Calling all craft designers to Showcase
Local Enterprise Office Waterford is inviting clients in the craft and design sector to apply for a subsidised place at next year’s Showcase Creative Expo in the RDS.
Running for over forty years, Showcase has an impressive track record in attracting Ireland’s most talented makers and designers, along with buyers from over twenty countries.
Working in partnership with the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) around the country set up a dedicated area within Showcase every year – the Local Enterprise Showcase – enabling up to 100 designers, manufacturers and craftspeople to sell directly to international buyers.
A Waterford business with experience of Showcase is Monkey Cups, an Irish-designed barista standard reusable coffee cup. Established by Mailo Power and debuted at Showcase 2019, Monkey Cups is an advocate of reducing single-use plastic waste in creating a fun, reusable alternative.
Mailo said the experience was hugely beneficial to her company as it afforded her the opportunity to meet with national and international buyers.
“As we were a new brand it was hugely important to have face-to-face discussions with customers, build relationships and get feedback on our product, pricing and our packaging. Showcase Ireland 2019 helped us meet lots of interesting retailers face-to-face rather than by email or over the phone.”
“The advantage of attending Showcase Ireland is you get really focused on getting your product ready for market. The mentoring we received by LEO Waterford prior to the show was invaluable. We hit the ground running and were able to comfortably and confidently talk to people knowing what information decision-makers required in advance. We were fully supported every step of the way by LEO and we’ll certainly be back for 2020!”
Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at LEO Waterford said that Showcase is an invaluable stepping stone to any craft-maker or designer getting an audience with potential clients. “With buyers from Ireland, Europe, the USA and Asia, Showcase is truly established as the must-see trade event. For any one in the fashion, jewellery, home or giftware business the four-day event offers exposure to new international markets.”
“Not only will their place be subsidised by the LEO, in advance of the expo the successful applicant will also avail of training and briefing days in October in order to help them perfect their pitch and give them the tools, advice and insights to take full advantage of this fantastic opportunity.”
In addition, LEO Waterford is looking to map the craft sector in Waterford in order to gauge the future development needs of craft businesses in Waterford. A short questionnaire is available on line and all responses will contribute to the development of further support services to the craft industry.
LEO Waterford is now inviting any clients interested in availing of one of three stands to complete an Expression of Interest form and return to LEO Waterford by 12pm, Tuesday, May 22nd. Forms are available online at www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford/ or from LEO Waterford offices at 35, The Mall, Waterford or the Civic Offices in Dungarvan.