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Editorial blog

Dominic Fleming, head of events at ICHF, expalins how the preparations for CHSI Stitches are going

11 Feb 2018

How are the plans for CHSI stitches progressing?

We have made some significant changes to the show for 2018, which is set to be a step up from anything we’ve done before. This year we are excited to be presenting the findings of The Craft Report, a brand-new piece of independent UK craft industry consumer research that’s simply not available anywhere else.

What is different about the show this year?

For over forty years, CHSI Stitches has been at the heart of the creative craft sector and we’ve continued to develop the show to support and excite the industry’s retailers and buyers.

We are focussing on five key themes this year’s show which will underpin all aspects of the event from discussions and briefings in the Presentation Theatre, to workshops and product presentations. The 2018 themes are Creative Influencers, The Retail Environment, Exclusive Insight, Digital Marketing and Great Customer Experience.

We have also refreshed our New Product Catwalk show and the needlecraft-focused Stitching Zone while the former Bright Sparks Pavilion has been rechristened The Next Big Thing and will host up-and-coming brands featuring the latest products new to the UK market.

The all-new Presentation Theatre will see a packed schedule of seminars from top speakers, giving visitors key product, industry and retail knowledge to strengthen their own businesses.

What are the show’s USPS?

CHSI is the UK’s only trade show for the creative craft industry, hosting the finest exhibitors at the heart of the industry together under one roof. There is no better opportunity for visitors to find the latest craft products and plan purchases for the year ahead.

Not available anywhere else, the Research findings in The Craft Report will give visitors and exhibitors the latest data and insight on consumer trends, craft participation and consumer spending. This will be presented each day of the show, making it a must-see for visitors this year.

Why do trade shows remain so popular?

In a world where digital interaction accounts for a huge amount of business transactions, the opportunity to meet with hundreds of customers face to face is one that businesses tend to snap up. From a buyer’s point of view, the chance to get hands on with products, see how they work and learn first-hand how to demo them to their own customers is still vitally important.

What advice would you give first time visitors to CHSI stitches?

Plan your visit. Take a look at our website ( beforehand and make a note of the exhibitors you want to visit in order of priority. Make a beeline for those when you arrive and then use the rest of your time at the show to fill in the gaps.

What advice do you give to exhibitors at CHSI stitches?

Use your artistic skills to create a really enticing stand that presents your product at its best and shows retailers how they might display it in store to attract customers.

Make the focus of attention your latest products and have tester kits ready for visitors to try for themselves on stand. Make the most of having an audience in front of you ready and willing to order.

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CHSI Stitches

NEC Birmingham