Louis Vuitton, Pinterest and the V&A lead speaker programme at Spring Fair 2019

  • Main Stage, Retail Skills Theatre and The Studio set to inform and inspire visitors
  • 2019 speakers and workshops to challenge visitors’ perceptions of retail

Spring Fair 2019 will play host to three exciting theatre and workshop spaces, each delivering their own unique and dedicated area of retail insight. The individual stages will host a myriad of speakers and workshops, offering attendees the opportunity to network and connect with key 2019 trendsetters and leading sector experts, as well as potential buyers and suppliers. Irrespective of the size and ambition of attending businesses, there’ll be something for everyone.

The Main Stage

The Main Stage speaker agenda will embrace the transformational period which retail is currently going through, offering visitors new ideas and inspiration for 2019 and beyond. The stage will feature a few surprise sessions from outside of the industry, including speakers from the worlds of Formula 1 and the Arts, offering their fresh takes on the retail landscape.

Keynote speakers confirmed for the main stage include, Jo Fairley, entrepreneur and Founder of Green and Blacks; Louis Vuitton’s City Merchandising Manager Davy Pittoors; Tamara Kelly, Shopping Editor for Ideal Home; Gail Willows, Schmidt Programme Manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation; Kate Bailey, Senior Curator for the Victoria and Albert Museum and Diane Wherle, Insights Director for Springboard.

The Studio

Looking at future trends from the luxury and fashion sector will be the Studio stage at Spring Fair. The dedicated stage will showcase emerging design talent, discuss the impact of technology within the sector, and explain how to embrace changes in consumer behaviour – all while delivering valuable business insights from industry leaders. It will also offer technical sessions designed to give new retailers the opportunity to better understand the value and processes behind the products they sell, and these are supported by The National Association of Jewellers, and the De Beers Group Institute of Diamonds.

Speakers on this stage include designer Rachel Galley; Simon Forrester, CEO, National Association of Jewellers; Lucy Reece-Reybould, Executive Director, Company of Master Jewellers; Gary Wroe, Managing Director, Hockley Mint; David Brough, Editor, Jewellery Outlook.

Retail Skills Theatre

New for 2019 is the Retail Skills Theatre, designed to help improve skillsets and provide advice on anything from product photography and packaging to Epos systems, fleet and freighting. The showcase is dedicated to equipping retailers with the information and skills to help their businesses thrive. With a range of workshops and sessions built with online and bricks and mortar retailers in mind, visitors can learn about key aspects of the modern retailing business, from SEO and social media strategies, stock planning and post-Brexit currency management, to in-store and online visual merchandising. The Retail Skills Theatre is a must attend for any retailer wanting to ensure they take advantage of all the opportunities 2019 has to offer.

Undeniably, much of the conversation at Spring Fair 2019 will focus on the topic of Brexit. Potential extension of the transition period notwithstanding, Britain will be leaving the European Union on 29th March next year. With uncertainty as to exactly how supply chains and prices will be affected, Spring Fair can offer reassurance and guidance on how to respond come Brexit day. Visitors will be able to get a feeling for how their suppliers are planning for Brexit as well as quiz industry experts on the likely implications. No matter how Brexit pans out, Spring Fair will be the one-stop-shop for everything you’ll need to know.

Julie Driscoll, managing director of Spring Fair, said: “This year’s Spring Fair will deliver a more diverse line-up of speakers than ever before. With everything from industry heavyweights to newcomers offering a fresh take on how to do business in the retail sector, Spring Fair is ensuring that there’ll be something for everyone at the show. We’re also looking forward to confirming additional heavy weight retail influencers over the coming weeks – watch this space.”

Spring Fair runs from the 3rd to 7th February 2019 at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre. Register to attend for free here: https://bit.ly/2qsR4qr

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