There is great anticipation in the garden retail sector for the long-awaited return of Glee (14th – 16th September 2021, NEC Birmingham) as an in-person event; with suppliers and retailers set to reconnect and create new opportunities at this year’s show. Building on this excitement, the Glee team has confirmed that the 2022 event will move to a new date in order to meet the ever-developing needs of the garden retail sector. As a result, Glee 2022 will take place June 28th – 30th.
Over several months, the Glee team undertook an in-depth consultation with key stakeholders, representing suppliers, retailers and trade associations. The outcome of these discussions was that a shift to a different time of year would better reflect, and support, the ongoing development of the garden retail supply chain and associated buying cycles.
This decision received unanimous support, and it has been confirmed that the annual Glee exhibition will take place in June, effective from 2022. The first show hosted under the new date line to take place on the 28th – 30th June, 2022.
The industry shows support for Glee’s new dateline
The Glee team’s realigned timing of the show has already garnered support from across the sector. Exhibitors consulted about the date change said they whole-heartedly support the move. Home and Gift suppliers have also praised the change, as they recognise that it offers improved growth opportunities ahead of the Christmas sales period. From a visitor perspective, Glee will sit more comfortably within the buying calendar, as well as within the wider exhibition cycle.
Reactions from the industry
British Garden Centres PR & Communications Director, Boyd J Douglas-Davies praised the decision and stressed the importance of Glee to the entire sector. He said: “I’m delighted to see the team at Glee reacting to the seismic shift in order patterns and moving the show to ensure they maintain their position as the foremost and most useful show for the gardening industry. As we all react to the new world order scene, we need Glee to be there for us all to ensure the industry continues to grow.”
Mike Burks, Owner, The Gardens Group, and Chair, Garden Centre Association added: “The only reason for buying in September is because Glee is in September. June is a better time for buying, and independent garden centres will adapt. Also, in recent times with the uncertainties in the supply chain, the earlier ordering can be done, the more forward planning that is possible by the manufacturers, and a much higher chance of having the right product, at the right time for the customer. Glee in June helps enormously with this”
Perrywood Garden Centre Manager, Simon Bourne commented: “I love going to Glee and it is one of the first events to go onto my calendar at the beginning of the year. I go to meet with suppliers and colleagues, source new product and make informed decisions ready for the following year. A move from September to June will allow more time to put changes in place for our business.”
The need for earlier ordering was also echoed by suppliers, with AMES’ Managing Director, Paul North, saying: “As long-term partners with Glee, we are excited to confirm our attendance in 2022, and supportive of plans to move the show forward to June accordingly. Given the very real need of many of our customers to plan earlier than ever before, we believe this announcement will be received positively across the marketplace”
Leading pot and garden accessory suppliers, Woodlodge is another long-term exhibitor in support of Glee’s latest development. Michael Wooldridge, Woodlodge’s Director, said: “Woodlodge welcome the move of Glee to earlier in the year. With a predominately Far East supply chain and long lead times, it would allow us to showcase all of our products and gauge customer reaction whilst still having the flexibility to adapt ordering levels for the season ahead.”
Elsewhere, Mark Portman, MD of Evergreen Garden Care UK & Ireland said how much Evergreen are looking forward to Glee in 2022. He said: “Bringing the dates forward to June works well with our customer meetings and presentations for the following year and will help us with our planning for the following season.”
Importantly, Glee’s trade association partners have shown their support for the announcement. GIMA Director, Vicky Nuttall said: “With a majority of our members having previously expressed their desire for an earlier show, this latest development is welcome news and something that GIMA is pleased to support.”
The HTA echo GIMA’s thoughts. Martin Simmons, Director of Membership at the HTA, said: “The HTA has had a long association with Glee having been the main supporter of the Retail Lab feature in recent years and significant involvement in its seminar programme. Equally, Glee is a strong supporter of the National Plant Show, both organisations recognising the unique benefits of each event and what they provide for our industry. We look forward to working with Glee on what we’re confident will be a very busy and successful show season next year”
Referencing the move to a summer show, Glee Event Director, Matthew Mein said: “The new date for Glee follows a period of significant consultation with our stakeholders, including suppliers, retailers and trade associations. Glee’s role is to provide a hub for the industry we represent. The new June timing will open-up new opportunities for all, whilst – more importantly – working more efficiently within the buying cycle. It is a much-needed change that we believe will add significant value to all those that utilise Glee as a central hub for their buying/selling needs. It’s a big move but one we are incredibly excited about. As always, we will work closely with our stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition.”
Add the 2022 dates to your diary but, don’t forget, the industry has this year’s event to look forward to and the much-awaited opportunity to come together under one roof, meet face to face, make new connections and touch and feel product. See you in September for Glee 2021!