If you fancy looking at how to supplement that income and want a day out, check out some of the trade shows that are run around the country. Usually, if you book in advance they are free to get in, but their individual websites will provide all the pre-booking details you need.
Trade shows are great for giving you inspiration about moving forwards with your business, so you can target what you buy and from whom – us obvs!
‘Amazing Brands, Incredible Retailers’ reads the bmpf. If you’re just starting up your business or you’re looking for additional suppliers, this is a great trade show to visit. Centrally located at Birmingham NEC, there’s good transport links and ample parking. The beauty of this event (as well as Harrogate, Top Drawer and Spring Fair) is that you can access literally hundreds of suppliers, from the biggest who supply volume to multiples, to independent suppliers, new to the business themselves – perfect if you want something not necessarily already found on the High Street. It’s a busy show – some 27,000 visitors annually in numerous different halls. Warning – bring a packed lunch (the food franchises are pricey), some water and sensible shoes. You’ll be warm, hungry and shattered after a day of tramping the halls here.
Open 3-6th September 2017 | Volume sector opens 2nd September | NEC Birmingham, UK
For more information: Autumn Fair 2017
International Jewellery London (IJL)
Considered the leading trade event for the international jewellery industry, IJL will this year be held from 4th Sept to 6th Sept, 2016. The event promises a showcase of the very latest product ranges from over 550 high end, finished jewellery manufacturers, designers, loose gemstones, and retail services suppliers, and boasts ‘the greatest breadth and variety of jewellery suppliers ranging from big brands to emerging talent giving you exceptional choice.’
You’ll find the event at The Olympia Grand. It’s better to use public transport to get to the event, and a dedicated bus service runs from Earls Court to Olympia, with a special event bus service from stop C on Warwick Road. Or you can book parking at one of London’s car parks.
For more information: International Jewellery London
Top Drawer Autumn Show
If you’re looking for innovation and quality and feel like a day out in London, Top Drawer is a good event to consider. Top Drawer attract a range of suppliers from the home, craft, fashion, gift and greetings card industries. It is one of the UK’s leading international design-led event for creative retailers and brands.
Top Drawer describe their event as ‘a window to the new’ and aim to keep the ‘show relevant and dynamic’.
The Autumn – Winter show takes place 11—13 September 2016 at the Olympia, London
The Spring – Summer show takes place 15—17 January 2017.
It’s recommended to use public transport to get to the event, but you can book parking at one of London’s car parks.
For more information: Top Drawer
Head back up to Birmingham for the Glee show (no, not the all-singing, all-dancing cheesy US show). This is the UK’s biggest garden, pet, and outdoor living tradeshow where retailers can discover the newest products on the market, source unique products and find something new to set yourself apart from your competitors. Glee 2016 will see the launch of hundreds of new products, and there will be plenty of opportunity to discover future customer buying trends, as well as chat with over 500 suppliers!
Vest Glee at the NEC in Birmingham (plenty of parking and good transport links) from 12 Sept – 14 Sept, 2016.
For more information: Glee
The National Wedding Show
If you’re looking for business ideas or want to scout for some suppliers, try the UK’s biggest annual wedding event – the National Wedding Show. Here brides get to try, buy, book and hire everything they need for the big day, and you’ll find over 300 wedding specialists including bridal boutiques and florists, jewellers and photographers.
The National Wedding Show is a touring extravaganza. You can find it at the following venues:
Olympia, London – Friday 23rd to Sunday 25 September, 2016
NEC Birmingham – Friday 30th September to Sunday 2nd October 2016
Manchester Central – Saturday 22nd October to Sunday 23rd October 2016
For more information: National Wedding Show
The National Franchise Exhibition
Looking for a franchise opportunity? If you can afford it this could be an interesting way to start your self-employed business career. Brands on display this year include McDonalds, Subway, The Creation Station, Fit4Less, JumpArena and Rush Hair and Beauty among others. There’s a full range of speakers, and seminars.
The exhibition takes place in Hall 9 at the Birmingham NEC from Friday 30th September to Saturday 1st October.
For more information: National Franchise Exhibition
The Clothes Show
Looking for inspiration for expanding your clothing business? Try The Clothes Show in Birmingham, which is a fun mix of fashion and beauty (and bills itself as a festival and a fab girls’ day out but presumably women who like clothes can go too, and men!). It’s a ‘one stop destination for all things fashion and beauty, where the line-up of brands, boutiques, fashion experts, catwalks and live performances are more unique than ever before.’ There are in excess of 350 pop-up fashion and beauty boutiques, with exclusive style advice available and non-stop runway shows. There’s a Pamper Lounge located in the beauty hall, where you can go and spoil yourself.
On at the NEC in Birmingham between 2nd and the 6th December. 2016.
For more information: The Clothes Show
Giving and Living
Giving and Living is the biggest Home and Gift trade show in the South West and offers an unrivalled selection of products for buyers targeting the coast and tourism markets. There’s a strong focus on coastal products as you would expect for the region, and some smaller businesses, designers and suppliers. It’s friendly, less pressured than the big shows, with plenty of parking and it’s easy to get around.
Visit: 15th-18th January 2017 | The easiest way to get to the show is by road. M5 to Junction 30 and follow the road heading for Sidmouth.
Venue: Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Exeter EX5 1DJ
For more information: Living and Giving
Scotland’s Trade Fair
Scotland’s Trade Fair runs over three days in January (Spring Fair 22-24th January 2017) and two days in September (Autumn 2017 tbc). Held at Glasgow’s SECC, the Spring Fair can boast over 500 companies who will be exhibiting thousands of products, including clothing, textiles, jewellery, fashion accessories, Clan Products, beauty and bath, stationery, giftware, food, and speciality fine food.
The fairs attract somewhere in the region of 5000 trade buyers and incorporate three specialist areas. Showcase Scotland for example, has 250 of the very best Scottish companies, creating ‘a focus for UK and overseas buyers of both new and established Scottish brands.’ The Launch Gallery was established in 2009 has emerged as an exciting opportunity for young start up and emerging companies, with 30 stands located together in the heart of the show. It’s a great platform for these young entrepreneurs and designers to present their exciting wares to the public. In addition, Scotland’s Speciality Food Show, runs concurrently with Scotland’s Trade Fair in Hall 4 of the SECC.
Open (Spring Fair) 22-24th January 2017 | Located in Hall 4 of the Scottish Exhibition and Convention Centre (SECC), Glasgow. It is located a mile West of Glasgow City Centre on the banks of the River Clyde.
For more information: Scotland’s Trade Show
The Toy Fair
The Toy Fair is the premier game and hobby event that gives visitors access to the hottest and most anticipated products for the year ahead among more than 260 brands. There are innovative start-ups, alongside major companies such as Hasbro, Bandai and Vivid Imaginations, hands-on demonstrations and expert-led talks. The Relaxation Garden offers complimentary reflexology and massages so you ‘can take a break from the hustle and bustle of the busy show floor’.
Visit: 24th-26th January 2017 at Olympia, London.
For more information: Toy Fair
Bubble London is a premium children’s trade show, visited by buyers and members of the press that is held at the Business Design Centre, Islington. At each event you’ll find a unique, edited line-up of kid’s fashion, accessories, gifts and homeware brands.
Visit: 29th and 30th January 2017 at the Design Centre, London.
For more information: Bubble
The London Textile Fair
For fashion fabrics and clothing accessories, buttons, bows and everything in between, it might be worth a peek at the London Textile Fair. The fair takes place at The Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0QH. Manufacturers and their agents have the opportunity to showcase their products to buyers and designers.
They have a really interesting and admirable ethos. Each exhibitor is given a single stand, chairs, rails and a sign, so that all exhibitors are promoted equally from a level playing field. ‘Whether a large or a small manufacturer the modular format of single tables offers an equal opportunity for all.’
5th Feb to the 9th Feb, 2017.
For more information: London Textile Fair
Jewellery & Watch Birmingham
Coinciding with Spring Fair, and taking place in February, a key buying month, Jewellery & Watch is ‘perfectly timed to attract over 22,000 powerful decision-making buyers who come to find inspiration, innovation and to stock up for the forthcoming seasons.’
You can find the Jewellery and Watch Fair at the NEC in Birmingham between the 5th to the 8th February 2017.
For more information: Jewellery and Watch
Similar to the Autumn Fair above – but even bigger! Spring Fair Birmingham is billed as the UK’s number one home and gift event and spans numerous halls. If you thought Autumn Fair was tiring, you ain’t seen nothing yet. A colourful conglomeration of mass and independent retailers, there’s something here for everyone regardless of budget. Pre book your ticket and entrance is free and there’s plenty of parking and public transport.
Volume opens 4th February, and then everyone is welcome between 5th – 9th February 2017.
For more information: Spring Fair NEC
If you’re considering a business making your own beauty products, here’s a trade fair for you. You can find here the raw materials and ingredients needed for cosmetics, toiletries and personal care. There are 700+ exhibitors of ingredients, fragrances, lab equipment, testing and regulatory solutions with over 9,000 cosmetic manufacturers worldwide. It’s a cost-effective business and networking opportunity.
In-cosmetics 2016 show was the biggest show to date, so it’s looking good for 2017. You’ll find it at ExCeL in London on 4th to the 6th April 2017.
For more information: In Cosmetics
Internet Retailing Expo
If you’re looking for tips on maximising your online presence, this could be the show for you. The Internet Retailing Expo is the place to find a complete range of products and services essential in multichannel retail, and hosts over 6000 European retailers and 300+ exhibitors from UK and abroad who specialise in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.
Visit: 5th-6th April 2017 | Hall 9, The NEC Birmingham, Pendigo Way, Birmingham, West Midlands B40 1NT.
For more information: Internet Retailing Expo
London Stationery Show
This is the one for me. I have a thing about notebooks! The leading UK exhibition for stationery and writing instruments, The London Stationery Show is a two-day stationery extravaganza held at the stylish Business Design Centre. If you buy or sell writing and paper products, or are thinking of doing so, this is trade show and exhibition for you.
Visit 25th – 26th April 2017, at the Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 0QH
For more information: London Stationery Show
Harrogate, Home and Gift Trade Fair
If you’re based in the Northern half of the country, Harrogate home and gift trade show is a good trade show to visit. With thousands of new products on display, as well as all the old favourites, there’s plenty to choose from. You’re able to take the opportunity to learn from the experts, as the Great Northern Retail Forum provides buyers and brands alike with fantastic retail insight from Google, John Lewis, Tom Kerridge and others. The show promises a traditional northern welcome, and you can visit between the 16th and 19th July 2017.
For more information: Harrogate, Home and Gift Trade Fair
London’s Off-Price Show
One of Wholesale Clearance favourite shows, and one that we’ve exhibited in ourselves, is the London Off-Price Show. Focusing mainly on fashion, they cover a broad spectrum of womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, footwear, sportswear and accessories. Established in 2000, and occurring next in March 2017, the Off-Price Show is brings together suppliers and buyers for just two busy days and offers buyers high quality fashion at unbelievably low prices, available to order immediately from stock from wholesalers, importers and specialist suppliers, from Europe and overseas meaning suppliers can deliver quickly.
There are also Business Improvement Seminars, which are free to attend when you register to attend the show.
Visit March 2017 (Dates tbc) | Venue Generally Olympia Exhibition Centre, Hammersmith Road, London W14 8UX, but March 2017 subject to confirmation.
For more information: London’s Off-Price Show
If you’d like to see some of our stock, and you fancy a giggle, check us out on YouTube visiting the show in 2013, right here.