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8 Jul 2022

An Essential Duo of Trade Fairs for Gifts, Souvenirs, Decorations & Handicraft

An Essential Duo of Trade Fairs for Gifts, Souvenirs, Decorations & Handicraft

Life under the pandemic has been completely transformed. With how much time we’re spending inside, a lot about gift giving, decorations and products for the home have changed. We’re living different lives and consumer trends are shaped by outside forces such as the circular economy movement and the push towards using sustainable, eco-friendly materials. Here are some of the most recent trends that are changing the gift giving industry as a whole.

Perhaps the biggest trend to emerge over the past two years is trying to mitigate stress and slow down. Even if people work from home, it feels like there’s never enough time to go around and life zooms past without giving so much as a second to breathe freely. The preferred gifts now are means to achieve a peaceful state of mind, disconnect, slow down and actually rest. Candles, oil burners, puzzles, chess sets and other analog, non-digital gifts are certainly preferred.

This trend also seamlessly transitions into gifts for mental health. Now that anxiety and depression rates have reached an all-time high, the burden of managing one’s mental wellbeing falls squarely on the consumer. As a result, products that help people grapple with stress and personal issues like bullet journals, gratitude journals, adult colouring books, subscriptions to meditation apps, crystals and tarot decks have all exploded in sales numbers.

Perhaps you won’t be surprised to learn that fears and anxiety surrounding climate change have actively affected consumer behaviour overall. Customers are much more invested in knowing where products come from, how they are made, what they’re made of. Sustainable gifts are made using eco-friendly materials (recycled is best) by sustainable, resource-efficient processes. Plus, they’re durable and stylish. Biodegradable glitter, plastic-free packaging, fair trade – these are the guiding principles.

A connection to nature is central for customers right now. In home décor we’re talking about the so-called organic modern, which is all about muted minimalism combined with natural elements and textures. Neutral colours, wood, curving lines – these are the building blocks of the new home and office. A trend that extends to gifts, decorations, handicraft and more.

Let’s open with the spring event, which is Spring Fair International. This annual trade fair operates out of NEC Birmingham in February and is a major cornerstone event for the UK retail industry. Labelled as the ‘shop for shops’, it’s where all the year’s trends come to roost. You’re about to discover the freshest concepts around Home, Gift and Moda Fashion. Each branch is divided into specialised zones, which break down specific product trends. As the heart of UK retail, the Spring Fair International does a fantastic job of promoting manufacturers and designers.

Tastes are shaped here and exhibitors connect with high-profile buyers. The curated meetings are the vehicle for networking and most business partnerships. The service is extended to both buyers and exhibitors, who want to reach the right contact from the get-go.
Moving from the general to the specific, we have Christmasworld Frankfurt, which is the definitive go-to event for all things Christmas and more importantly, gift giving. The trade show impresses with its dedication to consumer trends. There are even digital events that run between editions that certainly address changes in consumer behaviour. In July 2022, you can sign up for “Retail 2022: Transformation and Repositioning” – a keynote speech delivered by Stefan Genth, Managing Director of the German Retail Association.

Christmasworld is distinguished as the leading trade fair for festive and seasonal decoration in the entire world and this can best be seen in the product categories on exhibition. These include Christmas & seasonal decoration, visual merchandising & light, candles, florists’ requisites & garden decorations, ribbons & wrapping and food and drinks. The trade fair is the biggest platform for the wholesale, import / export and retail trades, and as such is a launch pad for new products.

You get to see all the new trends and designs hit the stage. You even have a guide in the face of the Christmasworld Academy. This supporting event invites top speakers and valuable impulses for the trade. Industry experts are focusing above all on more experiences at the point of sale and visibility on the internet to start the new season stronger. The retail industry had the most changes over the two years with online shopping growing exponentially. The lecture area provides much needed practical advice.