Maintaining our home’s outdoor living spaces is an ongoing, multifaceted project in and of itself. From general lawn and garden care to the aesthetics of designing patios and porches, it’s a true enterprise. But, besides going to big warehouse stores like Home Depot and Lowes, or local greenhouses, having an all-inclusive array of outdoor options to meet our needs is best showcased in a proper venue. Glee is the UK’s premier answer to a large-scale garden and outdoor living trade show for retailers and buyers alike.
Glee’s annual event will take place September 10–12, 2018, and is located at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), in Birmingham, England. It hosts eight committed sectors: Garden Care, Landscaping & Garden Decoration, Outdoor Entertaining, Plants, Pets, Home, Gift & Clothing, Retail Services & Experiences and Food & Catering. The show is in its 44th year and attracts upwards of 7,000 spectators and over 500 UK and worldwide exhibitors.
Recently, RewardExpert had the pleasure of speaking with Kimberley Hornby, Managing Director of Glee, about how the longstanding event is changing, growing and developing more than ever before.
Mark Your Calendar
The garden retailing industry is typically in a state of flux when it comes to consumer spending; ergo, it is imperative that Glee acclimate to these changes—representing its trade to the fullest extent. Their goal is to be a special date on the gardening calendar for the seasons we all enjoy.
“This year, visitors to the show will find a bigger, fresher and bolder Glee,” announced Hornby. “We bring the most exciting exhibitors together with authoritative buyers who come to the show not only to place orders, but to source inspiration, discover new and innovative products and benefit from the unrivalled networking opportunities available.”
Glee embraces various types of exhibitors and has no specific selection process. Relevant brands in garden and landscaping design to DIY retailers, growers and supermarkets are all invited to participate. Additionally, the show collectively supports builders merchants and multi-channel retailers, as well as distributors and agents from around the globe. To reserve space for your business in advance, use this link.
In response to this vast display of commodities and this year’s offerings, Hornby added that Glee is “full of innovative feature content, tangible business advice and the strongest collection of brands ready and willing to forge relationships with retailers.”
Education is a leading platform at Glee to ensure the networking between retailers and buyers is strong and resounding. This includes quite a few informative showcases, seminars and resources available to their community and those looking to become a part of it.
These educational features consist of:
- Retail Lab @ Glee – This is a recent addition outlining the latest trends in the garden industry, with practical guidance and stimulating content for retailers to lift sales. The theme this year is “Happy Gardening.”
- Seminars with the HTA – New visitors can take advantage of a free, 3-day seminar planned in aggregation with the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) on a variety of retail and trade assistance.
- Glee Innovators Zone – In place since 2009, this area has aided more than 200 companies with breaking into the garden selling market. Through cultivating grassroots products and designs, it helps the launch of new ideas and novelties while getting a proverbial foot in the door.
- Buyer’s Power List – Since its implementation in 2015, this list delivers insights for suppliers and retailers about buyers and teams whose influence directly contributes to a wholly flourishing industry.
“Education and providing an opportunity for networking are core aspects of Glee’s role as a leading exhibition for the industry it represents,” stated Hornby.
New Developments and Furry Friends
Glee is focused on revitalization more than ever for this year’s forthcoming show. In particular, they’re undergoing a relocation within the halls of the NEC to further expand their reach. This change in scene has expectations to refresh and energize their overall floor plan for 2018. Their new and improved space has been booking up fast, with over 85 percent already sold.
“To date, over 300 exhibitors are confirmed to attend, helping to keep the 2018 event on track to be the most vibrant and exciting showcase of garden, landscaping, outdoor leisure and pet brands anywhere within the garden retail calendar,” proclaimed Hornby.
Speaking of pets, a dedicated Pets at Glee section will be introduced this year. This newly enhanced area will feature 2019 ranges and enable pet buyers to intermingle and be exposed to much educational content. This is also a plus for the 70 percent of event retailers who proffer several pet products to increase sales and shower the furry friends that we love with much needed accoutrements and care.
“Topics set to lead the Pets at Glee educational agenda will include a focus on the humanization of pets and how this is affecting consumer spending, a look at the preimmunization of pet products and how technology is changing the way we interact and monitor pet health,” established Hornby.
Over and above, Glee is elevating their presence more than ever in 2018, while being a staple event for the greater good of garden retailing. “Whether you are looking to source the latest innovations or core bestsellers for the year ahead, Glee will offer it all,” noted Hornby.
Interested garden retail buyers and sellers should visit gleebirmingham.com to be a part of what makes outdoor life worth living.