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The Benevolent Society Christmas Ball: Early bird tickets available until 31st August

The Benevolent Society Annual Christmas Ball, incorporating the NAJ Awards will be held on Thursday 13th December 2018 at the St John’s Hotel, Solihull.

We are pleased to announce that Jewellery and Watch will be the charity headline sponsor of the event. Other Charity Sponsors confirmed so far also include: NEC, T H March Group, Charles Green, Hockley Mint, Cooksongold and River Mounts Jewellery.
Following the huge success of the 2017 Ball, the Christmas theme will be back, bigger and better than before! The event is one of the main events of our industries’ calendar and a great way to celebrate the festive season with colleagues, customers & friends.

Tickets purchased before 1st September will be at the special early bird rate:

Individual tickets: £79+VAT
Table of 12: £869+ VAT

All tickets include half a bottle of wine and an entry into the all new premium raffle.

To reserve your tickets or for sponsorship opportunities please contact Gill Price – or on 0121 237 1138.

Notes to editor:

The Benevolent Society, charitable society of the British Allied Trades Federation financially assists individuals that have worked within the giftware, jewellery, surface engineering, travel goods and fashion accessories industries. Registered Charity number 208722.

The British Allied Trades Federation (BATF) is a company limited by guarantee which comprises five trade associations. Together these represent approximately 2,500 enterprises from the jewellery, giftware, surface engineering and travel goods and accessories industry sectors. Collectively BATF members employ an estimated 46,000 people and produce annual sales worth in the region of £22 billion.


Laura Banner, Secretary, The Benevolent Society, 07985611209





As more of our members are looking at overseas trade shows and the economic climate rapidly changes, The Giftware Association has partnered up with Cielo Blu Events, who specialise in overseas events and promoting international shows, as well as offering expert advice to companies looking to export within their business or increase their international market visibility.  Working across many shows they help UK businesses choose the right shows for them.

The GA spoke to Benjamin Redwood from Cielo Blu Events to discuss a bit more about what they do.

Name Benjamin Redwood

Name of company Cielo Blu Events Ltd

What does your company do? and how can it help The Giftware Association members

Based in the United Kingdom, we represent two very distinctive and accomplished international exhibition organizers: Fiera MilanoIFP Group.

We assist UK businesses navigate to the most suitable, and profitable international exhibitions organized by our partners.

Our partners deliver leading, trade-only exhibitions in the following countries and sectors; Italy (Giftware and consumer goods) and Qatar (Hospitality, HORCA and giftware), creating a pathway for UK exhibitors to access to these markets.

We promote our partners international exhibitions and engage with our UK customers and potential customers. We offer expert advice to companies with a requirement to stimulate their export business or increase their international market visibility.

Where are you based and how long have you been trading?

We’re based in South West Hertfordshire.  Our location gives us easy access to London, the M4, M25 and the M1.  We’ve been trading now for 18 months. However, I have near 10 years’ experience working in the exhibition industry.  5 of those with Sherwood Events who are UK agents for Messe Frankfurt and the other 4 I was based in Dubai as a Project manager for Messe Frankfurt Middle East.  My knowledge of the global markets and the experiences dealing with such diverse customer base was completely invaluable.

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What three words best describe your shows? Mid-to-luxury, design led, business focused.

What three words best describe your activities? Partners, networkers and promoters.

Do you have a website?

Do you use social media to promote your business? Yes Twitter

Do you do any advertising/PR? Do you have any news or success stories that you can share? Yes,

When we became UK agents for HOMI, our first major UK exhibitor at the fair was SIFCON plc, who just happens to be a GA member.  They joined HOMI in Milano ( for the first time in January 2018 with a substantial booth size.

“We have had the pleasure of working with Benjamin Redwood and Cielo Blu Events Ltd on several occasions. Every time we have been left impressed by the level of professionalism showed by the company and the level of care taken into every detail to ensure that we can achieve the best possible result using their knowledge of the industry by suggesting steps that would benefit our business as a whole.

Working with Celio Blu Events Ltd we have been able to break into the Italian market in the year 2018. The fact that they were able to negotiate on our behalf a great position at the HOMI show in January, meant that we benefitted from great exposure and are now looking to expand further in order to maximise our presence on the Italian market.”

Which trade magazines do you read?

  • Attire Accessories magazine
  • Boutique-magazine
  • Craft Focus magazine
  • Furniture news
  • Kitchen and tableware international
  • Gift Focus magazine
  • Hospitality Interiors magazine
  • Interiors Monthly
  • Retail Jeweller

What top tip could you give to people thinking of starting out making/supplying gifts in the exhibiting world? 

Pick the right type of show and don’t be put off by a previous experience. With good communication and relationships with the organisers or agents, there’s never anything that can’t be rectified.  Set a realistic goal.  Be prepared for all eventualities and make sure to carry out any follow-ups.

Do you feel the economic climate is improving? And how is it affecting your side of the industry? 

I believe we are in a transition period, in the sense that the market is moving, but not at the rate previously seen, due to the uncertainty of Brexit.  During my recent visits to Europe and the Middle East, businesses on the continent and further afield see now, more than ever, the importance to have some sort of UK representation.

What do you see as being the biggest problem for suppliers of giftware in the current climate?

The potential import/export tariffs, travel document requirements.  However, with Brexit upon the horizon, there will be opportunities for UK business to enter new markets and develop new partnerships without EU restrictions.

For their upcoming show HOMI in Milan (14 – 17th September 2018), there is still space available, please get in touch with a member of the team if you are interested and we can forward your details to the organisers.

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The Giftware Association are happy to announce we will again be supporting Farm Shop & Deli Show taking place next April 8th – 10th at NEC Birmingham, to ensure that giftware products can be promoted to the 1000s of independent retailers who attend.

And, to support their fellow Giftware Association members to help you to be part of this unmissable event, Farm Shop & Deli Show are offering preferential rates to members who wish to exhibit, supported by marketing campaigns to highlight giftware products and exhibitors at the show.

About Farm Shop & Deli Show
Market leading Farm Shop & Deli Show is the ideal showcase to reach the UK’s specialist food retail market. However, it’s not just about food. Whether you have fantastic gift ideas and seasonal products that can provide additional revenues or the latest services and equipment to maximise a retailer’s business, Farm Shop & Deli Show provides you with the perfect launch pad into this exciting and expanding marketplace.

Who attends the show?
Farm Shop & Deli Show has become the annual meeting place for the speciality food and drink retail community who come to see, sample and source from the diverse range of products on offer.  The show attracts decision makers countrywide from cafes & coffee shops, delicatessens, farm shops, food halls, garden centres, gift shops, local shops and online retailers – to name just a few.

Why you need to be part of it:

  • Visitors to the 2018 show increased by 53% on the previous year with a record 6032 buyers attending
  • 93% of visitors discovered or sourced products they wouldn’t have otherwise found
  • Record number of exhibitors have already rebooked their 2019 stand – with over 50% doing so while still at this year’s show
  • 2019 is set to be the biggest show yet, with the floorplan already expanded to meet demand
  • This is the only show that focuses on the growing farm shop & deli market.

Don’t just take our word for it, read and hear what their 2018 exhibitors said here.

 Farm Shop & Deli Show opens doors that cold calls can’t and wins you face-time with the professionals that make decisions daily. Don’t miss your chance to make the connection that really pays dividends, in person.

To find out more visit or contact Mat Rose, Commercial Director 01293 846506





Our designGAP Directory is a great way for artists, designers and makers to showcase their products and contemporary collections to an audience of galleries, museums and heritage sites. The GA/ designGAP team distribute the brochure at specialist shows as well as sending out to a large network of buyers promoting our members work.

As with The Giftware Association’s yearbook, the designGAP directory features members from designGAP in an easy to read format that has been used as a unique and comprehensive resource by buyers looking for talent and innovative creative thinking in art, craft, design, fashion, interiors and jewellery.

Each member is listed alphabetically and features images, contact details and a short bio of the company or maker. Enabling buyers and retailers a quick and easy to use reference for new and exciting products.

The directory has been going for many years in different incarnations and has always focused on the concept of designGAP, representing contemporary artist makers and designer producers from small fledgling businesses to fully established companies. DesignGAP was established by Dr Shirley Frost in 1980 who based it on her personal experience as a designer, artist, lecturer and wanted to help like-minded individuals.

If you are interested or would like to be part of our designGAP directory or to discuss membership and how we can help you, then please get in touch with or

Highlight - Yearbook

Alternatively,  The Giftware Association Yearbook is back for another year celebrating and focusing on the products and ranges from our wonderful members. Over the past year we have worked hard to distribute the book amongst the buying community in the home and gift world.  We have sent the book to key buyers, presented them out at our Meet The Buyer events and at the many many trade shows, we have already visited throughout the year.

The image led yearbook gives a platform to our members to get in front of new buyers and to get their products projected to a new platform. With a short description linking to members social media, websites and contact details and a choice of layouts the yearbook is a great advertising opportunity and gives our members a chance to shine, and this year we are hoping to go bigger and better with a digital version which we can spread further afield.

Last year the book was a hit with buyers, who appreciated the easy to read layout, the information and the quality of the images with them being easy to have round the office to view products and inspiration. Featuring the huge array of diversity of our members, we had jewellery companies, candle brands to toy manufacturers and everything in between.

If you are interested or would like to be part of our designGAP directory or to discuss membership and how we can help you, then please get in touch with or


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Our specialist service members only QDOS can offer your business the protection it needs by business services for your protection and peace of mind. These employer focussed services are included in your membership.


The HR Service

Being employer focussed, the advice that is given is always In the best interests of the employer rather than the employee. With the increase of false employment claims leading to expensive tribunals and court cases, the HR Service protects your business with covering the cost of claims under the HR insurance. On top of this are over 350 free downloadable employment documents from contracts, paternity and maternity leave materials and an advice line that you can use alongside these documents.


The Health & Safety Service

With work place safety and health and well-being ever present in today’s working environment, the advice line is available to for unlimited call and access to specialist advice. As will all our advice lines there is an attached website that has over 200 free downloadable health and safety documents including policies, procedures and forms.


The Legal Service

The legal service advice line and documents are designed to keep your company operating within the law of your sector with over 200 documents and a help line to use alongside the phone service you will be able to find anything that covers all your legal needs


The Tax Service

The tax services helps when you receive an unexpected tax bill or VAT enquiry , the service offers you unlimited access to experienced tax advisors and VAT advisors.

These services give you unlimited access to no less than five business advice lines and a website which features over 750 downloadable template documents.

Not only that but you are protected by £1,000,000 of legal expenses insurance which includes employment cover and tax enquiry cover.

If you are a member you should have received your unique login, but speak to a member of our team if you have misplaced it. If you want to become a member to take part in these fantastic purchase then please get in touch.


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