Ten fledgling companies keen to export their fashion clothing and shooting accessories have found a new outlet, thanks to a joint initiative between The Game Fair and the Department for International Trade. The major UK countryside event organiser unveiled an innovative fashion pavilion at the giant IWA Outdoor Classics trade show in Nuremberg, Germany, at the beginning of March.
The strong presence put 10 young and thriving companies in front of more than 49,000 trade visitors from 120 countries. The ten – Filthy Weather, Gamebirds Clothing, Guinea, Fairfax & Favor, Bonties, Gumleaf boots, Koy clothing, Heather, Nomad UK and Boldscan (Albion Canvas) – enjoyed a successful four days, meeting potential buyers and distributors and opening up their product ranges to new audiences.
The pavilion allowed each company to have their own branded stand, all topped off with an eye-catching ‘catwalk’ with mannequins wearing the firms’ clothes and boots while also flying the flag for The Game Fair itself – being held this year at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, from July 28th to 30th.
It was a source of constant interest with the official press tour, high-ranking German officials and ministers and many media all dropping by to see the concept for themselves. It even found itself on the front page of the IWA Outdoor Classics News, the official daily event newspaper.
Cindy Boundy at Gamebirds Clothing said: “There has been a much broader spectrum of people that we have been able to put our products in front of than I would ever have imagined – from British retailers right through to trade buyers from the USA and even international media. It brought UK retailers to us to see our products, which was a massive bonus.” Patricia Bontoft at fellow clothing brand Bonties added: “Being on a British pavilion like this has given people something to home in on. The stand is so innovative and has proved to be a real talking point with people coming to take pictures of it.” While Guinea’s Judith Cutting revealed: “The pavilion has been really well run by The Game Fair team and it has proved to be an incredible opportunity to meet international buyers.” Fairfax and Favor’s footwear was especially well received, with founding director Felix Favor Parker saying: “This is our first trade event and we have been impressed with the pavilion and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”
Parveen Thornhill, Regional Director at Department for International Trade (DIT), London, said: “The Game Fair is a great example of a well devised initiative that has enabled small British companies the opportunity to present themselves to thousands of potential buyers from all around the world. The Department for International Trade (DIT) was delighted to support The Game Fair. Jim James, one of our Senior International Trade Advisers worked with ten UK companies, helping them to attend IWA in Germany. DIT support included help in advance of the exhibition with planning, providing bespoke advice at the show, and through our very effective meet the buyer networking stand on the first day.
“Exporting is a proven route to business growth and, just as The Game Fair has proven, whatever your sector, there’s a market out there for your products or services. I’d urge ambitious business looking to export to visit the new online trade hub, great.gov.uk. Part of the Government’s Exporting is GREAT initiative, it is a single digital destination for trade and investment, bringing together and connecting UK businesses, international buyers and international investors.”
Many of the exhibitors have already asked for more space next year and James Gower, managing director of The Game Fair, said he had been so delighted with the response to the initiative. Coupled with interest from other companies, he saw little reason why it should not double in size for 2018.