Virtual Showrooms at Showcase Ireland open from 25th - 29th January 2021

Posted 11.12.20

Showcase Ireland, Ireland’s Creative Expo will pivot to a new innovative Virtual Showroom format from 25th – 29th January 2021, in response to the limitations imposed by the Covid 19 pandemic.

The project is organized by Showcase Ireland Crafts & Design Fair CLG, a subsidiary of Design & Crafts Council Ireland. It is supported by DCCI, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices.

Showcase is one of the industry’s largest international trade fairs where designers and craft makers provide a choice of contemporary and heritage collections, offering innovation, quality, sustainability and a distinctive point of difference to retail buyers from across the globe.

Chair of Showcase Ireland, Eddie Shanahan said; “Ireland boasts a wealth of talent and creativity and while the pandemic prevents the physical event from taking place, we are delighted to continue to provide a platform for Ireland’s creators and makers to showcase their products to Irish and international buyers. Though this year’s event will look different, we are confident that we will demonstrate the vitality of the Irish craft and design sector to both new and returning buyers. We will also relaunch our Showcase website as a Source Guide, with over 200 designers and makers offering B to B facilities, for Irish and international buyers”.

Showcase Ireland 2021 Virtual Showrooms will be delivered on a robust and secure platform that will facilitate person to person virtual meetings by appointment. It will allow international and Irish buyers to explore the creativity and craftsmanship of the exhibitors, like they would at the RDS each year. The platform will feature exhibitors’ and buyers’ profiles, website links, product imagery and video links that will be accessible to participants at the event. Exhibitors have been fully equipped via a specially developed Masterclass in Virtual Trading, including how to set up a visually appealing online showroom, managing a virtual meeting, storytelling and how to trade effectively in a virtual setting.

Rosemary Steen, Chief Executive of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, said: “The Showcase Virtual Showrooms will be invaluable in helping to maintain key relationships between Showcase, key buyers around the world and producers in Ireland. While the Digital space will never replace the value of a physical sales meeting, we believe that more and more exporting will be transacted online in the future. I want to thank Eddie Shanahan as chair of Showcase Design & Crafts Fair CLG, together with his board colleagues, for their hard work and guidance in delivering this exciting new event for the design and craft sector. I would also like to thank Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices for their continued strong commitment to Showcase and our industry overall.”

“Showcase was founded by Design & Crafts Council Ireland 45 years ago and 2021 will be the first year that our clients will not be able to meet their trade buyers face to face. During 2020 we have been placing huge emphasis on developing the digital capabilities of our client companies and we are hopeful that Showcase 2021 will keep sales moving until the pandemic recedes, protecting jobs and livelihoods” she added.

Sean Davis, Regional Director, North America at Enterprise Ireland, commented: “Now in its 45th year, Showcase curates an inspirational display of consumer and lifestyle products that reflects Ireland’s distinguished global reputation for excellence in design and creativity. Internationally recognised Irish brands alongside upcoming designers and makers from Ireland are exhibiting on our virtual platform this year. They are already attracting new and returning buyers looking for the next big trend, 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. This year the virtual platform will enable Enterprise Ireland to host buyers and journalists from markets all over the world, who are keen to source unique products and the best of Irish design. 2020 has seen seismic changes for the retail industry, from the exponential growth of e-commerce to an increased focus on sustainability. As the world embraces digitalisation, the virtual landscape of Showcase this year acknowledges the rapid changes taking place on a global scale for this sector. We look forward to working with Showcase Ireland on this special event and look forward to a successful Showcase for Irish businesses.”

Speaking on behalf of the Local Enterprise Offices, which support Showcase every year, Kieran Comerford said: “Pivoting to virtual showrooms in virtual marketplaces has become an essential part of doing business in the last year, especially for small businesses who would have relied heavily on large-scale trade and consumer events for sales. Thanks to this year’s Virtual Showrooms at Showcase, Local Enterprise Office clients across the country can launch new collections and arrange meetings with buyers from around the globe, direct from their studio or workshop here in Ireland.”

In a further development to support Irish enterprises, the Showcase Ireland website will be updated as a Source Guide for buyers and will offer a B to B facility for B to B enabled Showcase clients.

To view the Digital Catalogue for the Showcase Virtual Showrooms, please visit www.showcaseireland.com/news/showcase-virtual-showrooms-digital-catalogue

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