Events, Shows and Exhibitions

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People at Glee in 2018

As garden retailing continues to thrive, with double digit year-on-year growth, the future for our industry continues to look bright. One place where this optimism will shine through will be the forthcoming Glee exhibition (10th – 12th September, NEC Birmingham), where 550 plus suppliers will join with 7,000 UK and international key decision makers, buyers and trend setters, to showcase the future of gardening.  

Matthew Mein, Glee’s Event Director, said: “The market is reporting a strong start to the 2019 season, with sales up 37% year-on-year. A combination of good weather, and consumers retreating to their homes in a time of economic uncertainty, has paid dividends for our industry. As such we move into the 2019 event with a sense of excitement regarding the future development and growth of our sector. From an engaged audience, the potential of the ‘millennial pound’, new tech hitting the market, and a wealth of existing ranges continuing to hit the mark, Glee 2019 will be a thriving hub for the garden retail market, offering unrivalled value for both suppliers and visitors.”

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The Crystal Maze challenge at GIMA Charity Day

A successful day and night of fundraising was had by all who recently attended the 10th annual GIMA Charity Day, held at Telford Hotel and Golf Resort on 6th June.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019, the event brought together garden industry suppliers and retailers, with 18 four ball teamscompeting for the GIMA Golf trophy, and two teams battling it out on the new-for-2019 Crystal Maze course.

This year saw the team from Hartman retain the golf crown having also won in 2018, with a superb score of 86. Sunshine Garden Centre and Mr Fothergills Seeds following closely behind with 85 and 84 points respectively.

Hole 7 was once again home to the ‘beat the pro’ competition where teams donated a minimum of £5 per player to place their ball closer to the pin than the hotel’s resident professional.  This year 13 individuals proved they had what it takes to take on the pro, with the winners being Derek Bunker, Simon Mulholland, Paul Crossland, Patrick Thick, Chris Daws, Steve Ainscough, Keith Laird, John Ducker, Phil Harrison, Pete Bunker, Aide Lewis, Simon Davidson, and Antony Barrett. 

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Glee logo

Confirmed exhibitors, both new and existing, are invited to join the forthcoming Glee Exhibitor Workshop (June 25th, Poplars Garden Centre in Toddington), where the team will be joined by leading retailers and partner agencies to help exhibitors maximise their time at the show.

Recognising the significant investment of exhibiting, the one-day event is designed to help suppliers optimise their return on investment. Key sessions will focus on Glee’s dedicated marketing, logistics, PR and social media support, as well as advice on how to drive more pre-show buyer engagement. Details of Glee’s many wider opportunities, including the Retail Lab, will also be outlined. Together this wealth of information will arm exhibitors with an unrivalled portfolio of tools and advice to ensure their time before, during and after Glee is as hardworking as it can be.  

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Exclusively Housewares - First Dates' Cici Coleman checks out the show where gifts, cookware and housewares are showcased

The final thrust for the 2019 shows is in full swing as the days’ countdown to Exclusively 2019. With over 150 exhibitors, not only do we have more housewares exhibitors than at any other UK show, we can now delve deeper into the star-studded line-up and highlight what visitors can expect to see.

A big trend that is emerging is that of exhibitor’s products with eco credentials.  25% of our exhibitors are showcasing products with eco credentials, including Eddingtons, Huski, Smidge, Neat Ideas and Dexam with qualities stated as biodegrageable, earth-friendly, minimal impact on the environment and made with recycled materials.

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GIMA Awards

Following in the footsteps of Stephen Mangan, Rufus Hound, Tim Vine, Russell Kane and Hal Cruttenden, it has been confirmed that Vernon Kay, star of TV and radio, will host the 39th annual GIMA Awards.

Vernon has had a varied career, starting in the world of modelling before moving into TV with the hugely popular Channel 4 show, T4.  From here, Vernon’s star continued to rise. He presented his own Radio 1 weekend show for six years, before moving to Radio X. ‘Mr Entertainment’, Vernon’s TV CV includes All Star Family Fortunes, Splash!,  ITV’s Beat The Star, Just the Two of Us (which he hosted alongside his wife, Tess Daly), as well a leading the NFL Highlights coverage for Channel 4and Sky Sports, and hosting Formula E for Discovery. 

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Purple plants in pots at The Great British Growing Awards

In an exciting move to help build Glee’s ongoing relationships with consumer media and their readers, it has been confirmed that Grow Your Own magazine will once again be bringing its annual Great British Growing Awards to Glee 2019.

Having hosted the ceremony to critical acclaim at Glee 2018, following a move from their previous home at the Edible Gardening Show, the Great British Growing Awards is back! These awards recognise all that is great within the gardening industry – from tool companies, to seed suppliers, garden writers to fruit nurseries and everything in between, as well as garden volunteers and community growing spaces. 

This year, the awards will be supported by a panel of industry stalwarts making up the judging panel, including Katie Lane (Lavender & Leeks), Rob Smith, Charles Dowding, Will Livingstone, and the GYO team.  In an exciting move, the winners of the 21 categories for the 2019 awards will not be announced until the exhibition itself, making it an even more thrilling prospect for nominees and the wider market.

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Glee 2019

With catering and food sales continuing to offer major add-on profit opportunities for garden centres, leading garden trade show Glee (10th – 12th September, NEC Birmingham), will be offering retailers extensive inspiration at the newly introducedTaste Village.   

This new Taste Village will provide food and catering suppliers - particularly smaller brands, niche suppliers and start-ups - with the opportunity to participate and exhibit as part of a larger group. 

Offering exclusive exhibition packages, exhibitors within the Taste Village will be able to enjoy an enhanced shell stand exhibition space, a listing within the Glee website and the show’s dedicated preview and catalogue. The close proximity of the Taste Village to the show’s leading feature, the Retail Lab, will also mean great footfall from a range of buyers and key decision makers from a wide range of independent and multiple garden centres.

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Brambles Pet and Wildlife Giveaway Hedgehog Awareness Week logo

Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from 5th – 11th May 2019 and hedgehoggy events are being organised all around the country!

Hedgehog Awareness Week is organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and takes place every year.  It aims to highlight the problems hedgehogs face and how you can help them!

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SOLEX 2019 - Daisies on a green background

The Summer Outdoor Leisure Exhibition or for those in the know SOLEX, will be opening its doors to the most influential buyers from within the garden industry on 9thJuly 2019.  It will be packed full of the freshest designs from 60 LOFA members, with the full A-Z and everything in between that the outdoor and leisure industry has to offer. 

The SOLEX exhibition is all under one roof, and in one hall, so you won’t have to walk for miles and miles to find the most inspirational and innovative products for the 2020 season. In fact it is a great place to do business, this relaxed and friendly exhibition is where you can establish new relationships and develop existing ones. So, whether you are a garden centre, a retail outlet, department store or multiple retailer, SOLEX has everything you could possibly want or need.  

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Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical Shows 2019

The UK's premier showcase of housewares, tabletop and small domestic appliance brands returns in June 2019 as two shows, Exclusively Housewares and Exclusively Electrical, take place in London.

These shows guarantee an explosion of new products, the very latest on trend creations and Christmas gifting collections showcased by the 150 plus exhibitors.

Visitors have the unique opportunity to gain an understanding of the very latest styles and trends interpreted for the housewares market by trend experts Scarlet Opus. They will share their predictions for future high street and internet trends with talks, tours and displays. This is essential inspiring knowledge and is fundamental to purchase decisions to ensure product selected will appeal to today’s consumer. 

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Blooming Marvellous! 12 Gardens Around The World Ahead Of The RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Ahead of the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show, the quintessentially British annual celebration of horticulture and floral design which will delight West London from 21st – 25th May 2019, Hills Balfour rounds up spectacular gardens around the world. From Japanese plum gardens and native Hawaiian botanical parks, to the Chilean flora which has inspired a 2019 RHS Chelsea show garden, here are just some destinations not to be missed in bloom…

Glorious gardens in… 

  1.  Chile
  2.  Nashville 
  3.  Japan with Prince Hotels & Resorts 
  4.  Brecon Beacons 
  5.  Québec in Canada
  6.  Hawai‘i
  7.  Greater Fort Lauderdale 
  8.  Arizona 
  9.  Vienna 
  10. Palm Beaches 
  11. New York City
  12. Trentino in northern Italy 
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Glee at Spring Fair logo

Exhibitors at second Glee at Spring Fair report high levels of orders as buyers from retail powerhouses and independents flock to NEC to do business.

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Matthew Mein, Spring Fair Event Director

As the second annual ‘Glee at Spring Fair’ gets ever closer, the show’s Event Director, Matthew Mein, provides an update on what the industry can expect, and why garden retailers should make the event a ‘must attend’ part of their spring 2019 plans. 

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GCA conference logo

GARDEN centre staff from across the country who attend the GCA's annual conference (January 20 until 23, 2019) can learn how they can become a game changer from guest speaker John Stanley.

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Glee at Spring Fair

With just weeks to go until the second annual Glee at Spring Fair event (3rd – 7th February, NEC Birmingham) the show’s exhibitors reveal what garden and gift buyers can expect to see from this thriving section of the exhibition.