GOTY FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

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

LAST CALL FOR ENTRIES IN THE GIFT OF THE YEAR COMPETITION

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Our ‘Gift of The Year’ competition closes this Friday so this is your last call for entries!

We have over 50 judges in this year’s competition, almost twice as many as ever before. That means your products will be going up in front of our largest ever panel of retail buyers, trade press and industry experts, giving them the recognition they deserve

All entrants will receive branding they can use online or in print, with even more exclusive marketing goodies if your products are shortlisted, become finalists or even win. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony hosted by Spring Fair, and led by our celebrity compere Rory Bremner, on Sunday February 4th.*

The timetable for the competition is now as follows:

  • The closing date is this Friday, the 1st December 2017;
  • Shortlisted companies will be notified w/c 11th December 2017;
  • Shortlisted samples will be required by 8th January 2018.

To enter, visit the Enter Now section on the Gift of the Year website.

The Gift of the Year team is here to help, so if you need guidance please contact us on 0121 237 1142 or email luke.palmer@ga-uk.org.

 

GIFT OF THE YEAR – TWO WEEKS TO GO

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Time is flying, and there are now only two weeks left for you to take the crown in Gift of the Year 2018.

As the Gift of the Year competition hots up, as the weather cools down, we are loving seeing the sheer amount of entries we have received and also the variety of products entering the competition too.  Gift of the Year awards – which will take place on the evening of Sunday 4 February 2018 at Spring Fair – have announced top TV impressionist and comedian Rory Bremner as the host of the glitzy ceremony. the well-known comedian and impressionist will ensure that the evening will be a huge success and the awards are presented in a  true comedic manner that will reflect the fun-loving nature of our industry.

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If you’ve already filled in your product details, you might want to make sure your entries are ship-shape, or even enter a few more categories. If not, you still have plenty of time – but the days keep marching on!

We have around 50 judges in this year’s competition, almost twice as many as ever before. That means your products will be going up in front of our largest ever panel of retail buyers, trade press and industry experts, Here are a select few.

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Lauren has more than 25 years’ experience as a senior brand developer within the arts and museum sector.

As Head of Business Development & Licensing Lauren is responsible for the V&A’s international brand and image licensing programmes and book publishing distribution.  The V&A’s extraordinarily diverse collections inspire and excite designers, retailers, manufacturers, publishers and broadcasters in multiple categories and territories.

 

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Heidi is the  Owner and Director of Detail Retail Limited. She has had a long and passionate affair with design and all things creative from a young age before moving into the Gifting Industry with detail retail. Ten years on the Detail brand is now established and a proud showcase in all areas of design. We have grown and seasoned to settle again close to my original roots in Cumbria, selling beautifully designed gifts and stationery. Our continued support for small businesses is constantly rewarding and exciting.

I love art in all its forms; I am an avid gallery goer and actively seek out the curious and quirky, trying to give our shoppers an insight into the unordinary.

 

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Nikki Straw has worked in the industry for ten years – the last six having been spent at A Fly Went By – her shop in Southwell, Nottinghamshire. The shop provides a unique, eclectic and wonderfully eccentric mix of products along with some of those long-forgotten items from our childhood.

Nikki is passionate about finding products that are different and yet still appealing to her ever-growing customer base, with this in mind A Fly Went By sources one off vintage finds, as well as searching out smaller artisan makers and buying from well-established brands

All entrants will receive branding they can use online or in print, with even more exclusive marketing goodies if your products are shortlisted, become finalists or even win. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony hosted by Spring Fair on Sunday, February 4th.*

The timetable for the competition is as follows:

The closing date is 24th November 2017;

Shortlisted companies will be notified w/c 11th December 2017;

Shortlisted samples will be required by 8th January 2018.

To enter, visit the Enter Now section on the Gift of the Year website.

The Gift of the Year team is here to help, so if you need guidance please contact us on 0121 237 1142 or email luke.palmer@ga-uk.org.

 

 

 

GIFT OF THE YEAR

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With Gift of the Year still open, there is plenty of time for you to put your best products in front of our panel of judges. With still six weeks to go until the competition closes, we wanted to talk about the perks of entering, and what you get just for ‘showing up’.

Why enter?

One of the most common questions we hear is, “What do I get for entering, if there are hundreds of products entered alongside mine?” and we thought we would answer that question here.

Aside from the overall winner of the Judges’ Choice, who receives a free stand at Autumn Fair as well as a Gift of the Year trophy, there are the category winners. This year there are 18 categories, including the three new retailer categories. Winning in one of these can be hugely beneficial, as we found when we asked some of last year’s winners. Rod from Transomnia said, “While our winning entry… was already a top seller for us, the award has undoubtedly helped to push sales even higher. It’s… running at almost twice the sales value of the next-best-seller.”

For the products which are highly commended by the judges, there is the prestige of appearing in the Winners Brochure that we produce. This is a high quality publication distributed to thousands of retailers throughout the year, including at major trade shows. As well as that, highly commended products are displayed alongside the winners at Spring Fair and Autumn Fair in a dedicated Gift of the Year space.

If your products are shortlisted, then they will be viewed in person by our entire panel of judges, who make enquiries every year to shortlisted companies who catch their eye. Many of our judges are prominent in the trade press, so the exposure is excellent for the cost of an entry fee. Shortlisted companies are also highlighted in the Winners Brochure.

As well as all of the above, every single product that enters receives our exclusive ‘Nominated’ branding so that you can show off the fact that you’re on the road to being a Gift of the Year winner. Some entrants even print Nominated tent cards to send out to their retailer customers. On top of that, every entry is guaranteed to be seen by our judges during the first stage of judging, which happens online. Last year more than one of the judges asked for a list of every single entrant in a category so that they could make enquiries, so even if your product goes no further in the competition, you can know that it will be seen by the right people.

 

Who are the judges?

As we have proudly stated previously, we are looking for a panel of around 50 judges from across our industry. So far we have confirmed almost 40, so it looks as though we will be smashing all records this year.

The best thing for the competition, and the entries, and the companies who submit them, is that the judging panel reflects the diversity of our industry. On that basis we have reached out to a broad variety of judges from larger national chains to independent high street retailers; those on the high street and those who only operate online. We have also invited all major publications in the trade press, to make sure that the products entered have as much of a chance of exposure as possible.

“The competition is meant to show the current trends in the gift industry,” says Luke Palmer, the competition’s project manager. “The resulting brochure is a directory that tells retailers what should be flying off their shelves, so it’s important to find judges who are aware of what’s fashionable – who better than the retailers whose businesses depend on them knowing?”

This year we are welcome judges from, among others: the National Trust, Not on the High Street, Fortnum and Masons, and Choice Marketing. More are being added each week, and if you are interested in joining our judging panel, please contact chris.workman@ga-uk.org and tell us about yourself. “For the judges, it’s a fantastic chance to see some cutting edge products, sometimes before they’ve come onto the market,” adds Luke.

 

TO ENTER THE COMPETITION CLICK HERE

ENTER GIFT OF THE YEAR 2018

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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 emailluke.palmer@ga-uk.org

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