Showcase® - Ireland's International Creative Expo® opens at the RDS
23rd January 2023
- • Curtain-raising trade fair for the craft & design sector attracts 4,000 Irish and overseas buyers and 380+ exhibitors
- • €20 million+ business expected to be transacted across three-day event
- • Winners of Showcase 2023 Awards to be announced Sunday afternoon
Dara Calleary T.D. Minister of State for Trade Promotion and Digital Transformation officially opened Showcase® – Ireland’s International Creative Expo® at the RDS, Dublin today, highlighting how important trade shows such as Showcase are to the design and crafts sector. One of the country’s largest international trade fairs, Showcase 2023 will welcome over 380 exhibitors and more than 4,000 buyers from Ireland and overseas. Upwards of €20 million in business is expected to be transacted across the three-day event.
Also speaking at the event were Mary Palmer, Chair of Showcase Ireland, Leo Clancy, Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Ireland, Breda Fox, Head of Craft, Local Enterprise Office, and Rosemary Steen, Chief Executive, Design & Crafts Council Ireland.
Winners of the annual Showcase Awards at Showcase - Ireland’s Creative Expo®, will be announced at 4pm by Rosemary Steen and presented to the recipients by Mary Palmer, Showcase Chair. The awards were chosen by a panel of industry experts from exhibitors spanning Home & Gift, Fashion, and Jewellery.
Winner of Overall Best Product Award – Iron St. Brigid’s Cross by Tom King of An Gobha Iron Works and Experience. An Gobha offers immersive and interactive experiences of traditional iron age metal forging delivered with theatre, stories, myths, and legends in Bohermeen, Co Meath. An Gobha also manufactures and sells handcrafted metal decorative objects based on ancient Celtic symbols and artefacts of the Boyne Valley, Ancient East. Tom has created the St. Brigid’s Cross as a work of art based around the traditional cross, with depth and with colour, to mark the new national holiday celebrating our female Patron Saint, St. Brigid.
Best Product Category Winners:
- Showcase Best Product – FASHION: Linda Wilson, Linda Wilson Knitwear
- Showcase Best Product – HOME: Kathleen Leadbetter, Jerpoint Glass Studio
- Showcase Best Product – GIFT: Serena Grimes, Snugí Babóg Knitwear
- Showcase Best Product – JEWELLERY: Garrett Mallon, Garrett Mallon Jewellery
- Showcase Best Product – WELLNESS: Annarita Monaldi, Craft Around the Clock
Other Showcase Award Winners:
- The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland Design Ireland Award – Linda Wilson, Linda Wilson Knitwear
- Local Enterprise Showcase Award – Síne Dunne, Siest Sleep
- Sustainability Award - Eoin Shanley, Copperfish Lighting Company
Dara Calleary TD, Minister of State for Trade Promotion and Digital Transformation, said: “It’s great to be here this morning and see some of the incredible products on display. Ireland is globally renowned for its craft and design, and Showcase is the international launchpad for so many Irish makers to achieve this recognition. Craft plays an integral part in Ireland’s economy, and I wish each maker the best of luck over the next couple of days.”
Mary Palmer, Chair of Showcase, says “Showcase acts as a platform for Irish makers to highlight their work to a global network of buyers. The products produced by Irish makers are high-quality and unique, and Showcase allows these makers and designers to launch collections and secure orders for the new year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in Showcase 2023, you are helping to support and grow our sector and the Irish economy.”
Rosemary Steen, CEO of Design and Crafts Council Ireland said “Showcase is now in its 48th year and we are delighted to welcome buyers from Ireland and all over the world who play a vital role in creating a stage for Irish craft and design. This year 380+ exhibitors join us to highlight and grow their businesses. I want to thank the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Office, and of course the RDS for supporting such an important event in the Irish Design and Craft calendar.”
The opening day launched with The Dancehall – a dynamic event which fused the fashion and design of Showcase makers with music and dance. The piece was styled by Aisling Farinella and inspired by the Irish dancehall, the culture of which dates back to the 1800s. The event focused on the theme of storytelling and tradition that is intrinsic to Showcase, reflecting the stories and provenance behind the makers and products at the show.
In addition to this, the digital marketplace, Showcase Connect, which features all exhibitors, is already proving a success. Using the platform, registered trade buyers have been browsing products and engaging with exhibitors since it launched in 2021. The platform allows buyers to ‘favourite’ products, send instant messages and set up one-on-one meetings.
Showcase is promoted internationally by Enterprise Ireland through its network of overseas offices. Speaking ahead of the opening event, Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy said: “Showcase Ireland 2023 offers Irish designers and manufacturers in the Consumer Products sector valuable opportunities to present their unique products. It allows Ireland’s innovative brands to connect with over 80 international buyers hosted by Enterprise Ireland at the ‘Enterprise Ireland International Buyers Hub’ in the RDS. Enterprise Ireland is delighted to collaborate once again on this significant annual event which presents a forum where we can support the delivery of a key strategic focus to support Irish companies to win new business in international markets.”
Showcase is becoming even more important for Ireland’s micro enterprises and new start-ups, according to Breda Fox, Head of Craft & Design, Local Enterprise Offices: “This is a fantastic day for our up and coming craft and design client companies. For many it will be their first time in the Local Enterprise Showcase as part of this year’s event and that excitement and sense of opportunity is palpable. They get an opportunity to bring their ideas and products to the world and hopefully many will attract new buyers and investment that will sustain them and help them grow over the coming months and years. The Local Enterprise Offices have been working with these clients to get them in the best possible shape for this showcase and it’s great now to see it all come to fruition and we wish them all the very best for the coming days.”
Showcase was founded in 1976 by Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) and is delivered with support from Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices. Showcase 2023 runs from Sunday 22nd January to Tuesday 24th January and is for trade attendance only. For further details on the event or to register to attend, please visit www.showcaseireland.com.
Showcase – Ireland’s Creative Expo® is one of the country’s largest international trade shows. The annual event is attended by over 4,000 buyers from across the world, including Ireland, the UK, USA, Mainland Europe and the Asia, generating sales orders of over €20 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 300 Irish brands are exhibited at the fair, including emerging Irish businesses supported by their Local Enterprise Offices. Showcase is for trade attendance only.
About Design & Crafts Council Ireland
Design & Crafts Council Ireland is the national agency for craft and design in Ireland, we support designers and makers to develop their businesses in a sustainable way, and advocate for the societal benefits of craft and design. DCCI's activities are funded by the Department of Trade, Enterprise and Employment via Enterprise Ireland. DCCI currently has 66 member organisations and over 3,500 registered clients.
About Enterprise Ireland
Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. We work in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. In this way, we support sustainable economic growth, regional development and secure employment.
Local Enterprise Offices
The 31 Local Enterprise Offices located in the local authorities and funded through Enterprise Ireland support thousands of small Irish businesses and entrepreneurs nationwide. Since their establishment in 2014 they have been for the first stop shop for entrepreneurs and small businesses and providing a range of supports including financial, mentoring, training and sector specific expertise to help guide businesses at any stage of their development. For more information on the Local Enterprise Offices go to:
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