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13 Key Retail Trade Shows to Add to Your Calendar


Retail trade shows are huge events where retail buyers and wholesale brands come together to meet, and do business. Hundreds of brands typically exhibit their wares together under one roof across a period of two or three days, with thousands of retail store owners and buyers attending to source new stock for their store. They’re also sometimes known as ‘retail expos’. 

If you’re selling or buying wholesale, you’ve probably heard of trade shows. But if you’re new to the game, you might not know which are the best ones to keep on your radar. Below, we’ve rounded up 13 trade shows popular with other CREOATE sellers and retailers, spanning giftware, homeware, fashion, outdoor kit, and kids’ products. 

  1. Top Drawer 
  2. Spring Fair
  3. Autumn Fair 
  4. Maison&Objet 
  6. Pure London x JATC
  7. Outdoor Retailer 
  8. National Outdoor Expo
  11. Toy Fair 
  12. INDX Kids
  13. Playtime Paris & Playtime and Kid’s Hub New York

👋 Selling through CREOATE is like having your products at a trade show 365 days a year, without paying to exhibit. Get your products in front of thousands of independent retailers and start selling today


Gift, homeware & lifestyle trade shows

1. Top Drawer


Image source: Olympia London

📍Olympia London, London, UK

🗓️ 2024: 14-16 January 2024 (SS24), 8-10 September 2024 (AW24)

🗓️ 2025: 10-12 January (SS25), AW25 to be confirmed

Top Drawer brings together a wide selection of brands across stationery, gift, and homeware. It’s a favourite among our seller community, and is always one of the first major retail events of the year. 

Top Drawer has a real focus on trend forecasting, and supporting emerging talent. There’s a whole ‘Launchpad’ section dedicated to showcasing brands exhibiting for the first time, and the option for brands to gain extra visibility with awards like ‘Best Newcomer’. 

For this year’s event, they also teamed up with Better Trends Co. to write up emerging product trends for the year ahead. The cost of exhibiting isn’t given on the website, but a 2020 exhibitor shared that her 2x1m stand in the ‘Spotted’ section cost £850 at the time, which was a reduced rate for new exhibitors.


2. Spring Fair 

📍 The NEC, Birmingham, UK

🗓️ 2024 dates: 4-7 February 2024

🗓️ 2025 dates: 2-5 February 2025

Hot on Top Drawer’s heels is Spring Fair, which normally takes place in early February. Autumn Fair (which we’ll cover next) is run by the same organisation, and takes place in September. 

Spring Fair has been running for 75 years and attracts over 35,000 visitors, making it one of the most established events in the retail calendar. The floor is divided into four distinct ‘buying destinations’ to help buyers narrow down their search: 

  • Home (homeware, decor, festive products)
  • Everyday (affordable everyday items, e.g. cleaning accessories)
  • Gift (beauty & wellbeing, stationery & greeting cards, kid & baby products, party & celebration)
  • Moda (fashion, footwear, accessories & jewellery)


3. Autumn Fair 

📍The NEC, Birmingham, UK

🗓️ 2024 dates: 1-4 September 2024

🗓️ 2025 dates: To be confirmed

Autumn Fair is pretty much the same event as Spring Fair, but just takes place later in the year. Like Spring Fair, exhibitors are split out into four sections. But with buyers at the Autumn Fair are looking to stock their store with giftable Christmas products, this naturally sways the product selection.


4. Maison&Objet

📍Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre, Paris, France

🗓️  2024 dates: 5-9 September 2024

🗓️  2025 dates: 16-20 January 2025

Maison&Objet is a design-led trade show with a big focus on all things home and interiors (although it does also welcome exhibitors showing fashion, wellbeing, and kids products). Alongside individual retailers, you can also expect interior designers, as well as restaurant and hotel owners, to pay a visit looking for tableware and furnishings for their businesses. It’s also one of the only trade shows to charge for entry, so you can be sure everyone attending (the show apparently gets around 70,000 visitors) really means business.

This focus on design is really reflected in the exhibitions — these aren’t your average booths! Everything at Maison&Objet is sleek, and the competition is tough. But with brands like Objet de Curiosité attending every year and spending upwards of €70,000 each time for the privilege, there’s definitely money to be made — it’s just perhaps not the place for your first trade show. 



📍 New York City & Carolina, USA

🗓️  2024 dates: 12-16 April 2024 (Carolina), 4-6th August (New York City)

🗓️  2025 dates: To be confirmed

SHOPPE OBJECT is ‘a gathering of fellowship, an expression of ideas, and a physical manifestation of a shared ethos — dedication to, and reverence for; the good, the beautiful, the inspired, the innovative, the well-made’. 

It’s a trade show that feels like a polished makers’ market, with a focus on art and crafts, and on spotlighting smaller brands, artists, and makers. SHOPPE OBJECT holds biannual shows with 500 brands and in NYC and Carolina, and is free for buyers to attend. 


Fashion & clothing trade shows 


6. Pure London x JATC


Image source: Pure London

📍 Olympia London, London, UK 

🗓️  2024 dates: 14-16 July 2024

🗓️  2025 dates: To be confirmed

Pure London, partnered with trade event Just Around The Corner, holds two annual fashion trade shows in London. It’s the major apparel trade show in the UK, hosting clothing brands of all shapes and sizes, as well as seminars, a catwalk, and a spotlight on emerging talent from Graduate Fashion Week. 


7. Outdoor Retailer 

📍Salt Palace Convention Centre, Salt Lake City, USA

🗓️  2024 dates: 17-19 June 2024 (Summer), 6-8th November 2024 (Winter)

🗓️  2025 dates: 16-18 June 2025 (Summer), 3-5th November 2025 (Winter)

Outdoor Retailer is the largest B2B trade show for outdoor gear and clothing, taking place twice a year in Salt Lake City, in Utah, USA. If you sell more specialised kit, Outdoor Retailer is a great show to attend or exhibit at. 

The outdoor industry really benefits from in-person selling, with exhibitors able to demonstrate all the technical features and benefits of their products, and retailers in turn able to learn how to sell these on to their own customers.

If you’re UK-based and want a more affordable option to attend or exhibit at, National Outdoor Expo (below) is the best UK equivalent. 


8. National Outdoor Expo

📍The NEC, Birmingham, UK

🗓️  2024 dates: 23-24 March 2024

🗓️  2025 dates: 22-23 March 2025

National Outdoor Expo is the trade show for outdoor and sports kit and accessories, from water sports to snow sports, hiking to camping, and everything in between. As with the Outdoor Retailer trade show, these types of products really benefit from the chance to ‘sell’ in person. But as with all trade shows, attending is expensive, and smaller exhibitors can find it hard to track meaningful value back to their bottom line — attendees of the National Outdoor Expo have reported a sense of needing to be there ‘in order to be seen to be there’.



📍Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, Paris, France

🗓️  2024 dates: 20-22 January 2024 & 8-10 September 2024

🗓️  2025 dates: To be confirmed

WHO’S NEXT brings together fashion professionals twice a year in Paris, with ladies’ and men’s ready-to-wear clothing on show. 

For established brands, it’s a chance to showcase their new season stock. For newer brands, it’s a chance to meet with buyers, and get on their radar. There’s a space for couture designers to show, too. 

WHO’S NEXT is very much a fashion-forward, trend-focused trade show, so take this into account if you’re a small boutique looking for some everyday lines.



📍Javits Center, New York City, USA

🗓️  2024 dates: 22-24 September 2024 (SS25)

🗓️  2025 dates: To be confirmed

COTERIE isn’t there to report on fashion trends; it’s there to shape them. Bringing together the best of emerging advanced contemporary and contemporary women’s fashion brands. COTERIE takes place twice a year, with over 1,000 brands exhibiting, making it one of the largest trade shows on this list.

Alongside the chance to network with other fashion professionals, the trade show aims to be a thought leadership hub for sustainability and the use of technology within the fashion industry. As well as apparel and footwear, you’ll also find beauty and accessories brands.


Toys & kids product trade shows

11. Toy Fair (London)


Image source: Olympia London

📍Olympia London, London, UK

🗓️  2024 dates: 23-25 January 2024

🗓️  2025 dates: 21-23 January 2025

Heading back to London, we have the key toy date in the retail calendar: Toy Fair! As you might expect, this is an event devoted to all things toys, as well as games, and hobbies. 

It’s actually the only dedicated toy trade event in the UK, and brings together over 250 toy brands and manufacturers, big and small, once again under the great roof of Olympia London.


12. INDX Kids

📍Cranmore Park, Birmingham, UK

🗓️  2024 dates: 28-29 January 2024, 30 June - 1 July 2024

🗓️  2025 dates: To be confirmed

INDX Kids, which takes place twice a year, is one of several INDX events showcasing the best of smaller indie brands. 

Taking place at Cranmore Park, just outside of Birmingham, the INDX events are also some of the only UK-based retail trade shows to take place outside of London, making them a much more accessible and affordable option for indie brands located around the UK. 

INDX Kids is dedicated to all things kidswear, with over 150 brands across kids apparel, footwear, and accessories. It’s a smaller event than other trade shows we’ve covered so far, but is a great spot for emerging brands and independent retailers to cross paths.


13. Playtime Paris & Playtime and Kid’s Hub New York

📍 Parc Floral, Paris, France & Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City, USA

🗓️  2024 dates: 29 June - 1 July 2024 (Paris), 28-30 July 2024 (New York)

🗓️  2025 dates: To be confirmed

Playtime is a series of trade shows showcasing kids’ fashion and lifestyle products. With biannual events in Paris and New York, as well as a Shanghai event in the works, Playtime brings together beautiful design-led kids’ brands under one roof. There are prizes to be won, and spaces dedicated to spotlighting the best new emerging labels.



How can I get the most out of attending a trade show as a buyer? 

With hundreds of exhibitors to see, a little bit of preparation can help you get the most out of your time attending a trade show

  • Have some suppliers in mind to see before you attend 
  • Wear clothes your comfortable in, and bring a bag with space for freebies
  • Come with a budget for new stock in mind 
  • Take the opportunity to network with other buyers and retailers too

👋 Think of CREOATE like a trade show, but one you can attend all year round — from your living room, in your slippers. Start shopping over 6,500 independent brands wholesale today. 


How should I prepare to exhibit at a trade show? 

The success of exhibiting at a trade show largely comes down to how you prepare for them, so don’t skimp on this stage! We’ve included more detailed advice in the guide below, but three important areas for preparation are: 

  • Marketing yourself and setting up appointments — be vocal on social media in the run up to/during the trade show, and let any existing retail contacts know you’ll be attending 
  • Perfecting your booth design — you’ve only got a small space to catch attention, and show your products in the best light possible, so make it count!
  • Nailing your pricing structure — so you can be sure you’re offering competitive margins to retailers, while also making any orders worth your while

💡 Top tip: Haven’t had much experience selling your products in person? Try to practise by selling at makers’ markets and fairs in the run up to the big event. Yes, you’ll be selling to a different audience — but it’s still a great way to build your confidence when it comes to discussing your products. 

📚 Bookmark for later: Trade Show Booth Design: 9 Pointers & Inspo for Planning Your Space


Are trade shows worth it for exhibitors?

They definitely can be! Many exhibitors find them a great way to land more business, and increase brand awareness in general. But they also cost a lot to exhibit at, so it’s important to prepare carefully to get the most out of them. It’s also totally normal for it to take a few shows for you to hit your stride.


How much does it cost to attend a trade show? 

Trade shows are generally pretty cagey about how much it costs to exhibit at them; just hiring a small booth can cost a few thousand pounds, and that’s before you factor in travel and accommodation costs, and the opportunity cost of taking a few days out of your regular business activity.

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