Following a successful 2017 showcase, the organizers of Glee, U.K.’s leading garden retail show, have confirmed some exciting details set to add even more value to the 2018 exhibition.

Still on a high following Glee 2017, the event’s post-show report has helped shape much of the thinking for the short- and long-term future of Glee. Remaining positive, the research has highlighted Glee’s ongoing value for the industry it represents. With half of the attendees at the 2017 show falling into the “promoters” category it’s safe to assume that the show hit the mark for those that made the journey to the NEC Birmingham, including the 31 percent of first-time visitors. What’s more, the purchasing power of Glee continues to prove its worth with 83 percent of attendees had purchasing power, with half of those attending making purchases either at or post-show

The Retail Lab @ Glee – celebrating its inaugural year in 2017 – proved to be a popular attraction, which is why the area has been confirmed to make its return in 2018. More than 80 percent of those who visited the Retail Lab found the area to be useful, helping them to source new products, merchandising ideas and retailing best practice. A sentiment mirrored by over half of Glee’s overall audience, who stated that finding out more about future trends was a primary reason for attending the show. With the support of the HTA, the Retail Lab is set to be bigger in 2018, while during the coming months Glee will be working with the market to present ‘The Retail Lab in Practice’ – showcasing the different ways retailers have taken Retail Lab concepts and ideas, and implemented them in their own retail environments.

The exhibition itself will also be benefitting from a complete relocation into NEC halls 6,7,8, 19-20, providing the show with a much bigger footprint, and an even larger and more exciting exhibition. Exhibitors will be able to relocate, while visitors will be walking an updated floor plan, discovering new products and companies at every turn. The overall effect will be a refreshed, revitalized event, as Matthew Mein, Glee event director explains: “Glee has been growing at a significant rate – for example we had over 200 new brands join us at the 2017 event – and that means we’ve outgrown our current home. Glee has successfully relocated before, and we hope that this next move will be received with the same level of industry support. Not only will the exhibition be able to better accommodate more exhibitors and visitors, but its refreshed layout will breathe new life into the show. This move is inspired by the way that retailers keep their store interesting for customers by constantly revising the layout. This way customers discover more, and ultimately spend more – something we know our exhibitors and visitors want to replicate during their time at Glee.”

Building more content to help support the continuous growth of gardening in the U.K. will be a key theme of the 2018 event. Garden retailing is continuing to buck the trend that other retailers have fallen foul of, with growth for both garden retailers and suppliers continuing to grab the headlines. At Glee 2018 look out for more features, seminar sessions and year-round information relating to trends, merchandising and practical advice on ways to build better business, while also tackling the most burning issue – how to attract Millennials into the garden center.

With more than three quarters of Glee’s audience coming to source new products, with many stating the importance of being able to touch and feel a product previously only seen in a catalogue, Glee 2018 will see even more focus on new products. The show’s New Product Showcase will be relocated to the main floor space, making the showcase a more central feature.

Glee’s added value content, such as the Seminar Theatre, will also be getting an upgrade in 2018. With an increase in visitors to the theatre of 30 percent year-on-year, Glee will be working to bring even more high-profile speakers to the stage in 2018.

“We’re excited about what Glee 2018 can achieve,” said Mein. “We’re coming off the back of an incredibly positive 2017 event, however we’re not resting on our laurels. Retailing is a constantly evolving business, with garden retailing setting the standard. As the annual exhibition that represents this market, we have a responsibility to keep Glee fresh. By making changes, adding more content and focusing on areas of significant growth, we hope we can create a show that continues to deliver. Our post-show research has been incredibly useful, and we thank our visitors for their continued support and honest feedback. From helping to make purchasing decisions, sourcing new products, providing a platform for networking and inspiring with new trend information and retailing best practice, Glee 2018 is set to be the best show yet.”

Glee offers three jam-packed days of networking, selling and purchasing spread across 8 select show sectors: Garden Care; Landscaping and Garden Decoration; Outdoor Entertaining; Plants; Retail Experiences and Services; Food and Catering; Home, Gift and Clothing; and Pet Products.

Further details about Glee 2018 will be unveiled shortly. For more information, visit www.gleebirmingham.com.