Six small companies from Galway are planning to make a big impact on international buyers within the ‘Enterprise Zone’ at this month’s Showcase event in the RDS in Dublin.
Exhibiting under the ‘Enterprise Zone’ brand name along the balcony area of the RDS, the local businesses, all supported by the Galway County and Enterprise Board, are hoping to impress thousands of retail buyers, who are expected to attend Showcase from over 17 countries.
This year, the Galway County and City Enterprise Board is supporting Fergal Costello from Touchwood in Claregalway, Joanna Lalech from Olyart on the Clybaun Road, Lol McClean from Inishbofin, James McKeon from Kiyoni in Salthill, Robert D’Eath from Sliding Rock Contemporary Ceramics in Spiddal and Connemara based artist and jewellery designer Lynsey de Burca.
The Creative Expo, which is organised by the Crafts Council of Ireland every year, is seen by industry experts as one of the most important trade events for Ireland’s craft sector and runs from Sunday 20 to Wednesday 23 January.
According to Brian McGee, who directs the show for the Crafts Council of Ireland, international sales at Showcase are critical.
“At last year’s fair, overseas buyers continued to show more optimism with a significant increase in the level of orders compared to domestic buyers versus 2011 levels,” said Mr McGee.
“The largest markets for export are USA, UK, Italy and Japan. Country of origin is becoming more and more important. In 2012 93 per cent of international buyers said that a product’s country of origin is important, an increase of seven per cent on the previous year.”