Gifts Today magazine

Glee 2018: Review

Bolder, brighter and brimming with freshness

Glee 2018 was a thriving hub for the garden retail sector. Featuring a bigger, bolder and brighter event, the show welcomed more exhibitors, exciting new content, a new footprint and and a strong visitor contingent that delivered across the board and drew praise from all corners of the sector. Gifts Today caught up with Glee’s Event Director, Matthew Mein, to discuss the vital role Glee plays as both an exhibition, and networking hub for the industry it represents.

What was Glee 2018 about?
'About arming retailers and suppliers with the tools, inspiration and knowledge to grow their businesses. From a new look with engaging entrances that excited visitors from the moment they entered the show, new inspirational and educational features, bigger stands and a new footprint that incorporates five halls of the NEC, we curated a show that built on the success of previous years, and more importantly, responded to the needs and wishes of our visitors. This latter change - a new footprint - was one change that added extra vibrancy to the event, and helped retailers to walk the show differently, enabling them to source new suppliers and exciting new products along the way - reflective of how retailer change their shop floor each season to keep content fresh and exciting for customers.
In total Glee 2018 welcomed in excess of 5% new brands to the show compared to 2017, and a 7% growth in our show footprint.'

What was the visitor demographic?
'This year, Glee welcomed more of the big players than ever before. Almost every single GCA member was in attendance, with supermarkets and DIY giants as well as leading high street stores all making time to visit the show, many bringing bigger teams to ensure all corners of Glee were covered. Not only this but revisits continued to increase, with more revisits taking place across the Tuesday and Wednesday when compared to last year. With visitors staying longer, more business could be done, which is why we have heard of many brands breaking their own Glee sales records. It's knowledge such as this which makes it all worthwhile.'

'In 2017 we saw a record breaking 54% onsite rebooking figure, however 2018 set the bar incredibly high with over 60% of the 2019 floorplan already booked. Not only does this stand Glee in good stead but it also demonstrates the strength that the industry is in as we enter the 2019 season.'

Special features at the show?
'Glee prides itself on providing added value content that doesn't distract from the main show but enhances the experience. From a whole library of seminar sessions to choose from, a must-see New Product display and an enhanced Retail Lab - in association with The HTA - visitors to Glee needed only to take 30 minutes out of their day in order to get inspired, see exciting showcases of the latest innovations from across the show, or simply to learn something new. This year's seminar programme featured everyone from Charlie Dimmock, Skinny Jeans Gardeners, Annabelle Padwick of Life at No.27, Lee Bestall to Royal Canin, the RSPCA, the HTA, Romeo Sommers of ByRomeo, Glee's Retail Lab Trend Forecaster and Concept Developer, and AMA Research. The Retail Lab also returned for its second year, with visitor numbers to this area increasingly significantly.'

What next for Glee?
Glee at Spring Fair (3-7February, NEC Birmingham).

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