Gifts Today magazine

Still time to enter GOTY

Early bird discounts still available to put products in front of top buyers on judging panel

Entries are already pouring in for Gift of the Year 2018, with the Giftware Association publicising the competition at both Top Drawer Autumn and Autumn Fair over the past couple of weeks.

'It’s a very exciting time for us this year,' GA CEO Sarah Ward (pictured) said, 'as the competition will be even bigger than in previous years. We will be assembling a larger and more diverse panel of judges from across the industry, and are working closely with Spring Fair to create a memorable celebration at the awards ceremony in February.'

The judges will comprise buyers drawn from major art galleries and heritage sites, department stores, craft galleries and catalogue companies as well as High Street multiples and independent gift shops alongside trade press editors and other industry grandees to represent the full breadth of the industry.
Sarah added: 'GOTY provides a great way of ensuring your latest lines are viewed by many of the UK’s top buyers – and we know some of our judges have in the past placed orders having first seen products when judging the competition.'

There are 18 categories in the competition covering all areas of the diverse gift and home industry with everything from greetings and stationery through to garden products and food, and this year sees the introduction of three new categories aimed at buyers and their teams.

You can enter as many different categories as you wish, with GA members paying less for entry, while an early bird entry rate applies for members and non-members until September 30, with the November 24 the closing date for entries.

The first round of judging happens entirely online and those companies making the shortlist – normally around 10 products in each category – will be asked to send samples for the second round of judging in January.

The winners will be announced during an exclusive evening event on Sunday, February 4, 2018, at the Vox next to Spring Fair which runs at the NEC from February 4-8.

The winning and finalist products will be on display throughout the show, and the winner of the overall Judges’ Choice award receives a free stand at Autumn Fair 2018.

Sarah said: 'This competition isn’t just about the winners, or even the finalists – just by entering you’re setting your products ahead of the rest, as every single product entered will be put before our judging panel, many of whom are senior buyers.

'In the last competition, judges were known to request contact details for every entrant in a category, so you never know whose eye you will catch.

'It’s an amazing bit of PR for just the cost of an entry fee and it’s exactly what the GA is all about – putting great new product in front of buyers, growing the industry, and celebrating the best of what it has to offer.

For more information on the competition and to enter, go to www.giftoftheyear.co.uk.


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