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