Glee: What’s in Store for 2019

Glee entrance

Glee is the UK’s most valuable garden and outdoor living trade show, showcasing the freshest and most exciting brands, amazing new products and inspiring garden retail insights.

There are more than 500 suppliers across 8 tailored show sectors this year, with a more broad range of retailers, suppliers and industry experts than ever before.

Modern Retail had the pleasure of speaking with Glee’s Pete Harvey, ahead of the upcoming event which runs from the 10th – 12th September at the NEC, Birmingham.

MR: Give us an overview of Glee 2019

PH: Glee attracts more than 7,000 visitors every year and we look at key buyers and leaders in the industry. Our visitors typically include independent garden centres, supermarkets, and discount stores among countless other retailers. It is a great day in the calendar which brings the whole industry together under one roof, as well as being a retail trade show where people can buy products, look at garden furniture, food, catering, pets, home gifts and clothing. As well as buying, people come to see what’s going on in the industry, to network and to see products.

MR: What makes Glee stand out?

PH: Glee surrounds a unique area of retail because it is brick and mortar, but is somewhat immune to some of the struggles on the high street. Many retailers in this sector are based in rural locations with their own parking and they have continuous business because it’s an industry where people visit to browse, see products, make purchases and make more of a day of it.

MR: What can exhibitors expect at Glee?

PH: Exhibitors can expect to meet key buyers from more than 7,000 visitors. People will have face-to-face contact with buyers, and owners of independent retailers will be among these visitors. Glee creates the opportunity to meet senior people with buying responsibility. Throughout Glee, exhibitors will have contact with these visitors, doing business as people put in orders. It also makes it easy to meet with the people they’ve been supplying over the years and network, as well as seeing what competitors are doing.

MR: How can Glee help smaller companies to gain big exposure?

PH: From the moment somebody decides to exhibit with Glee, they are supported throughout and we can help them understand the best people to meet, and how to make the most of a trade show. As an example, earlier in the year, we had exhibitors meet up with a panel of buyers, helping them to understand what to expect and how to engage buyers. We also have our fantastic Glee Connect app which allows visitors and exhibitors to establish meaningful connections before, during and after the show and helps both visitors and exhibitors maximise their time at the show with intelligent matchmaking.

MR: How could Glee help a brand looking to launch new products?

PH: It’s all about exposure. There’s the physical exposure where you’re face-to-face with potential clients but there’s also a huge reach within the sector. We talk to all the garden centres, engage with the large multiples, independents and online retailers, and have a great understanding of the market. This is something we can share with our exhibitors and we can use our reach to promote to our audience.

MR: Tell us more about the Retail Lab

PH: The Retail Lab is a physical feature which showcases new products in an innovative and creative way where exhibitors can have their products showcased and show buyers how the products can be used. It’s ideal for retailers looking to source new products, demonstrating instore experiences and merchandising trends for future products.

MR: What are the newest additions to Glee 2019?

PH: We’ve taken a different approach with the seminars this year, conducting research with our visitors, listening to the market and creating a business programme. It has advice for visitors, from social media and SEO to visual marketing and all retail skills. We have a lot of garden centres on the panels, as well as expert consultants who share their knowledge. By building this excellent visitor experience, it attracts a great level of visitors whilst also addressing important topics such as sustainability and the links between gardening and mental wellbeing. Our seminar programme has been completely reinvented based on people’s preferences, with more experts and varied topics throughout each day.

To see the full seminar programme, click here.

Are you coming to Glee? Come and say hi to the Modern Retail team! We’ll see you there.