The first thing to decide when planning your Autumn Fair is how many days you’ll be at the show. Find all the info you need to work out how to make that decision on this page, and then we can help you start planning the next step - what you’ll be doing once you arrive at the NEC.
Before the show
New or Returning Visitor?
Every first-time Autumn Fair attendee is surprised by how big the show is. It will take you longer than you expect to make it through one hall and ideally you’ll want to get through all five. If your timetable allows, always give yourself a day more than you anticipate and use the time to take the show in at your own pace.
If you’re a returning visitor then you’ll have a better idea of how long it’ll take you to get around the show. Your planning is more likely to be about how many exhibitors you think you’d like to see. This is where the Little Black Book, exhibitor list and Autumn Fair Product Match come in handy, to find the exhibitors and products that you’re interested in before you set foot in the NEC, so you can organise your route around the show ahead of time.
Looking for New Products?
Autumn Fair is the biggest show of the season, offering a huge range of new products to help you make this Golden Quarter a great one for your business. With over 280 new exhibitors and almost 1000 new exhibitors overall the show is definitely a destination to find fresh inspiration and build new business relationships.
Among the new exhibitors at the show you’ll be able to find:
Discover new UK-based start-ups in DESIGNFIRST areas across 3 show sectors: Contemporary Gift & Living (including Body, Bath & Home Fragrance), Fashion, Jewellery & Accessories and Home. See, touch and feel products that you've only been able to see on Instagram. For products that are quirky unique, innovative and fun, head to DESIGNFIRST!
Find new products from twelve companies that are a part of the Theo Paphitis Small Business network. Showcasing innovative products that have caught the eye of a panel of Autumn & Spring Fair judges, the twelve winning companies will be revealed in the run up to show, so be sure to stop by and see what they have to offer.
Explore the brand new sector launching at Autumn Fair this year, Global Handicraft! Bringing the growing trend to life, Global Handicraft will be hosting artisans and makers from around the work, showcasing their products, talent and experiences, to give you the opportunity to find unique products with an equally unique story for your customers to own.
Looking for Something Specific?
Know exactly what you want? Take a look through the exhibitor products ahead of the show so you can head straight to the supplier you need. Use our filtering tool to zero-in on specific product types or the exhibitors most suited to you.
Check out AF Product Match before you head to the show. It’s a new tool that will help you find new products and new suppliers. AF Product Match uses your interests and searches to recommend the products great products that you might otherwise miss! Available online and as an app, you can sign up for your AF Product Match account when you register for your free ticket to the show.
Autumn Fair is a destination for insight and inspiration. Catch key sessions and speakers across four different theatres around the show; The Main Stage, Master The High Street Theatre, Master Online Retail Theatre and Fashion Talks, offering trend-led insights, discussions on retail issues targeted at your business, whether you’re a bricks and mortar independent, a pureplay online retailer or multi.
Make a stop at The Summerhouse Café and the Fashion Cafe, where you can take a breather and don’t forget the New Product Showcase for an extra jolt of buying inspiration. There’s lots to do across the show, so be sure to join in!
Where to stay
If you’ve decided that you’ll be at Autumn Fair for more than a day, then you might want to consider accommodation in Birmingham. There are a number of hotels near NEC Birmingham, or in the city centre, but they do all get very busy around the time of the show, so it’s best to book as early as you can. Our Accommodation Partner, Event Express offers special discounted rates for well-located hotels, so it’s a good idea to take a look and see what’s on offer!
How to Get to the NEC
The NEC is just 8 miles from Birmingham City Centre and is well connected whether you’re travelling by car, plane or trains to Birmingham NEC. If you’re driving, the venue offers free parking to all visitors. If you’re thinking of travelling by train, then don’t forget to take advantage of a 25% discount of Virgin Train fares for your journey to the NEC and Birmingham International Airport is only 5 minutes away from the venue. Visit the travel page to find out more.