Spotlight on Why You Should Visit Top Drawer Spring 2016.

If you’re contemplating visiting Top Drawer Spring 2016 then today’s spotlight feature is for you.

Today we’re shining a light on what the organisers have in store for Top Drawer Spring 2016. Later in the week I’ll be looking at must-see exhibitors, but today is all about the show highlights.

What is Top Drawer Spring 2016?

Top Drawer is a trade show based in London, showcasing design-led products, trend-focused runway shows and seminars to creative retailers and brands. The fair is held twice each year in Spring and Autumn.

The show attracts an international audience from the biggest retail brands to independent boutiques. It’s exhibitors are the most design-led, cutting edge designers and makers creating a unique mix of products.

Since its first show way back in 1984, Top Drawer has been constantly evolving. In 2012 the show introduced the ‘Home’ sector, in 2014 ‘Craft’ was added to the mix; this was followed by expansion into the greetings and fashion accessories sectors.

For Spring 2016 the show undergoes the latest stage of its evolution. Presenting 4 distinctive worlds – Home, Gift, Fashion and Craft – in one united show.

It already sounds like a winner, but there’s more; here’s a run down of more must-see highlights.

Top Drawer Spring 2016’s Show Highlights.


One of the show’s top attractions, Spotted is a showcase area dedicated to new design talent. To date Spotted has helped over 80 new businesses – including Nikki McWilliams, Space la Design and One Must Dash – make their all-important trade show debut.

This Spring Spotted will introduce 40 hand-picked businesses to the Top Drawer audience; including Rosa & Clara Designs (stand SP36), Sarah Lovell Art (stand16a) and Wotmalike (SP10), who have all been featured here on the blog in the last few years.

Academy LIVE.

Alongside exhibitor stands the Academy area of the show is all about sparking ideas and sharing knowledge. Its aim is to equip retailers with information and inspiration to stay successful in the changing world of retail.

The Academy provides a full schedule of seminars from guest speakers; experts share tips and tricks on a a wide array of business issues. In the seminars you can expect to pick up tips from industry leaders on everything from marketing and in-store promotions to the latest trends for the year ahead.

Turner Prize Winners. 

Top Drawer Spring will be welcoming Assemble, winners of this year’s Turner Prize to the Spotted sector (stand SP2). The enterprise runs a regeneration scheme for derelict houses in Toxteth, Liverpool, which includes products by the Granby Workshop, a new social enterprise making handmade homewares.

The Accessories Fashion Show. 

Following its debut at last year’s show the trend-focused runway shows will once again feature the most in demand accessories; a selection that consumers are sure to adore. Quite simply the shows are a guaranteed front row seat to the cool and glamorous trends of the season.

The Pottery Throw Down. 

Keith Brymer Jones, judge of BBC2’s Great Pottery Throw Down, will be at his potter’s wheel live at Top Drawer every day from 9.30-11.30am and 2-4pm; located at the entrance to the home sector. You can also join him afterwards at the his Academy Live seminar where he will be sharing his experience on the Great Pottery Throw Down, the programme’s effect on sales and the impact the show will have on the pottery industry.

Product GB. 

For visitors interested in stocking products made here in the UK, the show has once again organised a Product GB trail. Visitors can look out for special ‘Product GB’ stickers as they walk around the show; awarded by David Nicholls, Features Director at House & Garden magazine, they point to products made using materials sourced in the UK and designed and produced locally.

Championing New Design Talent. 

2016 will also see the culmination of the fourth edition of the “Confessions of a Design Geek Bursary”; a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for one new designer to kickstart their career.

Confessions of a Design Geek, created by Katie Treggiden, exists to discover, champion and inspire new designers. In collaborating with the Home sector of Top Drawer Spring 2016 they will once again by making a huge impact on the career of one very lucky designer.

Designers applied for the chance to win the bursary via the award-winning blog. A panel of industry experts then compiled a shortlist of six finalists and the final winner was chosen by votes cast by the blog’s readers.

The bursary worth over £10,000, includes a stand at the January 2016 edition of Home at Top Drawer, a photo shoot with Yeshen Venema, one-off mentoring sessions on everything from product design and packaging to pricing for retail, e-commerce and social media, regular mentoring sessions with artist, designer and founder of HAM, Jo Ham and business cards courtesy of Moo.

Previous winners of the confessions of a design geek Bursary are Jessica HogarthFanny Shorter and Alicja Patanowska.

Food Emporium.

New for Top Drawer Spring 2016, the show’s organisers will be launching the Food Emporium. Introducing visitors to the best artisans, producers and food brands. A must-see for foodies and those looking to add food products to their retail offer.

So there you have it, fantastic reasons to visit Top Drawer Spring 2016.

The show runs from the Sunday 17th – Tuesday 19th January at Olympia in London. I myself will be popping down on Tuesday to soak up all the sights and I hope to see you there!

Get full details of opening times, how to get there are most importantly to register for your ticket on the Top Drawer website.

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