Gifts Today magazine

Pulse delivers successful show

Influential buyers convene at Pulse to discover unseen brands from around the globe

This month Pulse welcomed a discerning audience to Olympia to discover and source thousands of cutting-edge products from over 500 exciting brands at the definitive retail event for trend-leading giftware, modern living and retail insight.

International visitors flew in from around the world to generate an overseas attendance increase of 12 per cent, while attendance from leading retail multiples and big-name department stores rose by 29 per cent.

The new talent areas of Raw, Launchpad, UAL: Now, Secret Emporium, and the Found trail were enthusiastically received by the big retail names that came to do business at Pulse, who included Arcadia, Aria, Bentalls, British Museum, Clinton Cards, Debenhams, Design Museum, Disney, Fenwick, Graham & Green, Heal's, John Lewis,, Kew Gardens, Liberty, London Transport Museum, National Gallery, National Trust, Natural History Museum,, Oliver Bonas, Paperchase, Royal Academy of Arts, Sainsbury's, Science Museum, Selfridges, Tate and The Conran Shop were amongst some of the big retail names that came to do business at Pulse.

“The highlight was the new talent areas of Raw, UAL Now and Secret Emporium, which had plenty of fresh new ideas. Pulse is more adventurous than some of the trade shows and you can tell that lots of effort has been put in onsite.” Adam Thow Head of Retail, Barbican

The winners of the Pulse Awards
A highlight of the three-day event were the 2016 Pulse Awards, which celebrated the very best in innovation and design. Judged by leading retail experts including the Head of Retail at Design Museum, Rebecca Hossain, Liberty’s Liz Sylvester, Tate Modern’s Livia Ratcliffe and Jessica Hodson from Heal’s, these awards were given to those exhibitors with outstanding products and exceptional stand design.

Men’s Society scooped the award for ‘Best Brand Presentation’ with their clear, direct branding, packaging and accessible product mix, while Cambridge Imprint’s beautifully patterned wrapping papers and stationery, won them the award for ‘Best New Product in Launchpad’.

The award for ‘Best Newcomer’ went to Utology, for their unfussy wall hook designs that combined simplicity with practicality. The award for ‘Best New Product - Living’ was won by Be&Liv who showcased a collection of intricately detailed products and well thought out designs.

Promises Promises’ fresh designs within the jewellery and fashion category saw them win the award for ‘Best New Product - Fashion’, while the ‘Innovation Award’ went to Ware London for their impressive green credentials.

Live Trends at Pulse
A popular feature of the show were exclusive trends that were launched at Pulse by Unique Style Platform. Providing visitors to the show with invaluable information for the upcoming seasons, as well as beautiful products that match that trend for five cutting-edge design trends. The five trends launched at Pulse were the tonal and paired back ‘Connected’ and ‘Contemplate’, the lavish ‘Fusion’ and ‘Mystical’ while references from the 50s, 60s and 70s were re-invented to create the future by incorporating technology and embedding comfort for the ‘Modernist’ trend.

Shop Talk
The daily ShopTalk conferences provided visiting retailers with invaluable business advice and support from a line up of high-profile speakers. Keynote speakers included Liz Sylvester, Head of Visual Identity at Liberty, who gave an inspiring talk on how to pick up on visual trends and work them into your own environment. Sally Bendellow, Creative Product Director at spoke about the impact of globalisation, digital and the connected world while Heal’s Head of Collections, Pia Benham gave an insight on being and remaining a destination store.

ShopTalk also included some well attended lively panel debates. Design Journalist, Katie Law, chaired a discussion with David Fenton and Laura Mullins from Imperial War Museum on the subject of putting a contemporary twist on the traditional shop and blogger Kate Baxter chaired a debate with a panel of bloggers on how to meet and work creatively with bloggers.

Pulse returns next year from 14th to 16th May 2017 at Olympia London it will also include a brand new co-located show called Makers.

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