Pulse is round the corner

Tomorrow, more than 500 brands will exhibit at trade show Pulse, which runs from Sunday May 11 to Tuesday May 13 at at London’s Earls Court.
Billed as ‘a one-stop shop for new products across home, gift, fashion and accessories,’ Pulse attracts of thousands of retailers keen to source new products from a mix of established brands and up-and-coming designers, of which 75% will be taking part for the first time.

Visitors will also meet over 100 contemporary designers in Launchpad: an exclusive platform dedicated to identifying, developing and promoting commercially ready talent from across the globe.

“New, new, new: that is the mantra at Pulse this year” explained Neil Gaisford, portfolio director of show organiser Clarion Retail. “We have selected a unique offer of compelling new products to make your business stand out.”

He added: “As the high street continues to evolve, there has never been a greater desire amongst retailers to change the way they do things. In response to this, we have launched a comprehensive and new ‘insight and trends’ seminar programme providing free and inspired lessons for retailers looking to enhance their business.”

Pulse is working in conjunction with some of the industry’s key influencers to inform and assist retailers across a range of hot topics, including fashion and home trends, e-commerce, social media, merchandising, reviving the high street, PR & marketing, craft, Fairtrade and much more.

‘Shop Talk’ is a series of exclusive short talks organised in collaboration with The Indytute. The keynote speaker is Doug Richard, who will be giving tips for succeeding in business. An entrepreneur with 25 years’ experience in the development and leadership of technology and software ventures, he was chairman of the Conservative Party Small Business Task Force and founded the School for Startups to enable new and aspiring entrepreneurs turn their big ideas into successful enterprises. Doug has taught, mentored and provided training to over 25,000 businesses, encouraging a more entrepreneurial mind-set to improve bottom line results.

Gap European marketing manager Lizzie Hanbury Tenison will be talking on the theme of ‘Big brand ideas for small businesses’ and specificially, how to use social media to its full potential. Passionate about the subject, it has played a huge part in her marketing career that has seen her contribute to the growth of some of Britain’s leading brands, including No7, Green & Blacks, Gü puddings and most recently Gap.

‘How to get noticed by journalists’ is the theme of Katie Law’s speech. The features editor of ‘The London Evening Standard ‘ writes about interiors and design trends for the daily newspaper’s Home and Property section. She will discuss the best ways to market your story to the press to gain valuable exposure – and explain what journalists look for in a great press release.

Jemima Garthwaite and Tom Szekeres, the founders of This Here, will reveal how to ‘Supercharge your digital marketing’. They said: “Things change very quickly on the web. Keeping pace is a full time job, and it’s easy to get stuck behind the curve. This Here is a data-fuelled creative agency, to help companies get up to speed, and provide regular analysis, insight and strategy to take your business to the next level.” The pair will give a crash lesson in how to generate content, what tools to use, the common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Jan Constantine: founder and director of the eponymous company will tell her personal story and share her ambitions for brand development. Jan is the drive and creator of Jan Constantine Ltd; her collections which are hand-embroidered on natural linens and wool, are designed to become heirlooms of the future.

‘Love your accountant’ is the title of a presentation by Ben Warren, principal of Hilton Consulting: a firm of chartered accountants and business advisors. He will discuss how to manage your cash flow, how to preserve cash and what action to take when you think it’s running out – including how to raise finance.

Calypso Rose of The Indytute will talk on the subject of ‘Bringing in the customers’. She said: “It’s not just enough to open the door to your business. Customers expect more – which is the niche that The Indytute can fill.” The Indytute bills itself as a curator of customer workshops which are held in stores to delight and entice customers into retail spaces; helping businesses create a unique brand story to differentiate themselves from their competitors’. The Indytute has worked with Selfridges, The Soho House group and Stylist magazine. Calypso added: “We believe shops should become the hub of social experience and so we work with businesses to get customers to stay, enjoy the space and engage with the staff.”

Jessica MacDonald of Instagrammers London will explore how you can ‘Market your business with Instagram’. Featured in the Guardian and The Londonist as the ‘London Instagrammer to follow’ Jess Macdonald is a key part of the Instagram scene, with over 32,000 followers on her personal Instagram account. She co-founded and manages two of the largest Instagram communities in Europe: ‘Instagrammers London’ and ‘Instagrammers UK’. Jessica has had long-term experience of working with brands, and has worked with agencies to develop and activate Instagram campaigns for a raft of different companies from Hamleys to Hunter.

Greg Watson and Ant Phillips of The Big Kerbang agency will talk about why every business needs a brand story in this digital age, and how the Kerbang system goes about finding and telling longer lasting brand stories. Greg Watson is one of the agency’s founders, while Ant Phillips is Kerbang’s trend analyst. They have worked with brands such as Levi’s, Coca Cola and Google.

Abigail Freeman, the director of brands and projects at We Are Pop Up, will advise on ‘how you can grow your business with pop-up’, by giving a whistle-stop tour of inspirational pop-ups and highlighting the things you should be thinking about to get the most out of popping-up. “A pop-up shop is an excellent way to test and grow your business,” she said. “It works whether you have a fledgling idea, or you are fully established and wish to try out new ideas or simply spread the word.” We Are Pop Up is a company that helps businesses find short-term commercial space for retail, art and design, dining and speciality projects around the UK.

The issue of visual merchandising is addressed by Eve Reid, director and founder of The Metamorphosis Group: a retail consultancy specialising in visual merchandising, and retail performance improvement. Eve will aim to help you unlock your shop potential through the expertise of visual merchandising. The Metamorphisis Group have worked with clients as diverse as Daylesford Organics, The Museum of London, Sony Playstation and Susie Watson Designs.

A stylist’s trend report, including all the new looks, will be given by Kitty McGee, who is executive fashion editor of ‘Stylist Magazine’. She travels the world seeing the latest fashion and accessory shows, which in turn influence the mood for gifting trends.

Ellen O’Hara of Cockpit Arts will talk about ‘The rise of the designer maker and the growing sales of the artisans’.Cockpit Arts supports some of London’s most exciting creative talent. As head of business development, Ellen has helped hundreds of designers achieve their commercial and creative ambitions. She will discuss how Cockpit Arts is working alongside retailers to bring them together with makers.

Jane Kellock and Amanda Carr of The Women’s Room Blog will share their views on how to engage an older audience in social media. By day, they work in the fashion industry, specialising in colour and trend forecasting. Between them, they have created a blog to share lifestyle and fashion information. It covers everything from art and culture, health, happiness and home to fashion and food and embraces Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and twitter. Jane and Amanda will show how you can engage an older audience, and the importance of social media in creating conversations with your customers.

Photographer and blogger Emily Quinton will give tips on how take better pictures for your blog, social media and website and how to develop your own style, so customers can recognise your images online. She has been featured on the Channel 5 photography series ‘How to Take Stunning Pictures’.

Finally, following the launch of Taste Taiwan in 2013, Pulse is welcoming back the design collective. Taste Taiwan is a group of nine artists, will be bringing one-of-a-kind designs to the UK market. The hand-selected exclusive exhibitors (Affordance, Afterain, DHHs Design, Dipper, Greenroom, Greenwood Design Lab, KIMU Design, LUILI LIVING and Man2Max) will launch kitchenware, lighting to leather goods and accessories.

Further supporting the international offering, Pulse has announced the arrival of ‘Touch Korea with NoTags’, which is bringing 16 Korean designers to the UK shores. Artists in this sector include 601BISANG, ALB, Another Home, BMIX, Dailylife Lab (Rainy Pot), Din & Dip, Hut & Bay, IKSK Design, JUMINE, K.O.N.T, Mag Hug, MOILI, New Kit, Papero Bean, SOXSOO and Things Design. They will launch a range of homeware, lighting accessories, fashion, stationery, gifts and more.

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