According to organiser UBM Live, exhibitors are showing unparalleled support for the UK’s definitive international furnishing fair as close to 300 brands sign up for the May Design Series taking place in May at ExCel London.
UBM says there will be over 100 brands specifically previewing at The Furniture Show at May Design Series, welcoming familiar favourites and those both new and ambitious to be part of the move to the London show such as Gallery Direct, Albioncourt, SITS, Chapel Street and Collins & Hayes.
Mazhar Ayub, managing director at Highgate Beds says: “We’re very excited about The Furniture Show. London is the capital of the country, so why shouldn’t it be the capital of the industry? I’m confident that London is the best place for the show to be going forward.”
At the heart of the event are some of the UK’s leading design names and UBM appears to have created a proposition to encourage UK suppliers – including Parker and Farr, Velda, Kozmo Furniture and The Original Bedstead Company – to exhibit at ExCel.
Original Bedstead director, Tony Dham says, “I’m delighted that The Furniture Show is coming to London as this is without a doubt the right choice of location for the event – not only is The Original Bedstead Company back at the show, but we intend to stay. The Original Bedstead Company will be using this opportunity to showcase our extensive new ranges of metal, wooden and painted bedsteads, as well as our recent collection of linens – I’m seriously looking forward to it!”
UBM says that strengthening the international offering will be focus areas from around the world including Design China – a collaboration with UBM’s sister event Furniture China – creating a one-stop destination to see the latest in original Chinese design. The event will also be working with the Portuguese association AIMMP, to feature companies renowned for craftsmanship and quality, highlighting some of the best pieces to come out of Portugal.
London is perhaps naturally seen as one of the key gateways to the UK market, and The Furniture Show will see a number of suppliers, which, not only are new to the UK market, but trade show exclusives.
New brands to May Design Series include Gwinner, Casamania, Dune, Ebb and Flow and Pp Mobler.
On signing up for the show, Matthew Rhodhes from Danish brand Pp Mobler was keen to add: “We are delighted to be rounding of the exhibition season by showing at May Design Series. Coming to London after Milan feels like a natural step to take, and it is uplifting to see that London now has a long-awaited internationally competitive event. Pp Mobler will be using this opportunity to celebrate 100 years of Hans Wegner by presenting a contemporary take on some of his most well known designs, as well as introducing some brand new collections to the UK market, which we are very much looking forward to.”
Phillip Westgarth at SITS agrees: “The industry needs a successful London event to compete with the international fairs in the likes of Cologne and Milan, but crucially the timing of the May Design Series means that not only is it positioned perfectly to catch the peak of the retail cycle, but it does not clash with any other significant events on the calendar – making it an important place for SITS to be.
The May Design Series is the ideal opportunity to showcase SITS to the contract market, as well as independent retailers, and we are looking forward to what promises to be a lucrative show. It’s good to see a London venue become home to an international interiors trade event.”
Tim Robinson, UK agent for Koiner said: "After a nine year break from showing in the UK, we felt that this year's May Design Series was the right time and location for us to exhibit again.”
Industry associations too have shown their support. Dids MacDonald, chief executive, ACID says: “The ACID team is very excited to be getting involved with May Design Series this year. Anti Copying in Design (ACID) is committed to raising awareness of Intellectual Property IP issues in the design industry, and what better place to spread the message than at an international furnishings fair?
“By encouraging originality in design we hope to strengthen the industry for many years to come, and we look forward to offering help and advice – from frequently asked questions to more complex issues – at the show in May. We will also be launching ACID Marketplace, the UK’s first design and IP exchange, a safer trading conduit between designers and design buyers.”
Veronica Dunn, marketing manager at The Furniture Makers, adds: “As the charity for the furnishing industry, The Furniture Makers’ Company is looking forward to having the chance to see and meet so many new and interesting companies exhibiting at the May Series. It promises to be a great event!”
The May Design Series 2014 says it will amass close to 400 exhibitors in five sectors from furniture, decor, lighting [including Arc], kitchens and bathrooms and DX. New for 2014, The Furniture Show at May Design Series, will be a preview of what is to come in 2015
May Design Series will run from the 18-20th May at London ExCeL.