A revitalised layout for 2003/2004, a new position for the Jewellery sector and two new product sectors, are three of the major announcements to come from the organisers of Spring Fair Birmingham 2003/2004.
Commenting on the decision to revitalise the layout, David Metcalfe chairman and managing director of TPS, said: “There has been a combination of factors that have encouraged us to make these changes. First of all the proposed expansion of the NEC has now been put on hold, which means our previous plans for 2003 have been halted. Secondly, it became apparent that changing demands within the industries we represent meant we would need to rework the fair’s layout again in 2004.
Keen to avoid further changes in 2004, we are now delighted to unveil our long-term plan for Spring Fair Birmingham. This new layout will offer greater consistency and stability for exhibiting companies right into 2004, whilst offering buyers a logical and enhanced layout”
The Jewellery section will move to halls 17 and 18 alongside Design Accents, offering greater cross-over buying opportunities for the many jewellers now developing their product offer. As David Metcalfe, confirmed: “Having consulted closely with the jewellery industry, the move of jewellery to the Atrium end of the NEC has been warmly welcomed by the BJA and key exhibitors. Jewellery buyers will be able to find a high calibre of design-led gifts and fashion accessories in Design Accents, broadening their buying opportunities at the fair. Looks matter in the jewellery industry and halls 17 and 18 will provide an attractive backdrop for exhibitors to show their precious and fashion jewellery to best effect.”
Spring Fair Birmingham will also benefit from a huge investment programme from organisers TPS, to further upgrade and improve facilities at next year’s fair.
Following the buoyant attendance to the 2002 Spring Fair Birmingham and the record Sunday attendance figures, TPS has been given the go ahead by the NEC to install thousands of extra seats throughout the fair. Visitors will find 2,000 seats spread across the two main concourses, the entrances to many of the halls and within the actual halls.
The organisers will also provide a number of free internet facilities across the fair and in the International lounge. In addition, the new Audi Cafe in hall 19, will be a trendy internet cafe and will also draw attention to the upmarket Audi shuttle service – providing first class, chauffeur-driven transfers around the NEC.
Beyond the Audi shuttle, the organisers will introduce a brand new shuttle service called Greetings Express. This will provide a continuous loop between Greetings (at the back of hall 3) and the front of the Design Accents halls in 19/20.
Black Book Live
The Spring Fair Birmingham’s indispensable catalogue, The Black Book, goes live online for the first time this year. This will enable buyers to log onto www.springfair.com and view exhibitors and their products as they sign into the fair, providing an accurate and up-to-the-minute guide on who they can see at the show. The site will also provide a live listing of planned new product launches from around the halls, with a Pick of the Week featuring exhibitor products.
Volume gets extra day
Following consultation with the volume industry, and the successful early opening of Volume Gifts at Autumn Fair, the organisers are delighted to announce the early opening of the three volume halls (10, 11 and 12) at Spring Fair Birmingham. Volume Gifts only will open on Saturday 1 February, whilst the rest of the fair will open on its traditional Sunday, from 2 February to Thursday 6 February 2003.
Meanwhile, the organisers have responded to the market place and returned the show’s overall opening times to 9am-6pm on each day of the show, except Thursday, which closes early at 4pm.
Fly in free
With an international airport on-site alongside the NEC, the Spring Fair Birmingham is an attractive and easy destination for overseas visitors to reach. To draw attention to these first class connections, TPS has devised a series of British Airways competitions offering free BA flights to the Spring Fair Birmingham from a number of European destinations.
Back in place for 2003 will be a whole series of successfully established visitor facilities. These will include the invaluable Visitor Information Points, with manned assistance and the Black Book Live catalogue finders, The Circle Line which will continue to provide a continuous shuttle service around the perimeter of the NEC halls and the catering and refreshment facilities staged for the duration of the show.
On Track with the ‘Buyer Flyer’
The Buyer Flyer (London to Birmingham) train is back in business for Spring Fair Birmingham 2003, offering visitors First Class travel to and from the fair at £50 return – a fraction of the normal price.
Buyers booking onto The Buyer Flyer, specially chartered by the Spring Fair Birmingham organisers, will be able to enjoy the classic first class surroundings of the ‘Riviera’ train, with its distinctive blue carriages. Each passenger will benefit from spacious seats, flowers and crisp tablecloths at every table, a waiter trolley service and buffet car and a complimentary Daily Review show newspaper. Passengers can also purchase a show catalogue at the start of their journey, giving them time to plan their buying trip before they arrive at the NEC.
The trains will run from London Euston, with a stop at Watford Junction (by popular request) direct to the NEC’s Birmingham International on Sunday 2 February and Monday 3 February 2003. Personnel from The Train Chartering Company will be available on the concourse to guide Buyer Flyer passengers to the train and answer any queries.
Departure and (estimated arrival) times are: Sunday: Dep Euston 08.30. Dep Watford Junction 08.45 – Arr NEC 10.30. Dep NEC 17.30. Arr Watford junction 19.00. Arr Euston 19.30.
Monday: Dep Euston 08.00. Dep Watford Junction 08.15. Arr NEC 10.00. Dep NEC 17.30 Arr Watford Junction 19.00. Arr Euston 19.30.
To reserve seats call The Train Chartering Co on 01293 771229 or email . Tickets are non-transferable and
Important: Times are subject to change by the rail authorities, so buyers should check their final timings by calling 01293 771229 or by visiting www.talkabouttrains.co.uk
Audi Internet Lounge
The Audi internet lounge is a large area, in hall 19, which will provide a focal point in the heart of the Design Accents sector. New for 2003, the lounge will offer visitors a chance to relax in comfortable designer seating, while sampling a selection of coffees from the cappuccino bar. Visitors can also take advantage of free internet access, with six screens provided by fair organisers TPS. The lounge will be furnished with a special range of Audi seating and contemporary pieces, created in collaboration with Jam Design, which echo the Audi car range. Visitors to the lounge will also be able to savour the attributes of Audi’s A4 Cabriolet, which will be on display.
Returning to the show after last year’s successful launch, is the complimentary Audi shuttle service. This year the shuttle will run between the two main hubs of the NEC the Piazza and Hall 20. The service features 10 chauffeur-driven cars from the Audi range and is totally free of charge to all visitors.