Giftware Association unveils new format for Gift of the Year 2018 Awards

The Giftware Association has joined forces with the Spring Fair to host the 2018 edition of the Gift of the Year Awards during the Birmingham trade show.

The night of celebration will be held at The Vox Conference Centre, located adjacent to the NEC – which is home to the Spring Fair. The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday February 4: the first evening of the Spring Fair.

The Giftware Association chief executive officer Sarah Ward commented: “The Giftware Association has been running the Gift of the Year competition for 39 years.

“Our partnership with Spring Fair represents our shared mutual interests within the industry, and we look forward to seeing the Awards achieve greater awareness and expansion. Each year we’ve seen the competition get bigger, and 2018 is going to be especially exciting.”

Spring Fair portfolio director Nick Davison added: “The Awards are an important opportunity to recognise exemplary innovation and creativity within the sector, and we’re looking forward to seeing which suppliers and retailers win on the night.”

The Gift of the Year programme honours ‘the latest, most original and innovatively designed products that could be given as gifts’.

The judges look for: design, innovation and originality, the ‘wow’ factor, presentation and packaging, quality of manufacture, customer appeal and value, sales potential and commercial viability, retail profit potential, and marketing and merchandising material.

Entries are encouraged from both large and small enterprises.To qualify, products must have been launched to the trade from March 1 2017 and delivered by the end of the second quarter of 2018. The products must be available for sale up to Christmas 2018.

There are 15 award categories for products and three award categories for retailers:

-Home Product: any item that adorns the home, from modern, traditional, classic and country to urban living, fun and funky.

-Kitchen and Dining Product: gifts and accessories for dining and entertaining including tableware, glassware, cutlery, table decoration and utensils.

-Festive/seasonal product: decorative products specifically designed and themed around Christmas or key calendar events – Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Hanukkah, Halloween and all in between.

-Contemporary Gift: funky, design led gifts with a quirky modern feel.

-General Gift: gifts for any occasion – collectables, souvenirs, personalised products and trinkets.

-Greetings/Stationery Collection: greetings cards and giftwrap fit for any occasion, and stationery items including diaries, calendars, photo albums, notebooks, pens and scrapbooks.

-Children’s Gift: products, gifts and toys for children of all ages.

-Fashion Accessory: wearable accessories including fashion jewellery, scarves, bags, purses and belts.

-Gift Food Product: gifts you can eat or drink.

-Body, Bath & Home Fragrance Product: products to enhance health, beauty and well-being including room odourisers, reed diffusers, bath bombs, soaps and lotions.

-Hot Novelty Product: gifts with a touch of silliness and fun.

-Under £10 Product: products retailing under £10.

-Garden and Outdoor Product: gifts and accessories for the outdoors.

-Licensed Product: any licensed product linked to a well-known character or entertainment brand.

-Shirley Frost Award – Design And Craft: products designed and made in smaller studios with the personal touch.

-Multiple Retailer Buyer/Team

-Independent Retailer Buyer/Team

-Online Retailer Buyer/Team

One ‘winner’ and two ‘highly commended’ products will be chosen from each category. The winning entrants receive a trophy and point of sale material to place on the products and in-store

All winning and highly commended products will be displayed in the Gift of the Year showcase at Spring Fair 2018 and at sister shows Autumn Fair 2018 and the Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival Harrogate 2018. They will also be promoted in a full colour catalogue widely distributed within the UK and overseas

In addition, free exhibition stand at Autumn Fair 2018 will be given to the overall Judges’ Choice winner.

The competition is now open. Companies are invited to enter at or via

To book tables at the Awards and or enquire about branding opportunities, contact Paria Mercer on 0203 033 2174 or at

The Giftware Association celebrated its 70th birthday last month in its home town of Birmingham. It is the only UK trade association serving the gift and home industry, representing companies from across the industry, from manufacturers, designers, wholesalers, importers, and exporters to retailers.

Spring Fair is billed as the UK’s largest homeware and gifting trade show. Organised by Ascential, it takes place from February 4 to February 8 2018 at the NEC in Birmingham.


Ross Bearman, co-founder/director of Ross & Ross Food, collected his trophy at the Gift of the Year Awards 2017. Ross & Ross Food’s Homemade Salmon Curing Kit won the Food & Drink category, sponsored by the Farm Shop & Deli Show


Check Also

OXO to showcase new products at Exclusively

OXO will be showcasing its new Steel Barware collection alongside its portfolio of Iconic products …