September 10-12, Birmingham

UK: Glee gets makeover

During 44 years as the go-to event for the garden retail industry, Glee (10th – 12th September, NEC Birmingham) has undergone many changes.

Reflective of the need to keep retail environments fresh and interesting, the 2018 event will be updated to a revitalised Glee exhibition.

Matthew Mein, Glee’s Event Director, said: “Glee 2018 is all about arming retailers and suppliers with the tools, inspiration and knowledge to grow their businesses.

"This year we have curated a show that builds on the success of previous years but takes it to the next level. This means everything from a new floorplan that will help retailers to walk the show differently, sourcing new suppliers and exciting new products along the way, to a much more in-depth programme of content that will help cut through the noise regarding latest consumer trends, merchandising techniques and the future of garden retailing.

"The event is all about bringing together the most influential figures and brands from across the garden and outdoor leisure industry and providing them with a platform to network and find ways to grow together. In doing so we believe this will help to futureproof their businesses in this ever changing and demanding retail environment.”

Increased footprint at the NEC
In 2018 Glee will be benefitting from a complete relocation into NEC halls 6,7,8, 19-20, providing the show with a much bigger footprint, and an even larger exciting exhibition.

Exhibitors will be relocating to new stand spaces, whilst visitors will be walking an updated floorplan; discovering new products and companies at every turn.

The overall effect will be a refreshed, revitalised event, as Matthew Mein explains: “Glee has been growing at a significant rate – we had over 200 new brands join us at the 2017 event - and that means we’ve outgrown our previous home. Glee has successfully relocated before, and we believe that this next move will be received with the same level of industry support.

"Not only will we be able to better accommodate more exhibitors and visitors, but its refreshed layout will breathe new life into the show. This move is inspired by the way that retailers keep their store interesting for customers by constantly revising the layout. This way customers discover more, and ultimately spend more – something we know our exhibitors and visitors want to replicate during their time at Glee.”

Bigger content programme with more high-profile speakers
Building more content to help support the continuous growth of gardening in the UK will be a key theme of the 2018 event. Garden retailing is continuing to buck the trend, with growth for both garden retailers and suppliers continuing to grab the headlines. At Glee 2018 look out for more features, seminar sessions and year-round information relating to trends, merchandising and practical advice on ways to build better business, whilst also tackling the most burning issues set to affect the industry in the years ahead.

Glee’s Seminar Theatre will also be getting an upgrade in 2018, including a relocation to hall 8. With an increase in visitors to the theatre of 30% year-on-year, Glee will be working to bring even more high-profile speakers to the stage in 2018 such as Charlie Dimmock, The Skinny Jean Gardener, Romeo Sommers and Lee Bestall.

Retail Lab set to return in 2018
The Retail Lab @ Glee was introduced in 2017 to showcase the latest trends within the garden industry, whilst also providing retailers with hands on advice and inspirational content that they can take back to their own stores to drive sales in the coming season. The response to this new area surpassed expectations, with suppliers and retailers remarking on the immediate ‘take home’ value of the Lab’s content.

This year the Retail Lab will focus on bringing Happy Gardening to the fore. This trend builds on much of the content showcased within the 2017 Retail Lab but will dig a little deeper into the many ways that gardening can enhance our lives – from GYO to ‘play’, pets and easy gardening for those making their first tentative steps into the garden, or those who require an easier style of gardening. From getting outdoors more, to bringing together communities and families over the simple act of nurturing plants, fruit and vegetables, Happy Gardening is quite simply a theme which encourages us to get dirt under our nails, make mistakes, try something new, and celebrate the act of interacting with gardens, plants and the great outdoors.

Complementing the Happy Gardening theme will be the way in which the Retail Lab is presented. This year the area will benefit from a strong cubism design, chosen for its ability to be recreated within garden retail environments, as well as being reflective of the pop-up shop culture that has helped to make retailing more agile and able to respond to key trends almost immediately. Additionally, these cubes are representative of urban living – an area where bringing more greenery into the home will greatly improve the quality of life on offer. During the show, these ‘cubes’ will be created to help visitors to the Retail Lab go on a journey through both the Happy Gardening theme, as well as within the retail environment, providing inspiration at every step and showcasing how to maximise multiple sales through clever merchandising displays.

Once again, the Retail Lab @ Glee will be created in partnership with a panel of industry experts, led by Creative Director, Romeo Sommers of ByRomeo, with Paula Parker of PP8 Marketing heading up the day-to-day management of this pivotal show feature. Lisa White, Head and Creative Director of WGSN Lifestyle & Interiors, has once again shared her wealth of industry and trend insight to help shape the Retail Lab content in 2018, whilst GES has also been confirmed as the 2018 stand contractors, helping to bring the Retail Lab concepts to life.

Matthew added: “The market which Glee represents is constantly changing, which means Glee also has to change in order to better facilitate the needs and wants of all those in the supply chain, from supplier to retailer. The 2018 show is in great shape, and we are confident that Glee’s combined offering will arm all those that visit, and also all those that exhibit, with the tools, knowledge and inspiration they need to develop their offering in the year ahead, once again keeping garden retailing ahead of the curve. We’re excited for the market to see Glee 2018 in all its glory and look forward to welcoming everyone to the show come September.”

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