Popular Trade Fairs For Greeting Card Publishers

Aug 2, 2021 | Sales & Distribution Support, Marketing Support

Last updated 25th August 2021:
This blog is regularly updated with latest information for tradeshows coming up.

Exhibiting at trade fairs is one of the main ways for publishers to meet new buyers or agents and obtain sales leads from both at home and abroad. They are also a part of the greeting card social calendar, where existing publishers catch up with old colleagues and new publishers are able to meet each other under one roof. This is the time when, as a new publisher, you realise that there is a whole greeting card world out there!

Before deciding to exhibit, it is advisable to visit the major fairs. This will help you to decide which would be the most appropriate fair for your products. It is important to research each fair, taking into account the time of year, price of the stands, distance from your base, cost of accommodation and the size of the fair. Read this GCA blog on preparing for your first tradeshow.

Below is the latest information from the main greeting card trade shows in the UK, which attract a regional or nationwide audience. There may also be local trade shows close to you, so it’s worth checking them out too.

COVID-19: Please check the websites for any events you are interested in to understand any impacts due to Covid-19.

Progressive Greetings Live

Progressive Greetings Live is organised by Max Exhibitions Ltd, sister company to Max Publishing who publish the Trade Magazine Progressive Greetings. This show is fully dedicated to greeting cards and takes place in June at the Business Design Centre. GCA members receive special reduced rates on stands at this show.

The next PGLive is 6th-7th June 2022.

The 2021 show went ahead in July 2021 and was a great reunion of the industry after the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Venue: The Business Design Centre, Islington, London
Contact: Progressive Greetings Live
Tracey Arnaud, direct line: 01234 740051

Spring Fair

Spring Fair takes place from first Sunday in February at the Birmingham NEC. The next show will be Sunday 6th-Wednesday 9th February 2022.

There are thousands of exhibitors showcasing ranges of products including giftware, design-led products, pictures and prints, jewellery, collectibles, china and glass, furniture, home furnishings, housewares, stationery and of course greeting cards.

There’s a special section in the Greeting Card hall called Debut, which is operated in association with the GCA to give first time exhibitors an opportunity to try out the show at a reduced rate, click here for more information.

Spring Fair International
Venue: National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham
Organisers: Hyve Group
Website: www.springfair.com
Contact: Alison Graham alison.graham@hyve.group 

Autumn Fair

Autumn Fair is the sister event to Spring Fair, and largely follows the same format. It takes place over four days from the first Sunday in September, again at the NEC Birmingham.

There is a Debut area in the greetings hall, operated in association with the GCA, to give first time exhibitors a taste of the show at a reduced rate. This area is popular with buyers looking for new publishers.

This year the exhibition will be back physically on 5-8th September 2021, The Autumn Fair has announced its Safe and Secure Guidelines for visitors and exhibitors to ensure it provides a space for Covid-safe trading, networking, inspiration and more, as the retail industry gets back up and running.

Click here to register https://www.autumnfair.com/visitor-registration

Autumn Fair Birmingham
Venue: National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham
 Hyve Group
Website: www.autumnfair.com
Contact: Alison Graham alison.graham@hyve.group 

Top Drawer

Top Drawer takes place in Spring (January) and Autumn (September) and the shows are the UK’s leading events for design-led gifts and accessories. Each show features a wide range of products including greeting cards and gift stationery, jewellery, gifts, toiletries, home accessories, soft furnishings and children’s products. The next show will be 12th – 14th September 2021

Top Drawer are giving all GCA members exhibiting the opportunity to join a display celebrating Thinking of You Week at their September 2021 show. To take part in this additional marketing opportunity:

  1. Select the Thinking of You or Blank cards that you’d like to add to the display.
  2. Fix a small label to the bottom right on the front of each card detailing your company name and your stand number at the show (this is important as it will direct visitors to your stand)
  3. Deliver them to the organisers office when you set up your stand.
  4. Please email Amy.Donnelly@clarionevents.com to confirm that you will be taking part.

Top Drawer
Venues: Kensington Olympia, London
Organiser: Clarion Events
Contact: https://www.topdrawer.co.uk/

Home & Gift

Home and Gift is held each July in Harrogate in a combination of hotels, exhibition halls and marquees all within walking distance of the town centre and each other. Over 775 exhibitors showcase ranges of products including general giftware, design-led products, home and decorative accessories, stationery, greeting cards, pictures and prints, jewellery, collectibles, china and glass and volume giftware.

The 2021 show will go ahead on the 18-21 July 2021. The Home and Gift Buyers’ Show has been selected to be part of a limited number of pilot events in the third phase of the Government Events Research Programme. Under the ERP pilot conditions, there will be no restrictions on visitor numbers or social distancing requirements on any day of the event (18-21st July). All attendees will be required to certify either they have had two vaccinations at least two weeks prior to attending or a negative NHS Lateral Flow Test at least 48hrs before attending. The consent required from all participants to opt in to the Event Research programme and NHS Test and Trace will be sent to all registered buyers and exhibitors individually.  

Home & Gift
Venue: Harrogate Convention Centre
Orgainser: Clarion Events
Exhibitors: 0207 384 7730

Brand Licensing Europe

Held annually in October, Brand Licensing Europe is the leading event for licensing and brand extension. Exhibitors at Brand Licensing Europe showcase their images, artwork, designs, brands and characters to an audience of around 4300 European retailers, licensees and promotional marketers who are actively seeking new licensing opportunities. Brand Licensing Europe generally takes place in October at The Grand Hall, Olympia, London.

Brand Licensing Europe
Venue: The Grand Hall, Olympia, London

British Craft Trade Fair

The British Craft Trade Fair is targeted at exclusively British designers and makers, presenting beautiful handmade products to retailers.

Spring 2021 will be a digital event, running from June 6-8 2021. For more information visit https://bctf.co.uk/

London Stationery Show

London Stationery Show is dedicated to writing and paper products, featuring the biggest selection of writing and paper products from around the world. Targeted at stationery and gift buyers, exhibitors include 150+ of the biggest UK and international names alongside exciting new brands.

London Stationery Show
Dates: 5-6 October 2021
Venue: Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 0QH


Glee is the UK’s leading garden and outdoor living trade show, returning as an in-person event from 14-16 September 2021 at the NEC Birmingham.

The show celebrates the growing demands of gardening and outdoor living across nine future-focused show sectors, including Home, Gift & Clothing, Plants, Outdoor Entertaining, plus thousands of products across Garden Care, Landscaping & Garden Decorations, Food & Catering, Retail Experience & Services, Hardware & Tools and PAW for pets.

Glee Birmingham
Venue: National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham
Organiser: Hyve Group

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