With so much turbulence brought about by coronavirus, the nursery industry has encountered so many unforeseen changes. Cancelled trade shows and launches, step changes in online businesses, and digital shows.

One major obstacle was the postponement of the annual Nursery Fair in Harrogate. Never ones to take setbacks laying down however, this week, Nursery Online joined forces with the fair organisers to host the first ever digital Harrogate Preview Show.

Over 400 visitors and more than 25 exhibitors signed up for the show to showcase their innovations for baby and toddlers.

Digital Harrogate Preview show logo

About the show

The show ran across two days on the 22nd-23rd June, and aimed to unite the market and support through the current challenges.

With live elements running over the two days, visitors attended a demo zone, digital showroom, news/trending section, awards, and talks and workshops. All content will be live in the showroom until the end of August to allow those unable to visit the chance to catch up.

The show gave retailers the opportunity to learn about new spring/summer launches, prior to seeing them in the flesh at the October show. Brands were given the chance to focus on their current launches, saving their autumn/winter launches for the physical show.

Nursery Online Trade Awards

After hours of judging and deliberation, the winners of the inaugural Nursery Online Trade Awards were announced on Monday evening during the Harrogate Digital Preview Show after-show party. 

Retailers and brands joined to hear the announcements, and enjoyed a spot of networking, with a glass of wine or two.

Over 140 entries were received for the awards, across 13 categories for products and retailers.

Silver Cross were the headline sponsor of the awards and after-show party, with category sponsors Hardenberg & Co /Angelcare UK, Bump PR, B Baby, Venicci, Didofy, and Progressive Preschool.

Read the full list of awards winners.

Nursery Online Trade Awards 2020

Kerry Haynes, Director of Nursery Online commented:

“When it became evident that Harrogate would not take place in March or June, we approached the team to offer an interim solution. The main aim was to bring all the retailers, brand and press in one easy-to-access place, and support brands and retailers during this challenging time.

“Over the past 2 weeks, as stores have reopened, retailers of all sizes are trying to catch up with demand and operating appointments throughout the day. The Digital Preview Show aimed to help them from the comfort of their store. We had over 25 brands taking part and 400 show visitors over the two days, and saw a spike in online traffic to the digital showroom.

“The exhibitor stands and live demos were really popular, with some of the product demos attracting over 40 viewers. We plan to feature recorded product demos from next week and the exhibitor ‘stands’ on site until the end of August, to enable retailers who were unable to attend the event, the opportunity to gain the same experience as those who were able to attend. We also hope in doing this digital event, it will encourage more retailers and brands to visit or exhibit at Harrogate in October.”

Content on demand

The show content will be available in the show section of the site until the end of August for visitors to catch up and watch, so those who were unable to attend can gain the same unlimited access.