Spring and Autumn Fair announce new advisory board

Posted by Louise Prance on 22 February 2024

Spring & Autumn Fair, the UK's largest and most inspirational retail trade shows for Home, Gift and Fashion, has announced the creation of a new Advisory Board designed to drive the continuous enhancement of the two shows and ensure that UK retail has a thriving marketplace in which to do business.

Alyish Ellwood from Enesco Pictured: Aylish Ellwood, Enesco 

The board, chaired by Stephen Spencer, Ambience Director at Stephen Spencer + Associates, comprises 15 of the industry's leading figureheads including John Halliday from British Independent Retailers Association, Sarah Ward of the Giftware Association, Karen Wilson from the Greetings Card Association, Ben Massey from the National Association of Jewellers, exhibitors including Stephen Illingworth from Widdop & Co, Nick Ronald from Casa Verde, Aylish Ellwood from Enesco, Tim Hollis from Talking Tables, Jason Bensohn from One Dot World, as well retailers Kay Hutcheson of Coopers of Stortford, Samantha Gibbs from Nest, and Maggie Thornton from Alligator Pear, who all provide valuable industry insight and advice assisting in the on-going development and growth of Spring & Autumn Fair.

Jackson Szabo, Portfolio Director at Spring & Autumn Fair says, "The new advisory board is a very exciting development in the shows' history. Spring Fair has brought the retail industry together for over 70 years and Autumn Fair for over 30 years they have become the nucleus of the industry and enabled so much great business to be done."

Laura Rae, Head of Community at Spring & Autumn Fair adds, "As we look ahead to Autumn Fair in September and our 75th Spring Fair, we know how important it is to garner support and insight from our key partners and community. Together we can offer the best experiences possible and continue to develop and safeguard the shows to fully meet the needs of the industry now and for many years to come."

With its futureproofing remit, the board is committed to guiding Spring & Autumn Fair to achieve a host of outcomes including proactively identifying trends and opportunities within the retail industry, identifying key visitor groups, expanding the regions they come from, and optimising visitor and exhibitor experiences.

The Board will meet regularly to provide honest and constructive participation.

Chair, Stephen Spencer, Ambience Director at Stephen Spencer + Associates explained his outlook on the formation of the Advisory Board saying, "Having been a buyer, visitor, and exhibitor, at Spring and Autumn Fair for over 30 years, I'm excited and honoured to chair this Advisory Board. Innovation, arising out of genuine collaboration, are key not only to futureproofing these shows, but also to helping shape the future of the Gift and Home sectors out on the High Street. We're fortunate indeed to have such an array of talent and experience on the Board."

Spring & Autumn Fair continue to work closely with the industry's key associations and their participation in the Advisory Board ensures their members are represented.

Ben Massey, CEO, National Association of Jewellers says, "Representing members exhibiting and attending the show, I am keen to help shape the Fairs to deliver good value for all participants and contribute to the annual buying calendar for the UK jewellery sector." Five of the shows' longstanding exhibitors have also joined the Board.

Aylish Ellwood, Trade Marketing Manager at exhibitor Enesco Ltd emphasises the shows' opportunities saying, "I truly believe that there is no greater opportunity than a trade fair to celebrate the industry, to showcase, to inspire, collaborate and explore endless opportunities available to all stakeholders, from suppliers, to retailers, trade publishers, artists, trade associations...the list goes on. It's not only about the people you know, but more importantly about the people you don't know...yet."

www.springfair.com and www.autumnfair.com

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