By  on November 21, 2007

LONDON — In the face of grim market conditions, British trade shows are relying on intimacy with their clients for a buoyant season.

Organizers are keying in to dominant industry trends and creating offerings that benefit both buyers and exhibitors.

Pure, the women's fashion and accessories show, will launch a footwear section at its Feb. 10 to 12 exhibition after learning that 66 percent of buyers had increased their footwear sales within 12 months. Organizers are expanding its exhibition space at Olympia London to 139,930 square feet, up 19,375 square feet from the previous season.

The increasing presence of footwear also can be felt at London's directional streetwear show, Margin. Last season, organizer Odysseas Constantine launched Gild, an area for everything from jewelry to hosiery.

"Gild worked really well for the buyers, and we had a good response from the labels," Constantine said.

For Margin's Feb. 10 to 12 show at the Vinyl Factory, Constantine is marketing Gild as a separate exhibition and is expanding, though plans to keep the number of exhibitors below 85.

"I always make sure to grow the show organically and slowly," Constantine said, adding that he selects all the labels that show at Margin. "We've curated the show so that buyers don't have to wade through hole after hole — they know that we've hand-picked a really good mix of brands."

Still, separate accessories areas do not work well for all organizers. At London Edge, the alternative clubwear show, organizer Carol Hunter said her buyers and labels prefer a mixed-in approach.

"Our exhibitors like to be mixed in because it gives them more visibility....They have a better chance of being found. Our buyers like to see accessories alongside clothing to see how they work together," Hunter said.

London Edge is slated for Feb. 3 to 5 at the Olympia 2 fairgrounds.

Elsewhere, organizers are seeing surging interest in green products and are rolling out a range of eco-friendly initiatives.

Premier Kids will unveil an Eco Kids section that houses organic cotton, fair trade and "the latest" recycled products when it returns to the NEC in Birmingham from Jan. 27 to 29.

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