It’s the catch cry of the Craft & Quilt Fair, a perennial favourite in Sydney’s consumer event calendar.
It was a beacon that drew over 25,000 visitors to immerse in the total craft experience at the Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island (SEC@GI) from June 17-21, notching a successful repeat run at the venue.
“The Fair continues to exemplify the energy and creativity that drives the craft industry,” said Gary Fitz-Roy, Managing Director of Expertise Events, the event organiser and leading Australian owned and managed exhibition organiser. “We are thrilled to maintain our role as the premier event for the various crafting communities, including national guilds and associations.”
Demonstrating its versatility and capability, the 20,000m² venue was the ideal blank canvas for the multi-faceted event.
”Once again, SEC@GI delivered strong results for us,” Fitz-Roy continued. “Five days of all things craft demand a venue with the ability to meet the expectations of enthusiasts, in a diverse range of interests, from an event they ‘own’. The Centre’s expansive halls provided not only the space we required to showcase the craft spectrum but also an easy-to-navigate show floor for visitors to take in all the Fair had to offer, without missing a thing. Spacious hubs for food and relax breaks added a pleasant, unhurried dimension to the event experience.”
The event was buzzing with an activity-packed program, which sprawled to three exhibition halls. It is one of the best sourcing platforms for crafters and quilters, with the newest and brightest in kits, patterns, fabrics, accessories, books, machines, tools and gadgets on offer.
There were workshops, make-it-take-it sessions, and free daily skills and techniques demonstrations led by craft guilds, experts, and guest artists including the Who’s Who of the craft world in Australia, Europe and the USA.
A staggering 435 member quilts were entered in themed challenges including the all-time favourite – Red & White Challenge – which featured more than 100 quilts using the two colours. The Centre’s unique roof literally showcased the collection in the best light.
New to the Fair was Lest We Forget, a touching ANZAC tribute of mini quilts hung together as a huge mosaic. Likewise a new, “on tour” feature was a 10-metre long freeform knit and crochet garden honouring 50 years of Flower Power, handmade by over 200 contributors from 24 countries.
“Craft & Quilt Fair continues to raise the bar as Australasia’s leading craft event,” said Malu Barrios, General Manager of SEC@GI. “Rainy weather during three out of the five-day event did not dampen attendance. We’re particularly pleased by the popularity of our free bus shuttle service. Public transport is the most popular mode of transport for this particular show and the Centre’s bus service to and from Central Station connects easily with Sydney’s train network.
“As with last year’s show, the SEC@GI team loved hosting the Fair. The aisles were full of happy visitors, the show program was well‐attended and we observed increasing interactions with both visitors and exhibitors across social media channels, especially Instagram and Facebook,” she added.
The Craft & Quilt Fair will return to SEC@GI 22-26 June 2016, aiming for a three-year successful run.
Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island has been purpose built to provide a fully functioning event space while ICC Sydney, the new exhibition, conference and entertainment complex in Darling Harbour is being developed.