The London Print Design Fair is the first print fair of its kind in London and will be taking place on the 29th and 30th of October 2014. Registration is now open for visitors and exhibitors alike, and if you are located in the London area we hope you will make a point to be there! They offer several packages for exhibitors including special pricing for recent graduates, a much-needed boon for up-and-coming designers who are trying to get their work out into the world and in front of buyers without spending a fortune, as can often be the case with tradeshows. Below the LPDF answered some of our questions about this new venue for textile designers:
What are the similarities/differences between The Fair and other tradeshows such as Surtex or Premiere Vision? If a designer is ready to make the commitment/investment in a tradeshow, why should they exhibit at The London Print Design Fair?
We are very different from any other trade fair as we are a very low key event and offer a very uniform and fair way of exhibiting for all. We don’t allow any favouritism, your tables are allocated like a lottery system, we don’t allow advertising either. Everyone gets the same space at the same cost so everyone gets the opportunity to showcase their collections fairly. Many of the UK design studios contacted us, following the success of our other exhibition The London Textile Fair and asked us to hold a separate show on its own after the catwalks. This way people can get the first trends that are coming through straight from the catwalks. This is what makes us unique, we are showcasing the latest prints at the right time for the buying calendar.
What would you say to a potential first-time exhibitor who is trying to decide whether they are ready to exhibit? Are potential exhibitors permitted to “walk” The Fair prior to exhibiting to gain a better understanding of what is involved?
We understand how daunting it can be to exhibit for the first time so we always try to encourage them to visit our fair or others before hand, so they can get an understanding of how it looks, and get a feel for how it all works and the type of clients coming through the door. It is also a great opportunity to talk to the staff and exhibitors who are always willing to help and give advice where they can.
Offering a graduate rate for up-and-coming designers is such a great idea–could you talk more about this and who qualifies?
It isn’t easy getting started and we recognise that graduates are our future, so we thought this could be a great opportunity to help them in getting started and give them a one off opportunity to exhibit, alongside all the big players at a reduced cost. We welcome any graduates or final year students or past graduates who have put together their first collection and are just starting out as a business.
What advice would you give first-time exhibitors preparing for The Fair? Do you have any tips to help them make the most of their experience?
I always say to them to relax and not panic as they do get really anxious beforehand. I always say that our fair is so laid back and that all the other exhibitors are really friendly and they all know each other and they will be able to advise on any questions they have.
Could you talk a bit about etiquette, both for attendees and exhibitors? Are there any big “no-no’s” people need to be aware of?
We don’t allow any photography for obvious reasons and we just ask that everyone is polite to everyone and present themselves in a professional manner. Otherwise we don’t set any real rules as we want it to be an enjoyable rewarding experience for them.
How do the majority of designers display their work at The Fair?
Many opt to print onto shaped fabric panels so that when showing the buyer they can visualise it in a garment form. Otherwise most are presented on paper, either hand drawn or digitally printed.
What print and pattern trends did you notice emerging at the most recent Fair?
A lot more of a steer towards hand drawn effects, oversized florals, paisley and arts and crafts inspired prints were also present too.
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