The Harrogate Convention Center has welcomed the news that the flagship knitting and tailoring show has signed up to host its annual event on site until 2025. The show’s economic impact for the city over the three years is estimated at £2 million.
Known as the definitive event for the market, this November will mark the show’s 30th year in Harrogate.
The show, open to the public, features hundreds of retailer stands offering a unique shopping experience. It also offers over 200 workshops, a theater with live demonstrations throughout the day, a series of gallery exhibitions for textile artists to showcase their work, and access to expert advice.
Anna Baptiste, event director, said:
We cover all forms of textile craft and are the market leader in ‘premium’ craft events on offer in the UK. Many craft shows tend to only offer trade booths, while K&S offers the full experience for craft enthusiasts.
Organizers expect between 12,000 and 14,000 visitors for the four-day show from November 17-20, 2022. Pre-pandemic attendance was around 17,000.
The return of major events in 2021 reminded us of the importance of the visitor experience, in terms of comfort and space. We are aware that we are not too crowded with the drastic change in attitudes in terms of being in a large crowd, so although we do not have to enforce any restrictions legally, we are sticking to wider aisles and to a cap on visitor numbers so people still think it’s a pleasant, quiet and safe experience.
Interest in the craft has exploded over the past 20 years, while attracting younger audiences.
It is a growing trend. The lockdown saw record sales of sewing machines, so major manufacturers were unable to keep up with demand and sold many models. For us, it’s been a steady increase for 20 years or more, I think because it’s an antidote to the fast-paced digital world we live in; there are therapeutic benefits associated with crafting. It tends to appeal to all generations now.
The show is one of the major unmissable events that has a significant impact on the wider revenue of the city, boosting business in the lodging, hospitality and retail sectors.
People like to come and make it a weekend; Harrogate being so beautiful and having so much to offer is part of the draw.
Our visitors love Bettys, you always know when the show is on as there are big queues outside.
The Harrogate Convention Center had to go completely dark as an events venue as it was redeployed by the NHS as the Nightingale Hospital.
Paula Lorimer, director of the Harrogate Convention Centre, said:
This news follows a series of other flagship events that have signed contracts to return to our venue for the next three or four years, including the Flooring Show, Home and Gift, Bridal Show and Fashion Week. These are crucial as they mark the confident return of major exhibitions, which are such big drivers of the wider local economy.
The high attendance at major shows and exhibitions supports thousands of jobs in Harrogate’s hospitality sector.
The success of the place must be measured against its economic impact on the whole district. It is playing a vital role as the local economy recovers from Covid.
Without the tens of thousands of visitors who attend these major trade and consumer shows every year, it would be very difficult for the city’s restaurants, accommodations and retailers, especially outside of traditional tourist seasons.
So we are very much looking forward to warmly welcome visitors to the Knitting & Stitching Show this winter.