Showcase® 2022 – Ireland’s Creative Expo and Awards Opens on Sunday 27th February
Showcase - Ireland’s International Creative Expo® returns to the RDS, Dublin from Sunday, 27th February to Wednesday, 2nd March 2022 with over 300 exhibitors and more than 4,000 visitors from Ireland and overseas expected to attend.
Showcase was officially launched today (Monday 14th February) by the Chair of Showcase® Mary Palmer at the Iveagh Gardens in Dublin, with a photocall including fashion from Irish designers Wendy Louise Designs and Begley & Bowie and homeware from Copperfish Lighting Company among others. Styled by Roxanne Parker and photographed by Leon Farrell, the photocall reflected the traditions and heritage of Showcase as well as bringing in new elements and a fresh feel to the longstanding event.
Showcase was founded in 1976 by Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) and is delivered with support from Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices. It generates over €20 million of sales orders over the four days of the show. After a break to the physical show in 2021 due to the pandemic, the new hybrid trade-only show (both an in person and digital event) will be an enthralling reflection of the changed design and craft landscape in Ireland and internationally.
While there were challenges, the last two years have marked a period of innovation and creativity, giving rise to exciting new ideas and approaches, products and entrants to the craft and design sector that will be presented to trade buyers at Showcase. Trends include a heightened focus on sustainability and the increased appreciation for quality crafted products and the stories behind them. These are aspects that Irish craft and design is renowned for the world over, and which have been drawing domestic and international buyers to Showcase for the last 45 years.
There is a hunger among buyers to attend physical shows again, registration is at an all-time high. As Ireland’s eighth largest employment sector, contributing €2.9 billion in Gross Value Added, this expo of design and craft will prove a significant catalyst to the recovery of the Irish economy.
A new digital experience will open the event the event to international and national attendees, who can’t travel this year, and as such, Showcase 2022 promises to see an expansion of buyers across all segments. This augurs an increase of domestic buyers whose consumer-driven demand for locally made products can be satisfied. The new digital marketplace, Showcase Connect, features exhibitors, made fully accessible to registered buyers, 24/7/365. Using the platform, registered trade buyers can browse products and engage with exhibitors before, during and after the event. They can browse and ‘favourite’ products, send instant messages and set up 1:1 meetings.
In addition to this, the Makers’ Studio is new to Showcase this year. This will see demonstrations from craftspeople across a range of disciplines – highlighting to buyers the creativity and craftsmanship in their work, and inspiring in-store Meet the Makers events.
Showcase is an annual destination for retail buyers from Ireland and more than 20 other countries, including the UK, USA, Asia and Mainland Europe, all keen to see the very latest designs from Ireland’s top brands and craft producers. The fair is an international launch pad for the 300 Irish designers, manufacturers and craftspeople who unveil their new season collections across fashion, jewellery, home and giftware. Each year, a particular emphasis is placed on a kaleidoscope of new products to market, providing retailers with opportunities to discover and stock up on the latest design-led products, many of which are unique to the show.
Mary Palmer, Chair of Showcase ®, says: “Showcase® marks one of the most important events in the design and crafts sector’s calendar. For many, this is their first trade show of the year, a chance to launch their new collections and secure orders for the year ahead. Attracting buyers from Ireland and around the world, Showcase’s strength lies in its unique identity and high quality display of Irish design and crafts. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in Showcase 2022, you are helping to support and grow our sector.”
Brian McGee, Enterprise and Market Development Director at DCCI, says: “Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) warmly welcomes Showcase’s return to an in-person event. Coupled with its new digital marketplace, Showcase Connect, Showcase provides an even stronger trade experience for both exhibitors and buyers this year. DCCI’s new strategy continues to support Irish brands to sustainably growing their businesses. As a subsidiary of DCCI, Showcase allows hundreds of Irish design and crafts businesses to engage with buyers from Ireland and abroad and is delivered through the collaborative efforts of DCCI, Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Offices. We look forward to supporting our clients as well as our national, international and online visitors at the show.”
Jennifer Melia, Divisional Manager - High Potential Start-Ups at Enterprise Ireland, says: “Trade shows such as Showcase provide a platform for Enterprise Ireland clients to reach their export ambitions. Irish brands alongside upcoming designers and makers from Ireland are attracting international buyers looking for innovative design and quality products using traditional skills. Through its network of 40 offices, Enterprise Ireland’s international teams promote Showcase to buyers world-wide. Enterprise Ireland would like to extend a special thanks to the buyers for travelling, and for their ongoing support. Together with Design & Crafts Council Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices, we look forward to delivering a show that reflects the high quality products, which the Irish design and crafts sector is renowned for.”
Breda Fox, Head of Craft & Design, Local Enterprise Offices, says: “Local Enterprise Showcase hall as part of Showcase is a significant opportunity for small craft and design businesses from across the country to access trade buyers from Ireland and overseas. This experience is vital for our craft and design clients, particularly those ones who are starting out, in helping to build pipelines, contacts and understand how to sell and market their products. Having a physical event is a huge boost for everyone so we are looking forward to welcoming our LEO clients to Showcase and all the buyers from Ireland and overseas.”
Showcase 2022 runs from Sunday 27th February to Wednesday, 2nd March and is for trade attendance only. For further details on the event or to register to attend, please visit www.showcaseireland.com.
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Showcase – Ireland’s Creative Expo® is one of the country’s largest international trade shows. The annual event is attended by over 4,000 buyers from across the world, including Ireland, the UK, USA, Mainland Europe and the Asia, generating sales orders of over €20 million during the four days of the show. Showcase is presented on behalf of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, with support from Enterprise Ireland in promoting the trade show internationally through their network of offices overseas, and the Local Enterprise Offices nationwide. More than 300 Irish brands are exhibited at the fair, including emerging Irish businesses supported by their Local Enterprise Offices. Showcase is for trade attendance only. www.showcaseireland.com @showcase_ireland
About Design & Crafts Council Ireland
Design & Crafts Council Ireland is the national agency for craft and design in Ireland, we support designers and makers to develop their businesses in a sustainable way, and advocate for the societal benefits of craft and design. DCCI's activities are funded by the Department of Trade, Enterprise and Employment via Enterprise Ireland. DCCI currently has 66 member organisations and over 3,500 registered clients. www.dcci.ie @dccireland