28 Nov 2023

Glee confirms new September dateline

Glee takes ultimate pride in bringing together the entire garden retail ecosystem each year. Now, following market-wide feedback and insight, it has been confirmed that Glee 2024 will take place in September to better serve its retailer and supplier community.

The change will be an immediate one and will take effect for the 2024 edition of Glee - just in time to mark the show’s 50th anniversary – with the confirmed dates being Tuesday 10th - Thursday 12th September, at the NEC, Birmingham.


Reinforcing the future of garden retail

The decision to reposition Glee’s timing didn’t happen overnight and was just one learning to come out of months of consulting numerous steering groups, and industry-wide collaboration. The Glee team spoke to smaller independent retailers all the way through to the biggest multiples, with them all playing a part in informing the show’s latest chapter. As Glee’s Event Director, Matthew Mein explains, these conversations had a deeper purpose: “Our industry is constantly evolving, and Glee plays an important part in shaping the future of garden retail – from the ideas shared on our stages through to the partnerships forged on the show floor. In order to do this, it’s important we stay absolutely up to date with what is promoting change now and also what the future may hold for trading conditions and trends. Staying constantly connected with our community unlocks that and armed with this knowledge, we are better positioned to create a ‘great Glee’ that supports its stakeholders with everything they need to flourish.”


A new dateline to offer tangible benefits

Boyd Douglas-Davies, the show’s new Strategic Advisor, who has been integral in the latest research project, explains how the new dates were arrived at.

“The full calendar was reviewed but September consistently embodied the ‘sweet spot’ for retailers and suppliers, with over 55% of Steering Group participants ranking September as the best month to hold Glee. By comparison, the second most popular choice, June, only had 15%.  It wasn’t as simple as ‘June is wrong’ because we know it offered value for many, but the overall effectiveness of Glee as an event for business growth changed as we moved into a new chapter post-Covid, with buying cycles, lead-times and seasonality all impacting how our industry ‘shops’.

“One issue that many retailers voiced to us was about a lack of price lists available in June and, with a need for comprehensive data to support orders for the year ahead, the buying cycle was becoming unnecessarily extended. The September timing allows for the industry as a whole to be ready, including those that export, with the show perfectly positioned at the natural close of one season, and with a new one on the horizon. This will lead to a more streamlined process, with Glee marking the transition between seasons, with ordering finalisation, planning and preparation coming immediately after the event.

“From a logistics perspective, a September event also offers multiple benefits. Stores are quieter, with teams enjoying a brief reprieve before the festive season commences. It is also term time for most schools, meaning no more crossover with the summer holiday season. This, in turn, allows retailers to bring bigger teams to Glee to be inspired and source new products and supply partners from the hundreds of exhibitors, innovators and new products that find their home at Glee every year.”


The start of things to come

As the industry buzz for Glee’s latest development takes hold, Matthew Mein, Glee Event Director explains that this move is demonstrative of Glee’s desire to remain responsive to the needs of Glee’s represented sectors. He said: “The success of Glee is aligned wholly with having our finger on the pulse of our industry. Through our latest research and continual dialogue, we are now better placed than ever to invest in the show’s future. Whether it’s tackling those topics that are effecting change, building a platform for growth, or providing a voice for the industry, we have a renewed long-term vision for Glee and look forward to bringing to market new content to support the continued advancement of garden retail.

“To everyone that has shared their thoughts on Glee’s timings, including those that kindly donated their time to join us at one of our steering groups, I’d like to say thank you. You have all been crucial in the development of this next chapter of Glee.”


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