As the ever-popular craft extravaganza drew to a close – not only for its June 22-26 show dates but also the Fair’s three-year run at Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island (SEC@GI) – Gary Fitz-Roy, Managing Director of Expertise Events brought attention to the ‘X factor’ that has set the Island experience apart from the rest.
“It’s just more engaging here, throughout all aspects – the team, the multiple points of friendly contact, the casual vibe of the venue. Personal approach is something everyone claims but Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island has really brought it to life – having meet and greet at all public transport stops and on arrival at Glebe is one example. This has been the experience of all whether you’re the event organiser, exhibitor or visitor…quite different from many other venues,” he said.
Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession – a show exhibitor at Glebe Island for all three years – echoed Fitz-Roy’s comments. “I’d just like to say how much we have enjoyed every aspect of the facility. Every time we arrived at the venue we were greeted by kind, helpful, smiling people. We have been assisted pleasantly by the team from set up to set down, in the cafeterias and even in the parking lots. My staff regularly comment on how lovely it has been going to Glebe Island…we’re sad to say goodbye for so many reasons beyond just the gorgeous views!”
Australia’s number one craft event drew 18,000 this year, capping its last year at the venue with increased visitor numbers. Almost 60% of the 139 exhibitors have participated at Glebe Island in the past three years. Regular visitors and exhibitors alike cite the venue’s generous stream of natural light and ferry access as the other main reasons for coming back every year.
Encouraged by this year’s theme “Shop, learn, make, be inspired…” avid knitters, quilters, stitchers, hobbyists and crafters flocked to the Fair to revel in creative craft inspiration. The much-anticipated annual event even attracted Nicole Kidman who visited on the last day with her family.
Over 400 quilts on display, free workshops, on-stand demonstrations by experts, make and take classes and craft guild displays kept the show floor lively all day. Special guests this year were US-based craft rock star Tula Pink and French embroiderer and quilter Cécile Franconie.
Not only was the Fair a great platform for craft and hobby enthusiasts to get new ideas, it was also a chance to stock up on kits, patterns, fabrics, and yarns, pick up great bargains and see the latest must-haves from the crafting world.
SEC@GI’s social media kept visitors and exhibitors engaged, particularly with pre-event information. As in previous years, complimentary passes were offered to the local community.
“Celebrating craft and hand making provides relief from the digital world. The Craft and Quilt Fair has been successful for over 20 years and we’ve been proud hosts of the event since 2014,” said SEC@GI General Manager Malu Barrios.
“It’s a delight to work with Expertise Events and see Gary’s passion and creativity at work. Always forward-looking, he was focused from the start on how Glebe Island’s unique advantages could be tapped to make his shows better each year for his customers. Typically, he went all out to make the Fair’s last year on Glebe Island memorable.”
“We look forward to warmly welcoming Craft and Quilt Fair 2017 at International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney).”