Showcase — which takes place in the RDS (Main Hall) from January 22 to 25 2012 — is expected to attract more than 5,500 retail buyers from Ireland and over 17 countries around the world including Britain, North America, continental Europe and Japan, all seeking out the best of Irish creativity. Online bookings are already up over 70% compared with last year.
A new addition will be Showcase Fashion 2012, a bold presentation of the best of Irish fashion with a heritage slant from Irish designer-makers and manufacturers. A dramatic runway show in the RDS will unveil selected work from the latest collections by Ireland’s leading and up-and-coming fashion creatives.
Showcase includes a wide range of well-known consumer brands including Tipperary Crystal, Belleek, Galway Crystal and Avoca. Making a return this year is Fisherman Out of Ireland from Kilcar, Co Donegal. The company offers a range of traditional styles and yarns in ladies and gents ranges and ships to the four corners of the globe.
One of the central features of Showcase will be Creative Island, a space dedicated to beautifully crafted products exclusively ‘Imagined, Designed and Made in Ireland’. First launched at Showcase in 2010, Creative Island has been expanded from 55 to 85 exhibitors, all chosen by an independent jury for their creativity, innovation and craftsmanship.
The Crafts Council of Ireland is the main driver behind Showcase which is one of the most important means of developing export and market opportunities for Irish designer-makers.
Head of market development at the Crafts Council of Ireland, Brian McGee, said: “The event provides an unique opportunity to connect with buyers from all over the world who are keen to unearth new and relevant products for their shops. The show is busy and exciting and we try to keep the atmosphere warm and inviting, and, of course, the overseas attendees love to spend a bit of time in our friendly city of Dublin.”
Manager consumer retail markets Enterprise Ireland, Charlie Kelly, said. “Despite the current economic conditions, it is anticipated that Showcase will help to generate €11 million in exports for Enterprise Ireland client companies exhibiting at the event. Showcase also provides international journalists the opportunity to visit Ireland and discover what Irish companies have to offer and the diversity of products available”.