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



Gift of the Year is the biggest product competition in the gift and home industry, and grows every year. This year, it’s even more beneficial to enter.

Why should I enter?
In past years we have assembled judging panels of around 20 retailers, but this year we are outdoing ourselves: we’re aiming for a panel of 50 retail buyers, trade press editors and other industry grandees. We already have 20 judges confirmed, and they come from retailers large and small across our industry. Every product will be seen by the judges, which is an amazing chance for you to showcase your newest and best designs.

From the day you enter, you will be entitled to use our ‘Nominated for Gift of the Year’ branding, and you might very well see your entry featured on our social media and other publications, such as our monthly newsletter.

If you are shortlisted, the PR opportunities only grow, and of course, the winners will be awarded at a prestigious event hosted by Ascential Events at Spring Fair. The winner of the ‘Judges’ Choice’ will be given a free stand at Autumn Fair 2018.

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What makes something a Gift of the Year?
The judges are looking at all facets of a product. What are the trade and retail prices? Does the product represent a current or returning trend in giftware? Does it have that special something, the x-factor, that makes a product stand out to retailers and high street customers?

With the range of categories on offer, there’s a place for every product currently (or soon to be) on the market. Newer products are best – products that haven’t been on the market before January 2017, or maybe won’t be until February 2018. If you’re not sure whether your products are eligible, or what category to put them into, get in touch and the Gift of the Year team will be more than happy to advise.

How many products can I enter?
As many as you like! There is no limit on how many products you can enter into a category or how many categories you can enter the same product into.

What are the competition’s key dates?
The competition closes on Friday 24th November. The judges will then look at the online entries and put together a shortlist for each category, which will be announced on the 11th of December.

If you are shortlisted, we will ask for physical samples of your products to be sent in to us, so that the judges can deliberate in person. The live judging day will be on Thursday 11th January. and of course the winners will be announced at Spring Fair, on Sunday 4th February.

Do I have to pay for entries?
The entry cost is £50 for a GA member (£35 for entries after the first), and £75 for everyone else (£55 for entries after the first).

Until the end of September, as ever, the rate is lower for everyone as a thank you for getting your entries in early.

How do I get started?
Click ‘Enter Now’ below to begin. If you have any questions at any point, please