SHOWCASE – Ireland’s Creative Expo® 2020 is officially opened by Dr Orlaigh Quinn, Secretary General at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation

19th January, 2020

Showcase 2020
Pictured, L-R: Louise Allen, Managing Executive, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland; Orlaigh Quinn, Secretary General, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation; Ruth Sexton, Senior Development Adviser, Enterprise Ireland; Stephen Creaner, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland and Breege O'Donoghue, Chair of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland.
  • 44th edition of one of Ireland’s largest international trade shows welcomes buyers from 26 countries to the RDS in Dublin
  • Strong growth expected from the US market with pre-registrations of US buyers up 24% on 2019
  • Sales orders in excess of €20 million expected during an intensive four days
  • New season collections being unveiled by over 400 creative brands, including more than 50 debuting at Showcase in 2020

Dr Orlaigh Quinn, Secretary General at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, officially opened Showcase – Ireland’s Creative Expo® at the RDS, Dublin today. The show, which marks its 44th edition this year and runs until Wednesday 22 January, is one of Ireland’s largest and most important international trade fairs. Showcase is presented on behalf of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, with support from Enterprise Ireland in promoting the trade show internationally, and the Local Enterprise Offices nationwide.

Over 400 creative brands, including more than 50 who are exhibiting at Showcase for the first time, are presenting their very latest collections across fashion, jewellery, and home & giftware. Orders generated over the four days of the 2019 show were €25.1M (+4.6% on 2018), equating to an annualised sales level of €159.2M (+4.4% on 2018), and another strong year is expected for 2020.

Showcase will welcome buying teams from over 2,760 retail businesses across the world who are travelling to the RDS to discover unique, authentic, contemporary products designed and made in Ireland, many of which are exclusive to the show. The main international markets for this trade-only show are the UK, USA, Mainland Europe and the Far East. In 2019, Showcase partnered with Enterprise Ireland to run promotional events in Japan and New York and a direct marketing campaign in Germany. Indications are there will be strong growth from these markets in 2020.

Dr Quinn said: “This world-class fair focused on Irish creativity is instrumental to sustaining and developing Ireland’s innovative design and craft sector which makes an immense contribution to our economy and culture and provides vital sustainable employment in every region. Showcase offers trade buyers a unique opportunity to meet with hundreds of enterprising Irish companies, ranging from brand new start-ups to family businesses established for generations. For exhibitors keen to diversify or extend their market presence internationally, this is where they can connect with buyers from around the world and secure orders, enabling them to build resilience and maximise their potential to scale and grow. I look forward to seeing the design and craft sector continue to evolve through the exciting opportunities that Showcase presents and wish all those involved a fruitful event this year.”

Key features at Showcase 2020 include:

  • SÓ, a new inspirational short film launched at Showcase to create awareness and appreciation of Irish-made textiles, accessories and apparel. Directed by internationally celebrated Irish photographer, Boo George, in collaboration with fashion director Paula Hughes, the film was commissioned and produced by Design & Crafts Council Ireland.
  • Specially curated displays presenting the Best Product Award winners along with an edited selection of the most interesting and innovative products at Showcase, designed to make sourcing easier for busy attendees.
  • Design Ireland®, presented by Design & Crafts Council Ireland, featuring 67 leading makers selected by a jury of international retail experts for their creativity, innovation, craftsmanship and market potential.
  • The Local Enterprise Showcase presenting unique products from emerging Irish businesses across Ireland supported by their Local Enterprise Offices.
  • An extensive seminar programme featuring international industry speakers delivering thought-provoking workshops for retailers and also providing 1-2-1 advice.

Commenting on the show, Louise Allen, Managing Executive, Design & Crafts Council Ireland, said: “Showcase is pivotal to developing the commercial potential of Ireland’s design and craft sector, providing innovative Irish companies with an unparalleled opportunity to meet and do business with buyers from across Ireland and around the world. This annual event also plays a crucial role in raising the profile of contemporary Irish design and craft internationally and we are continually developing the show’s offering while delivering a uniquely Irish experience. Thanks to the support of Enterprise Ireland in marketing Showcase abroad, we are delighted to be welcoming buyers from 26 countries and look forward to another productive event over the coming days. We wish all exhibitors and buyers every success.”

Through its network of 40 overseas offices, Enterprise Ireland’s international teams promote Showcase to buyers world-wide. Stephen Creaner, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland, said: “Enterprise Ireland’s overseas teams have been busy over the last year promoting Showcase in their regions as well as identifying and securing new and existing buyers to attend the 2020 event. Over the next few days, Enterprise Ireland in partnership with Showcase will host 1,000 international buyers from more than 26 countries, many of whom return to Showcase year after year in the knowledge that their journeys to our island afford them the opportunity to experience the breadth of Irish innovation, creativity and design. This is their chance to take home unique Irish products that transcend time and trends and we are looking forward to another strong and successful year for emerging and established Irish businesses with global ambition at Showcase 2020.”

The Local Enterprise Showcase, which once again fully occupies the balcony of the Main Hall at the RDS, features 88 businesses supported by 29 Local Enterprise Offices across the country.

Kieran Comerford, chair of the Local Enterprise Offices Exhibitions Committee, said: “The Local Enterprise Showcase is always an exciting element of Showcase. The clients here are the up-and-coming talent of Irish craft and design. Many of the exhibitors here will be just starting out, working with their Local Enterprise Office and trying to make the most of the opportunity this event brings. Others have been here before and know the benefits of the Local Enterprise Showcase and the chance to meet buyers from Ireland and all over the world. They have the chance to potentially make business and life changing deals so it’s an exciting few days ahead for our clients.”

Showcase 2020 runs from Sunday, 19th to Wednesday, 22nd January 2020 and is for trade attendance only. For further details on the event or to pre-register to attend, please visit showcaseireland.com.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

About Showcase
Showcase – Ireland’s Creative Expo® is one of the country’s largest international trade shows. The annual event attracts the buying teams from over 2,760 retailers from across the world, including Ireland, the UK, USA, Mainland Europe and the Far East, generating sales orders of €25 million during the four days of the show. Showcase is presented on behalf of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, with support from Enterprise Ireland in promoting the trade show internationally through their network of offices overseas, and the Local Enterprise Offices nationwide. More than 400 Irish brands are exhibited at the fair, including emerging Irish businesses supported by their Local Enterprise Offices. Showcase is for trade attendance only. showcaseireland.com

About Design & Crafts Council Ireland
Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) is the national agency for the commercial development of Irish designers and makers, stimulating innovation, championing design thinking and informing Government policy. DCCI's activities are funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCI currently has 59 member organisations and over 3,000 registered clients. dcci.ie

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