The doors have closed on another fantastic edition of Giving & Living, which ran from 14-16th January at Westpoint, Exeter. The event was declared a great success by exhibitors and visitors alike, who were undeterred by freezing weather as they showed support for the friendliest event in the trade show calendar.
In a glowing verdict on this year’s show, regular exhibitor, Sue Morrish, founder and owner of The Eco Friendly Card Co., said: “Of all the trade fairs we go to this is by far my favourite. It is easy, close and free parking, delicious food that won’t cost you a fortune and lots of lovely independent makers, publishers, creators and designers showing a whole host of beautiful products you won’t find on the high street”.
Visitors were equally enthusiastic, with one saying that they enjoy “finding new suppliers in an easy environment” and another commenting that the show: “Helps us to find new suppliers and view new products. As we look for more local and small-scale producers this show works better for us than larger, more national/international shows”.
Retailers benefitted from being first in line to place orders with preferred suppliers, with the majority also finding new suppliers during their visit. One retailer who completed the post-show survey agreed that it was “nice to find smaller businesses that don’t show in other places”, whilst another said they “enjoy catching up with the business owners and placing orders.”
First Time Exhibitors Tracey of Poppins Pottery said she had a “Great first time at the show, picked up good orders and learned a lot from networking as first time exhibitor. The introductory mini-pods offered great value for our first time at the show as British makers.”
Another first-time exhibitor, Holly Read, Director of Homemade Hollydays, said: “First trade show, first day took four confirmed orders, one of which was a very big fish. Some excellent leads to follow up afterwards; really happy and we felt this was a fantastic starting point for our trade show journey”.
In perhaps the biggest seal of approval for this friendly event, 91% of visitors said they planned to return to Giving & Living in 2025. More than 80% of respondents said they had either placed orders at the show or intended to place orders shortly after.
Giving & Living organiser, Mike Anderson of Hale Events said: “We are delighted with the way this year’s show went, especially given the challenging economic conditions that are affecting the retail industry as a whole. The trend for independent retailers seeking locally-made British products is clearly still on the rise, as is the longer term shift towards products with a sustainable ethos. These products complement the superb wide-ranging gift ranges brought to Giving & Living by the wholesalers, who form the mainstay.”
The next edition of Giving & Living will take place on 12-14 January 2025 at Westpoint, Exeter.