Scotland Trade Fair 2

Ten days to go until Scotland’s Trade Fair opens on 21 January as one of the biggest shows yet with a huge and diverse range of exhibitors. With a new layout and many enhanced features, the 2018 Show will allow buyers easier navigation and a better buying arena.

The Launch Gallery for new young companies and the Craft Gallery have greater prominence in the centre of the Show with a new ‘block’ layout. The Best Product Awards judged on Sun 21 at 9am will also be more visible allowing the ‘best in Show’, as judged by industry experts National Trust for Scotland buyer Gemma McQue, Top Drawer Gifts Jenny Morrison and Brodie Countryfare’s Anna Taylor.

The Seminar theatre will be offering informative and valuable tips for retailers throughout the three days on all topics from social media, digital marketing, Trip Advisor, making your own promotional videos to the future of retail, Brexit and retail and many more relevant themes.

Mark Saunders, Director of the Show said: “We are encouraged by the wealth of talent and innovation displayed by our exhibitors. We believe this Show offers many top quality and inspirational products that will appeal to the many thousands of visitors whom we look forward to seeing on 21 Jan.”

For further press information, please contact:

Fenella Taylor at Fenella Taylor PR

Tel: 01389 830390/ 07721 324696      



IMG_4013.JPGThe finalists have finally been announced. The Gift of the Year live judging day took place at The Button Factory in Birmingham on Thursday 11th January, in the home city of The Giftware Association.

With industry judges ranging from retailers like Mark Jones and Lindsey Adams to group buyer Mike Cook from Choice Marketing.  The judges arrived early to judge the 15 categories and chose their favorites of the day and choose the ultimate judges choice winner too, The products were put through their paces and some tough decisions were made.

With a hard to choose from selection of gifts ranging from Stormtrooper speakers, make your own beer kits and teddy bears. The judges whittled down the entries and selected the finalists for the awards night in February.

Sarah Ward CEO Of The Giftware Association, said of the day ” Today was a great success and we got some great feedback from the judges with the general consensus being that the companies are upping their creativeness year on year which is making the judging day harder and harder, also to see all the products in one room is great to recognise all the hard work that has gone into this year competition”

All the finalists can be viewed here


TH March Gold Award

UK Jewellery, Giftware & Allied Trades specialist insurance brokers, T H March, kicked off 2018 with the news that the company had earned an ‘exceptional’ gold rating for the second consecutive year from leading independent business assessment company, Investor in Customers (IIC).

The detailed analysis carried out by IIC focuses on customer experience by measuring excellence in the field of customer service by using direct customer feedback. It is a process that is most definitely NOT for the faint-hearted but ultimately it provides highly valuable insights for organisations that are willing to open themselves up to scrutiny.

T H March’s Managing Director, Neil McFarlane (pictured with the award) explains: “We are always keen to know what our customers and staff really think so that we can continue to improve on what we do. Three years ago we decided to take a deep breath and let a third party (IIC) talk directly to our customers.

We definitely learned lessons from the experience and have since been able to refine our offering because of it. First time around we were awarded two stars (silver) which was good but of course we wanted the top rating. Second time we achieved three stars (gold) and we were thrilled to have maintained the top spot with gold again – third time lucky!”

TH March Gold Award 1

He added:

“Our gold rating means that THM consistently meets the standards laid down in all aspects (of the survey), to a high level with an average score of 8 or above and, to put this into perspective, only 33% of the companies assessed by IIC since it was founded 11 years ago have managed to gain the old (formerly 3-star) award. We have now managed it on two consecutive years”.

Below are just some of the responses from customers to IIC’s questions which sought to understand what customers really think. The responses came after customers were asked:

How likely they were to recommend TH March to others and then to explain why they had answered as they did.         

  • This is an excellent specialist company whose staff use common sense and kindness when dealing with any query.  They provide excellent value for money and do what they say they are going to do without a quibble.
  • I am very happy with the insurance policy I have through T H March and would rate the company as very good so I would recommend for Household Insurance.
  • I received fantastic customer service and all the information provided was very clear. I then received emails and correspondence as I had been promised.
  • Because TH March answer the phone – with a real person!
  • TH March met my needs when others struggled to. The staff were friendly and very helpful.
  • Excellent experience. Was able to make a bespoke insurance plan for when I was traveling abroad to propose to my girlfriend. TH March made this simple and clearly stated the terms of the insurance cover.
  • Good team and always there if you need them.  Very good service.
  • Never had an issue that the staff were not able to resolve in a caring and efficient manner.
  • Because for private and business insurance over many years I have found them easy and trustworthy to deal with.
  • They were proactive and managed to negotiate down the price of our home insurance cover without being instructed to do so.



Top Drawer 18

It’s only one week to go until Top Drawer S/S18 – an unmissable event bringing you the world’s most exciting, design-led lifestyle brands and designers.

6 top reasons to join us at Top Drawer:

·         See thousands of new products and new brands from our S/S18 exclusive edit of 1,500 UK and international design-led brands all in one location.

·         Each exhibitor is carefully selected by our panel of experts to ensure beautiful design, creative integrity, great quality, originality and commercial appeal.

·         The majority of brands are showing exclusively at Top Drawer this January, so you won’t see them anywhere else.

·         As the first trade show of the year, brands make their world product launches here meaning you will be the very first to see them.

·         This January’s edition has expanded to give you more scope and scale. Showcasing products across Home, Gift, Fashion and Craft plus Food Emporium and Spotted.

·         Hear expert voices at PaperFest, with speakers from Selfridges, Facebook, Vogue Living, Farrow & Ball and more >.

Register now to access all this and more. It only takes 30 seconds to confirm your complimentary ticket (saving you £50 onsite entrance fee). 

We look forward to seeing you at Olympia, London on 14–16 January.




Stationery Show 18.jpg

New features, a great speaker line up, plenty of ‘hands-on’ opportunities and a bumper exhibitor and brands line-up is on the cards for next year’s London Stationery Show.

The organising team, led by event manager Hazel Fieldwick, is currently finalising the details of what promises to be the UK’s biggest specialist retail stationery trade show to date.

Running over two days at the end of April at the Business Design Centre in London, 2018 will mark the show’s eighth year.  It is on target to top the 145-exhibitor, and hundreds more brands, line-up from 2017 and will include the industry’s premier stationery new product awards, an engaging Creative Stationery workshop area, two days of live talks and presentations for retailers, plus a new ‘On Trend’ display area and new ‘Trend Tours’ of the show for visitors run by trend forecasting agency Scarlet Opus.
“We’re introducing some great initiatives this year – which includes a special pre-show briefing session in January for exhibitors and any other suppliers interested in taking part in our workshops and ‘On Trend’ initiative, or just finding out more about the show and who visits,” says Hazel.
“Since the show started in 2011 it has changed tremendously, moving from office products to retail and design-led stationery.  So, if suppliers haven’t exhibited or visited for some time we urge them to come along and find out what’s changed and more about our plans for 2018.”

Any suppliers who’d like to find out more about the show’s plans for 2018 are welcome to attend the briefing,which will be held on 10 January at the Business Design Centre in London.  Just contact Zoe Chinery on 020 7772 8417 or via for more details.



Are you one of the entrants to make it past the first hurdle for Gift of the Year 2018? It’s been a tough contest, with a high standard of entries, but it’s time to find out which brands and buyers have made it through to the 2018 shortlist?

The winners will be announced in front of 400 of the industry’s best and brightest at The Vox on Sunday 4 February 2018. Have you got your seat at the table?

Join us for an evening of excitement, glamour and laughs, hosted by celebrity impressionist Rory Bremner and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the awards and the winners of 2018 in style.





The competition has closed, and even now our panel of 50 judges are combing through every product to vote them onto the Gift of the Year 2018 shortlist.

Already we have had comments from several of the judges praising the quality of the entries, with one saying that the category they were reviewing was “better than any other… competition entry pool [they]’ve ever seen.” It’s a ringing endorsement and absolutely deserved across all of our product categories. Look out for nominated products shown on our Twitter and Instagram feeds in the coming weeks.

Also watch this space for word of the shortlist, which will be announced at around 1pm on Thursday, 14th of December. After that, it’s an exciting time for us and entrants alike, as sample products will start steaming their way toward us in preparation for the final stage of judging, which will happen here in Birmingham on the 11th of January.

Don’t forget that the retailer categories are still open, for retailers and buying teams who have done well over the past year or so. If you want to nominate yourself or suggest to one of your stockists that they put themselves forward, take a look at the categories.

In the mean time, keep your fingers crossed!

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