Gifts Today magazine

Biggest ever Home, Top Drawer & Craft

Successful venue and format changes delivered biggest ever Top Drawer Home and CRAFT at Olympia in London last month

The January edition of Home, Top Drawer and CRAFT which kick started the 2015 buying calendar earlier this month was exceptionally well received. Buyers enthusiastically embraced the new venue and layout, which saw Home, Top Drawer and CRAFT increase in size to span an impressive four halls and two levels at London Olympia.

"The move to Olympia has been tremendously well received, buyers were highly complimentary about the new format and with Home, Top Drawer and CRAFT utilising the entire venue on two levels, it was obvious that the show has grown significantly. With additional features such as the Fashion Catwalk, a whole floor dedicated to Top Drawer and a popular new space for CRAFT, which had doubled in size, this was without question the most successful event we have run to date," said Ian Rudge, brand director.

The event saw an international attendance increase of over 10% along with influential UK buyers including Anthropologie, John Lewis, Liberty, Paul Smith, Marks & Spencer, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Urban Outfitters and Ralph Lauren all in attendance at one of the retail industry's go-to events.

Heals' Will Hobhouse giving his Retail Masterclass

Busy stands and thousands of exciting new product launches from an impressive mix of world-class brands and smaller creative businesses, and a debuting New Talent area created a vibrant atmosphere. A number of successful events within the show were also run over the 3 days. A programme of Retail Masterclasses with guest speakers including Heals' Will Hobhouse and Sebastian Conran drew in an appreciative full-house, much like the addition of the thrice-daily Fashion Accessories Catwalk Show, which added to the vibrant atmosphere.

Growth of Home
Home, which consisted of two key elements, Modern Home Cook & Dine and Decorative Home, recruited its inspiring line-up of high quality exhibitors and exclusive product launches. Design heavyweights, including Bliss Home, Grand Illusions*, LSA International, Alessi, and Forma House, chose Home as their exclusive UK event. The show also saw a strong intake of new Home exhibitors, with Joseph Joseph, Apollo Housewares, Deadgood, George East, ICTC, Grunwerg and Skagerak joining established Home converts such as Gilberts, Stelton, iittala, Universal Expert, Robert Welch, Marimekko, Mini Moderns and Crown Trent.

Craft & Top Drawer growth
Top Drawer set the precedent for new launches within the gift and greeting card sectors with brands including Cubic, Rice, Culinary Concepts, and Nkuku within gift, and Caroline Gardner, Pleased to Meet, Five Dollar Shake and Ohh Dear featured in the greetings card category. 

Also on Level 1, the stand-out second edition of CRAFT grew by more than 50%, attracting groups from as far afield as Thailand and drawing in the support of a growing number of bodies including the British Council.

Another new area was New Talent, which featured new designers from both Home and Top Drawer, gathered together in this dedicated area, allowing buyers to easily locate the hottest new talent, selected by leading journalists and design experts. Spotted with Charlotte Abrahams and the confessions of a design geek Bursary proved highly popular elements of this part of the show.

Press attendance
The show growth saw a healthy increase in press attendance, who rated the content very highly. Instagram activity grew by a staggering 240% as design spotters captured and shared their favourite products. Twitter activity also rose by an impressive 28% as word got out that this was a show not-to-miss. Livingetc shared their show highlights that included Alicja Patanowska, Northwood, Skagerak, Janson & Co, Notre Monde, Fanny Shorter, and Identity Papers on their much read blog, as did cult design blog, Cool Hunting who raved about their finds from the show which ranged from bikes to lamps to cosmic themed dinnerware – highlighting International Studio, Diesel Living + Seletti, Skagerak, Leff Amsterdam as their brands to watch.

The highly successful transition to the new venue means the shows have now found a great new home in West London. Home and Top Drawer will return to London Olympia this Autumn between 13-15 September 2015.

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