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Questions answered about Connect @ Autumn Fair

Hyve Group’s Nicola Meadows explains changes to Autumn Fair’s new onsite meetings offer.

Buyers and retailers need to register for Autumn Fair by 9 August to be able to take advantage of the new Connect journey being offered by show organiser Hyve Group – which now includes an expansion of the 15-minute meetings, which can now take place within a half-hour window.

Registrations however will still be accepted right up to and during the show, which runs over Sunday to Wednesday, 3-6 September, at Birmingham’s NEC, but Hyve’s divisional managing director Nicola Meadows is urging retailers to sign up by the Connect deadline.

And she sat down with Partyworldwide.net’s sister site, PG Buzz, for an interview to explain the significant changes to the Connect journey since the original discussion in March.

“What we are keen to reiterate is a reminder of why we’ve launched Connect,” Nicola said. “Connect has been created to address the challenges and problems that both buyers and exhibitors have expressed about large exhibitions for years.

“Buyers, especially new buyers, find shows big, overwhelming and feedback is that it can be challenging to get the most from the show and buy successfully. Exhibitors want to know who is attending, how to make sure they meet the buyers they want to meet at the show, rather than leave it to chance. Now we can create more certainty for them, Connect meets all these needs and more.

“Thousands of buyers have already signed up including leading retailers such as Harvey Nichols, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Blue Diamond, Hillier Garden Centres, Card Factory, Coney’s, Robert Dyas, Walt Disney Co, Holland & Barrett, Wilkies, Artistic Gift Boutique, Avon Cosmetics, Sterling Home, and Moonpig.

“We are also delighted to be welcoming an inspirational line-up of exhibitors who are excited by and keen to discover how Connect will work for them including The Art File, Paper Salad, Cardology, The Seed Card Company, Five Dollar Shake, Kikkerland, Sass & Belle, Felt So Good, The Yorkshire Candle Company, Grupo Erik, Lesser & Pavey, Candlelight, Hill Interiors, Walton & Co, CIMC Home, Keel Toys, TY UK, Cheatwell Games, Henbrandt, Inis Fragrances Of Ireland, Gallery Direct, Deluxe HomeArt, Malini, Scream Pretty, Henderson, Jess & Lou, Miss Sparrow, Lukx and many more.

“In its simplest form it is a connections programme created to facilitate 15-minute introductory meetings between exhibitors and buyers who potentially don’t already know each other.

“So, if you’ve got a client that you want to meet and you know is going to come on your stand and be talking about your latest product range for an hour and a half then you don’t need to use Connect for that. What we want to do is help exhibitors find the new buyers they want to meet to grow their business.

“We want to use Connect to help tell and create the stories. But, at the moment, we’re still at the process stage. We’re trying to explain the entire Connect journey and its benefits through all our communication channels but, realistically until a buyer actually registers and starts to engage with it, it is hard to truly understand how transformational it is.

“We have invested in a dedicated team who can walk buyers through the process, we’re hosting webinars that people can join, we can do one-to-one calls, liaise via email, etc, and we already know that when buyers do engage that they get it and want to use it. The Connect message is landing and buyers do want it.

“The category manager of Souvenirs & Toys For World Duty Free (DUFRY) said: ‘Last year, I attended your event and found it beneficial, and I have to say that it is easy to become overwhelmed with all the products and miss something interesting. I oversee the gift sector at 27 airports and, as a busy person, I only have one day to go around the fair. I believe the Connect app can help me save and organise my time, and the search filter will surely help me discover new goods that I would have missed otherwise.’

“I think this says it all really – save time, help organise, and discover new products!”

Hyve Group’s Nicola Meadows explains changes to Autumn Fair’s new onsite meetings offer.

Buyers and retailers need to register for Autumn Fair by 9 August to be able to take advantage of the new Connect journey being offered by show organiser Hyve Group – which now includes an expansion of the 15-minute meetings, which can now take place within a half-hour window.

Registrations however will still be accepted right up to and during the show, which runs over Sunday to Wednesday, 3-6 September, at Birmingham’s NEC, but Hyve’s divisional managing director Nicola Meadows is urging retailers to sign up by the Connect deadline.

And she sat down with Housewaresnews.net’s sister site, PG Buzz, for an interview to explain the significant changes to the Connect journey since the original discussion in March.

“What we are keen to reiterate is a reminder of why we’ve launched Connect,” Nicola said. “Connect has been created to address the challenges and problems that both buyers and exhibitors have expressed about large exhibitions for years.

“Buyers, especially new buyers, find shows big, overwhelming and feedback is that it can be challenging to get the most from the show and buy successfully. Exhibitors want to know who is attending, how to make sure they meet the buyers they want to meet at the show, rather than leave it to chance. Now we can create more certainty for them, Connect meets all these needs and more.

“Thousands of buyers have already signed up including leading retailers such as Harvey Nichols, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Blue Diamond, Hillier Garden Centres, Card Factory, Coney’s, Robert Dyas, Walt Disney Co, Holland & Barrett, Wilkies, Artistic Gift Boutique, Avon Cosmetics, Sterling Home, and Moonpig.

“We are also delighted to be welcoming an inspirational line-up of exhibitors who are excited by and keen to discover how Connect will work for them including The Art File, Paper Salad, Cardology, The Seed Card Company, Five Dollar Shake, Kikkerland, Sass & Belle, Felt So Good, The Yorkshire Candle Company, Grupo Erik, Lesser & Pavey, Candlelight, Hill Interiors, Walton & Co, CIMC Home, Keel Toys, TY UK, Cheatwell Games, Henbrandt, Inis Fragrances Of Ireland, Gallery Direct, Deluxe HomeArt, Malini, Scream Pretty, Henderson, Jess & Lou, Miss Sparrow, Lukx and many more.

“In its simplest form it is a connections programme created to facilitate 15-minute introductory meetings between exhibitors and buyers who potentially don’t already know each other.

“So, if you’ve got a client that you want to meet and you know is going to come on your stand and be talking about your latest product range for an hour and a half then you don’t need to use Connect for that. What we want to do is help exhibitors find the new buyers they want to meet to grow their business.

“We want to use Connect to help tell and create the stories. But, at the moment, we’re still at the process stage. We’re trying to explain the entire Connect journey and its benefits through all our communication channels but, realistically until a buyer actually registers and starts to engage with it, it is hard to truly understand how transformational it is.

“We have invested in a dedicated team who can walk buyers through the process, we’re hosting webinars that people can join, we can do one-to-one calls, liaise via email, etc, and we already know that when buyers do engage that they get it and want to use it. The Connect message is landing and buyers do want it.

“The category manager of Souvenirs & Toys For World Duty Free (DUFRY) said: ‘Last year, I attended your event and found it beneficial, and I have to say that it is easy to become overwhelmed with all the products and miss something interesting. I oversee the gift sector at 27 airports and, as a busy person, I only have one day to go around the fair. I believe the Connect app can help me save and organise my time, and the search filter will surely help me discover new goods that I would have missed otherwise.’

“I think this says it all really – save time, help organise, and discover new products!”

AF connect update pic 5

To read the full interview on PGBuzz.net, simply click here. 

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