The 2017 edition of The London Bridal Show was a huge success, with a 6% increase in visitor numbers and more international retailers than ever before; cementing the show’s reputation as the first event on the international buying calendar. International visitors made up 29% of the overall attendance, with retailers travelling from over 40 different countries.
Visitors to The London Bridal Show expected to see the latest collections from a mix of established names and fresh new talents; and they weren’t disappointed. Attendees were spoilt for choice with the 200 collections on show, including returning labels Casablanca, Essense of Australia, Mark Lesley, Mori Lee, Ronald Joyce and Private Label by G. Just a few of the names joining the show for the first time this March were Blue by Enzoani, Dando London and Saborama New York, Hensa, Matchimony and Tiffany Rose Maternity.
This year’s event included a number of never-before-seen features, all conveniently located on the Gallery Level. The seminar programme kicked off on Sunday morning with a panel of industry experts answering questions from the audience. Warren Knight took to the stage on both Sunday and Monday to give his inspiring presentation ‘Winning new clients with social media’, and sales expert Susan Marot also presented two sessions on ‘Closing that sale’. The Seminar Theatre was also host to Phil Pond from Scarlet Opus who talked visitors through the psychology of shop design and display and Steve Sidkin who advised visitors about legal issue and how to deal with them. It was standing room only for every session, with one retailer commenting ‘I found the seminars very useful and a great addition to the show.’
New for 2017 was the Business Advice Clinic, where retailers could book a one-to-one session with an industry expert to get tailored advice. These sessions were an instant hit, with the majority of appointments booked within the first hour of the show opening.
The gowns that feature on The London Bridal Show runway are key indicators of the styles that promise to perform in the season ahead. Retailers saw show stopping dresses from Casablanca, Dando London, Diane Legrand, Donna Salado, Eternity, Gino Cerruti, Jasmine, Julija Bridal Fashion, Mark Lesley and NIXA. Top trends to watch out for next season include 3D floral appliques, lightweight fabrics and girly pinks.
Show Director Wendy Adams said ‘The London Bridal Show 2017 has been a huge success. We put a lot of thought into what we could give back to the buyers this year, and we have had really positive feedback. Retailers were able to shop the new collections, see the dresses come to life on the catwalk and get advice on how to improve their business with the seminar programme and Business Advice Clinic.’
Save the date for The London Bridal Show 2018, which will return to London Olympia from 4-6 March.