Your Guide To The Top London Design Trade Shows
Your definitive guide to the various industry relevant trade shows held in London every year:
Usually held in Syon Park in September.
This is the largest and most comprehensive show for Interior Designers in the UK. It focuses on the more middle to luxury brands and has a wide range of products and services on display. As an international show, it is particularly good for introducing European brands who are looking to expand into the UK market and who usually have competitive pricing.
Looking to do the shows this year? Read our Expert Guide On How To Properly Visit Trade Shows
Usually held in Olympia in January and September.
Top Drawer is known for its vast range of top quality and innovative new products. Divided into four distinct ‘worlds’, Top Drawer has designated sections for Home, Craft, Fashion Accessories and Gifting. Whilst the show is largely aimed at boutique owners and retail traders, it does show a decent amount of furniture and accessory suppliers who deal with interior designers and will do no minimum orders. We’ve found this a great show for brand new, highly competitively priced products.
Surface Design Show
Usually held in the Business Design Centre Islington. Feburary.
The focus is on surface materials, as you’d expect. Expect vast arrays of flooring, tiling and wallpapers. Also carries a lot of fabrics and exteriors coatings, such as living walls. There are a lot of marble effect porcelain slabs to wade through, but this is a great port of call for talks on up and coming products as it’s an exciting area of innovation.
Clerkenwell Design Week
Usually held in May. All around EC1
This is a sprawling and varied show with something for everyone. They are particularly good for introducing
new and up-and-coming designers and focusing on the smaller more unique brands. Showrooms located in the area also open for events and talks. The focus is on residential design, but contract and commercial are catered for as well.
Usually held in the Business Design Centre Islington. July.
There are two halves to the event, with the first four days focused on Textiles, Fashion & Costume Design, and Jewellery & Contemporary Design Crafts. The second four days look to Furniture, Product, Spatial & Industrial Design and Visual Communications. Designers showing here are usually innovative and interesting, but a warning, they aren’t always fully set up for business and can be unreliable when it comes to placing large orders or delivering on time
Held in and around Kings Cross. September
Also divided into several venues. A good selection for interior designers, as well as boutique owners as there is a large amount of stationery, jewellery and small accessories. The designs tend to have a handcrafted with a futuristic slant.
Usually held in Olympia. September
This award-winning show is divided into four key industry sectors; Interiors, Workplace, Kitchen & Bathroom and Design & Build. It’s probably the most comprehensive show, so if you are only to visit one this is probably your best bet. It’s particularly good for hardware and general fixtures and fittings.
Whether you visit trade shows is completely subjective, however, if you do want to visit them you have to read Is it ever worth visiting trade shows?