Charlie Cracknell has been appointed portfolio director for Spring Fair, and will be in post from April 2019, assisting in shaping the strategic direction of the show.
With over 20 years of international event experience, Mr Cracknell has held a number of senior sales and event leadership roles working across multiple sectors, and has built successful customer-focused events and communities.
Spring Fair announced last week that it will undergo its first major re-edit in eight years for the 2020 show. This year’s Spring Fair took place at Birmingham’s NEC (3-7 February) with over 2,000 exhibitors showcasing their offerings across 15 distinct show sectors.
Commenting on the show, Elaine Anderson at Bluebone commented: “We launched 100 new products at Spring Fair which were very well received and we have had lots of orders placed. It’s very well attended and offers lots of breadth and depth of products for home and gift sectors.”
Next year the exhibition, now in its 69th year, will have a renewed look-and-feel, which will reinvigorate the way buyers source products and connect with exhibitors. Celebrating both the Gifts and Home & Living sectors will remain a fundamental element of the show.
Julie Driscoll, Spring & Autumn Fair’s new managing director, said: “Charlie has a wealth of experience in shaping wider business strategies, leading global projects and helping to implement best practice. He will be reporting to me, and the team are very much looking forward to him starting in his new role.”
The investment programme that supports the re-edit follows the acquisition of Spring & Autumn Fair by ITE Group Plc.
During his career, Mr Cracknell repositioned and established the UK IFSEC security exhibition into the leading European event for the sector. He helped to geo-clone the brand to establish a global footprint, launching the brand internationally and creating events in India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Nigeria, Turkey and Malaysia.
He has also led a team as senior exhibition director, in a role that encompassed launching greenfield events in Asia and in the Travel Technology sector, as well as revitalising and growing audiences and exhibitors at established events in Brazil and the golf sector. More recently Mr Cracknell has been leading the Gastech exhibition and conference portfolio, where he has been shaping the annualisation of this roving event, that is the market leader for the energy sector.
Commenting on the appointment, Mr Cracknell said: “I’d like to thank Julie and the team at Spring Fair for the opportunity to take up a role at such an exciting time for what is one of the most established and respected brands in the business. It’s fantastic to be involved, and I’m already planning a concierge matchmaking programme for the show, aimed and finding and matching buyers with the ideal exhibitors. I’m thoroughly looking forward to making my mark in a re-edit year that will see some real innovation and bold changes for the brand.”