When director Sean Byron decided to exhibit at Reed Gift Fairs Sydney, he knew he had to do things differently than previous years.
“We have just had this custom 72 square metre stand built featuring over 1,700 SKUs—it has been a year in production,” Byron says.
“It is a Gingerbread House that has been pimped up to be the best Christmas-themed house on the show floor at Reed Gift Fairs Sydney. We see this as the new age of stand building. As well as the products inside, we have also decorated outside with garlands and wreaths attached to demonstrate in-situ how a house can be decorated around their windows and fireplaces.”
Exhibiting at the ICC has been a game-changer and has changed the outlook of what the company can do, Byron adds.
“The original stand layout is a thing of the past and you have to think outside the square and you have to create your own world, and that is exactly what we have done here.”
It certainly worked for 42nd Street with buyers lining up to get a taste of what the Gingerbread House was all about.
L to R: Simon Kohler, Jan Alvarez, Sean Byron
“A lot of customers have come to have a look and see what’s inside and once they are inside they transform into buying mode. On the second day of the show, we had people queuing for orders—I have never worked so hard in my life.
“This is the sixth season I have owned the business and it has been running for 21 years and Sunday was the busiest buying day in the company’s history. It completely blew us away when we looked at the final total at the end of the day—we were a bit shocked. And that total was not generated by our bigger customers—there were only one or two of our bigger customers doing medium sized orders in those numbers.”
The most popular products have been the large Santas as well as Santa & Mrs Claus that match in eight colours.
“Buyers are clearly wanting to avoid stock issues later this year, so this is bringing forward their purchasing now. There is also a growing trend towards Christmas in July to help them test the market,” Byron explains.
“We have had a very high quantity of new customers as well as previous customers who have come back after not shopping with us for a while and people who didn’t know us at all. New clients would probably represent over 40 per cent of the orders we have taken at the fair.
“There have been a lot of online retailers and start-ups that have also been drawn into the stand, but we believe that shopping online on a computer screen versus touching and feeling it is a different thing.
“We are looking forward to bringing back the Gingerbread House at the gift fair in Melbourne. There will be fewer items as a number of our lines have sold out, but that’s ok, it is a case of first in best dressed.”