Melbourne Gift Fairs are up & running – do pop in (if you’re up to it !)
Where will all the pop up people be over the next few days ? They’ll be busy at the largest gift and homewares trade show in the southern hemisphere… sourcing (or selling) their stock !
You can always tell when it’s August in Melbourne – there are loads of visitors around the city with Gift Fair bags in hand… either on their way to the exhibition halls (looking bright and cheerful in the mornings), or trudging home at the end of the day (looking a little worse for wear) That’s probably not a kind thing to say (…worse for wear…) – but it’s a fact. The Gift Fairs are hard work for serious buyers – there is a lot of ground (and product) to cover in just a few short days.
Several hundred (or thousand ?) importers, wholesalers and agents have once again set up their wares within our 3 major exhibition venues. The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (South Wharf) and the Melbourne Showgrounds (Ascot Vale) are currently hosting the AGHA Home & Giving Fair and Reed Gift Fairs – both opened their doors this morning (until Wednesday). Regular coaches will shuttle visitors between the venues… most visitors thoroughly tour one location before heading off to the other – but some will do a quick scout of both before heading back for some “serious buying” on later days.
The iconic Royal Exhibition Building (Carlton) is already hallway through four days of Life InStyle – showing more of the boutique and designer brands… “the latest innovations and exclusive launches within the homewares, giftware, apparel, accessories, lifestyle and children’s products space”.
Each Fair offers presentations by leading industry experts (some of those forums are free, other are at a price) and specialty areas (new and innovative products, eco-sourced and fair trade goods…)
The Fairs are “trade only” – not open to the general public. Visitors must present business registration / ABN details etc to attend (must be bona-fide members of the gift, homewares and associated industries). These Fairs are especially targeted to the smaller and independent retailers – including pop-up businesses !
My best advice for novice Gifties is to do your homework in advance (review the Gift Guides, work out who you really want to see), arrive with a broad smile and positive attitude (this is gonna be fun !) – and wear sensible shoes. I guarantee you’ll appreciate those flat shoes long after the novelty of the Fair has waned !
What – Melbourne Gift and Homewares August Fairs
Where – South Wharf, Ascot Vale and Carlton
Gift Fairs – Saturday 6th to Wednesday 10th August, 9am to 6pm (to 3pm Wednesday)
Life InStyle – Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th August, 9am to 6pm (to 5pm Sunday)
images : Google Images – AGHA, Reed, Life InStyle, www.bumhaber.hurriyet.com.tr
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