Spring Fair organiser Emap Connect is keen to take all the opportunities it can to forge stronger ties with the licensing community.
The largest retail trade event in the UK, Spring Fair 2011 kicked off at Birmingham's NEC on Sunday February 6th and runs until February 10th. Licensed merchandise has always been a key part of the mix, but as licensed products have assumed greater importance for its customers - on both the retail and supply side - so they have become more important for Emap Connect.
"Spring Fair is where the tone of the UK gift and home retailing calendar is set for the year ahead," Emap Connect's Charlotte Cowell told Licensing.biz. "This is the place to judge the mood of the various markets, network with clients and suppliers, get a feel for what is going to be hot out on the street and generally keep abreast of industry developments.
"We often find that even when suppliers take a break from exhibiting, they'll usually visit the show anyway as it's just too important to miss. It's the best place to spot future trends and to keep abreast of what your competitors are doing."
Emap Connect is keen to build the profile of the show within the licensing community - it is currently the headline sponsor of popular annual event, The Licensing Awards, for example - and would be "delighted" to welcome brand owners to the show, Cowell commented.
"For it to work there would need to be a dedicated zone for licensing companies, with its own branding, website and so on, but the whole of Spring Fair is being re-edited for 2012 and re-zoning is going to be a big part of that, so watch this space."