The Light Show finds a spectacular new home at Autumn Fair
• Only Lighting Industry Association endorsed decorative lighting trade event in the UK
• First edition of the revamped exhibition reaches massive audience of buyers
The first edition of The Light Show at Autumn Fair was widely heralded a great success by both exhibitors and buyers visiting the event, which took place from September 6 – 9 at The NEC, Birmingham.
The Light Show was the only decorative lighting industry event this year to be endorsed by the Lighting Industry Association (LIA), with the agreement to partner with Autumn Fair being formalised by show organiser i2i Events on
Thursday September 4 2014.
The spectacular lighting showcase – located in Hall 2 of The NEC exhibition – perfectly complemented Autumn Fair’s growing home interiors sector, which in turn reflected the UK’s strengthened housing and home décor markets.
Autumn Fair is one of the most important transactional trade shows in the UK and wider European buying calendar, serving as a strong barometer of the economic state of the nation. Countless orders are placed on exhibitor stands during the event and it is estimated that up to £1.2 billion of retail budgets are allocated as a direct result of buyers attending the show.
Autumn Fair attracts up to 30,000* trade visitors from 84 countries and buyers from 76 of the top 100 high street retailers in the UK attended in 2015, including: Bentalls, Habitat, Fenwick, Debenhams, Next and Homebase, plus specifiers and contract buyers from hotel chains and property developers.
Over a third of Autumn Fair visitors – 10,795 – specified that home furnishings and/or lighting were of specific interest to them, and sourcing from these product categories was their main reason for visiting the show. 3,580 attended with the main intention of sourcing new lighting products.
LIA Chief Executive Peter Hunt was extremely positive about the new home for the lighting community, saying: “I think i2i has done a tremendous job, delivered on their promises and the marketing has been prolific. The time of year is absolutely right for us and a large proportion of the lighting industry pulled together to support the show. The companies here have made a real effort with their stands and there’s some excellent product, it’s been a very good show”.
The Light Show was widely supported by lighting industry key suppliers including Philips, Dar Lighting, Searchlight, Impex Russell, TP24, Poole Lighting (including Endon and Interiors 1900) and Illuminati, along with a host of new and smaller exhibitors in this sector.
The vast majority of them echoed Peter’s remarks that the timing of Autumn Fair was ideal for the lighting industry. Many specialist buyers waited for the show before committing to their orders, keen to see so many exciting brands and suppliers exhibiting under one roof.
Lighting industry and design consultants Paul Carter and Daniel Attenborough, who also run the UK branch of high octane supplier, Illuminati, commented: “There hadn’t been a really strong event in lighting for quite some time so the Autumn Fair launch of The Light Show has been fantastic. It’s definitely at the right time of year for the industry and a lot of our customers told us they would wait for Autumn Fair to do their autumn/winter ordering. Most major lighting manufacturers update their stock in September so it’s perfect, as it offers buyers the opportunity to place orders in the run up to Christmas.
“We’ve already seen a lot of the customers we hoped to see here and have had meetings with major stores, independent retailers, interior designers, cruise liners, department stores and hotel groups, we’ve won some significant new business while we’ve been here. I also like the fact it isn’t a London show. Some people think design only happens in London but that’s a pretty narrow view and Autumn Fair offers a great opportunity to get people to Birmingham”.
Lighting was a major specialist focus for the Autumn Fair 2015 marketing campaign, which achieved an estimated reach of over 550,000 for its promotion of The Light Show.
The Light Show 2016 major marketing programme aims to broaden the reach of the event even further, as part of organiser i2i Events’ multi-million investment in Autumn Fair. New features already being planned by the steering committee for next year include the Enlighten Zone, dedicated to educational seminar content and business networking opportunities.
Autumn Fair Portfolio Director, Naomi Barton, commented: “We are delighted with the success of our launch edition of The Light Show at Autumn Fair, which reached a huge audience of both decorative lighting retailers and cross-over buyers from our Home Interiors sector and other parts of the exhibition. We are very proud to be partnering with the LIA and look forward to working closely with their team to build on this year’s success and growing The Light Show even further for many years ahead.”
The Light Show at Autumn Fair 2016 is due to take place from September 4 – 7 2016 at The NEC.
For more information visit the website: www.autumnfair.com