True Brits at the NEC

Exhibitions company ICHF are staging a landmark show in Birmingham.

This week at the NEC, the Craft Hobby and Stitch International show is focusing on all things British. With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics taking place this year, the well-attended trade show – now in its 37th annual outing – has also attracted even more international exhibitors. For organisers ICHF Events, this is their 500th show, illustrating the continuing passion for crafts in the UK. With more than 240 exhibitors, the show covers art, needlecrafts, hobby and craft supplies.

The show features Creativity on the Catwalk, a fashion show full of fabrics, yarns and craft accessories from jewellery to handbags, and all created from products exhibited at the show. The New Product Showcase and a product presentation area allow visitors to see, feel and in some cases even taste the items on offer.

For the fifth year running there is a seminar programme comprising more than 100 hours of free advice and information from industry experts. From marketing to business start-up and growth, driving search engine optimisation and merchandising tips, there is a wealth of knowledge to be gleaned. An additional set of workshops offers the opportunity to get messy, painty and gluey by getting up close and personal with the products on display.

The Brightsparks Pavillion has been set up to feature new designers from start-up companies, enabling buyers to discover up and coming new products from smaller new design businesses. New faces include paper and fabric kits suppliers Japan Crafts, featuring their lucky paper cranes, and vintage scrap makers Ernst Freihoff GmbH.

CHSI is in Hall 12 at the NEC until Tuesday 21 February.