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BCTF ONLINE DELIVERS FOR MAKERS
Summer 2021 edition of the British Craft Trade Fair helped keep designer-makers trading after a year and a half of lockdowns and restrictions
BCTF Online 2021, which ran from 27 June – 1 July, welcomed close to a thousand verified retail trade buyers to the five-day digital event, plus hours of unique content from an expert line-up of speakers.
Participants in the show, where categories ranged from jewellery and fashion accessories through to ceramics, glass, woodwork, fine art and paper products, were lavished with attention from exclusive retail buyers in search of the best British handmade products.
The event attracted 888 buyers in total, who viewed thousands of catalogue pages and images, watched hundreds of videos and created hundreds of favourites during the show. This resulted in an extremely busy show with exhibitors receiving instant alerts whenever an action was taken by visitors to their profile page. The BCTF Awards tradition was proudly kept alive with the 2021 winners announced on the final day of the online exhibition.
With exhibitors able to link all their images directly back to their own ecommerce sites, BCTF Online delivered exceptional SEO benefits in an age where companies need to use every possible tactic to drive traffic to their websites and generate vital online sales. The event also featured a valuable content programme, with speakers from The Giftware Association, National Association of Jewellers, ACID, Design Trust and Design Nation sharing their expertise throughout the event.
Many exhibitors reported that trade orders were placed during the show, which was a welcome boon to everyone, but especially to those who’d experienced a worrying slow-down in trade over the lockdown period. Quotes from exhibitors since the event include:
“BCTF Online led to a flurry of orders from existing galleries who stocked our work as they were reminded that we were still here and working so for that alone it was a positive experience. The fact that we picked up an award in recognition of our designs was a fantastic bonus which offered us another publicity forum.”
Jim Stringer, Quirky Metals
“I thoroughly enjoyed my participation at BCTF, it has led to some new customers and some good leads in parts of the country I have not sold to before. The BCTF team are great to work with, always responsive and supportive and I am looking forward to my first live show with them next April.”
Rachel Meehan Pictures & Words
“I found the recent BTCF show a very easy event to participate in. It was a very successful event for myself. I was actually away from home while the event was taking place but still had quite a few new enquiries form a variety of shops and galleries, four of which placed orders for my work. Thanks for all your hard work.”
Sally Moore Glass & Metal
“The fabulous team at BCTF have, over the past two years, promoted my work to hundreds if not thousands of buyers and retailers that otherwise I would not have been able to find. It is because of the contacts and links that they have that my fledgling business has had a such flying start and I hope to continue growing and building relationships with buyers, throughout the UK, with the expertise and dedicated help that BTCF offer.”
Stephen Lennon, Umbellifer.co.uk
“Due to my imagery being featured in the BCTF newsletter I’ve recently picked up a big trade order for a gallery as a result and hopefully that may become a regular stockist.”
“Being part of BCTF Online has, for me, been amazing and so very uplifting. Margeret and Denre have always been on hand to help and advise and I am extremely grateful that I have had the opportunity to continue to show work to prospective trade buyers and continue to create and sell work over the covid period. I am really looking forward to 2022 BCTF at Harrogate!”
Claire Morosi, Rosimorosi
Event organiser, Matt Miller of Kerrison Exhibitions, said: “The Online events launched by BCTF during the pandemic have provided a vital platform for British designer-makers to continue trading under very difficult market conditions. Our digital events have also widened the scope and reach of the show in terms of both exhibitors and the retail audience, offering a great complement to our physical exhibition, which will make an extremely welcome return in April 2022”.