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News & Events

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D, Opens Showcase - Ireland’s Creative Expo at the RDS

·         Up to  €20 million in sales orders expected over four days

·         Highest number of exhibitors in four years

·         Substantial increase in interest from buyers, particularly in the UK and US markets

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton T.D. officially opened Showcase - Ireland’s Creative Expo today, Sunday, 20th January 2013. The event is the country’s largest international trade show and will be attended by buyers from Ireland and over 17 countries. Sales orders of up to €20 million are expected over the four days of the show.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton T.D.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton T.D.

With 435 of Ireland’s leading designers, manufacturers and craftspeople taking part in Showcase 2013, exhibitor numbers have reached their highest level in four years.   The significance of the tradeshow, now in its 37th year, is also reflected in the domestic and international pre-registrations for Showcase 2013, with a substantial increase in registrations amongst buyers and retailers from the UK and US markets.

Speaking in the RDS at the opening of Showcase 2013, Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Crafts Council of Ireland, said the annual trade show is crucial to sustaining and growing the Irish craft and design sector as it enables Irish designer-makers to market their products and to secure contracts for the coming year. “Showcase is a key component of the Crafts Council of Ireland’s export strategy. The next four-days will be incredibly important for the exhibitors as this event provides them with an annual opportunity to meet with their existing clients and to make international business contacts as they unveil their latest ranges of unique and innovative products.” 

Ms. Hennessy said that early indicators for Showcase 2013 are very positive.  “We are delighted to be welcoming buyers from over 17 countries around the world including Britain, North America, continental Europe and Japan.  Overall, buyer pre-registrations are up 60% on last year, with significant increases from the United Kingdom and United States.  We are anticipating a very strong show,” she added.

The Crafts Council of Ireland is the main driver behind Showcase, and according to Brian McGee, who directs the show for the Crafts Council of Ireland, where products are made is becoming more important.  "In Ireland and abroad, country of origin is becoming more and more important and 93% of Showcase international buyers agree. Made in Ireland means quality, heritage and authenticity. That is what consumers are looking for today."

"Showcase makes it easy for independent Irish retailers to find really well designed products that are made here in Ireland," added McGee.

Showcase is a partnership between the Crafts Council of Ireland and Showcase Ireland Events Ltd with support from Enterprise Ireland in promoting the tradeshow internationally. According to Stephen Hughes, Consumer Retail Manager – Enterprise Ireland: “For many Irish companies Showcase is a valuable route to new, international markets. A pivotal element of Showcase is the number and high caliber of international buyers it attracts. Enterprise Ireland’s network of overseas offices has been a key driver in securing a large increase in international buyers at this year’s Showcase. We look forward to welcoming new international buyers to Showcase this year, and to extending a warm welcome back to many key international buyers who return regularly to see what is new and innovative in Irish craft and craftsmanship and, most importantly, place export orders.”

Indecon International Economic Consultants estimate that the craft sector contributes almost *€500 million to the Irish economy and employs almost 6000 people throughout the country.

Showcase, which continues in the RDS (Main Hall) until Wednesday, 23rd January, is expected to attract more than 5,500 retail buyers from Ireland and over 17 countries around the world. Showcase 2013 is a trade attendance only event. Further details and a full list of exhibitors are available at www.showcaseireland.com

*Source: Economic Significance and Potential of the Crafts Sector in Ireland, Indecon International Economic Consultants, 2010.


For further press information please contact:

Emma Kelly (0872428176), Mark Kilbride (0863966338) or Aoife Smith at Elevate PR on 01-6625652 or email emma@elevate.ie/ mark@elevate.ie / aoife@elevate.ie

Notes to Editor

About Showcase 2013

Showcase 2013 focuses on two key strands – Fashion & Jewellery and Home & Giftware, with other exciting features such as ‘Creative Island’, an expanded ‘Enterprise Zone’, ‘Selected at Showcase’ and the “Showcase Awards Programme”, networking events and the popular seminar programme featuring top international industry experts.

New to Showcase for 2013 is the launch of ‘Showcase Home’, a curated strand of creative ideas focused on making our homes more beautiful. Featuring great products from handcrafted textiles and ceramics to crystal and wall art, the new home section will feature exciting and inspiring work from a host of emerging Irish brands including Locker 13, Fawn, CarveOn and Reborn Art

‘Showcase Fashion’, now in its second year, celebrates the talent and creativity amongst established and emerging Irish designer-makers and manufacturers. Curated and produced by Sonia Reynolds, this year sees the inclusion of two daily runway shows in a purpose built exhibition space in the Serpentine Hall, just off the Main Hall. 

Other elements of Showcase 2013 include:

  • The Top 50 New Products area where buyers can easily locate some of the best newly launched items
  • Creative Island – a curated space dedicated to crafted products ‘Imagined, Designed and Made in Ireland’ from 86 designer makers
  • The Enterprise Zone returns this year with the County & City Enterprise Boards of 19 counties in Ireland participating in a specially designated area on the balcony promoting exciting, unique products from emerging Irish businesses
  • Daily seminars for retailers with expert speakers on topics such as design, merchandising and trends forecasting
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