In our blog series “A wee chat with…” the SEC has a quick fire Q&A with an organiser to get an insight into their working life and their event, plus getting their views on Glasgow and the venue.

ICHF’s Craft, Sewing, Hobby, Gift and Cake shows are market leaders in the UK. At the SEC, we see thousands of visitors attend Crafts for Christmas, The Creative Craft Shows and the Scottish Quilting Show. Ahead of the upcoming events in 2019 we grabbed five minutes with ICHF’s Head of Events, Dominic Fleming, for a wee chat.

What are the key changes in the Crafts market?

The growth in the market is brilliant to see. It's notable how many more people are now discovering the benefits of crafting, particularly as a mindful exercise to reduce stress. It's the perfect antidote to too much screen time. It's slow, creative and tactile and taps into our creative potential. There are so many new crafts to try these days but some of the classics continue to soar in popularity including dressmaking, quilting and of course knitting.

What things have changed in your show over the years?

I'd say both the diversity of crafts and the audiences. We are seeing younger people attending the shows, often with older relatives - crafting is one of those activities that bridges generations and is perfect to do as a family. New technology has brought with it some new crafting techniques and has also enhanced traditional crafts.

What's your top tip for keeping exhibitors satisfied?

Communication. Honest, open and helpful communication is something we always strive for.

How do you keep your content fresh year on year?

We invest in features each year to add new dimensions to the show. We also work closely with exhibitors to help them maximise their own demos and features. This means we have fresh, vibrant features every time.

How have you reached out to new demographics?

Social media and bloggers have taken our show to new audiences and allow for two way interaction. People share their makes with us and we in turn can add value by sharing content, often working with our exhibitors.

Have you ever tried crafts yourself?

Yes needlework, it runs in the family my Grandfather was a Tailor, I am currently getting to grips with leathercraft, The Tandy Leather stand has a workshop and I try get to them for advice as often as possible.

How do you see Crafts evolving over time?

I hope crafting develops into even more of a social activity. As well as helping reduce stress it is wonderful at bringing people together. We hear a lot about loneliness, still very prevalent in our ever more connected world. Nothing beats sitting down with others with a cup of tea, however, and I think crafts have a big part to play here. I would love to see this continue to grow, among all generations and also intergenerationally.

How do you find working at the SEC?

We love it. It's professionally run, slick and, most importantly, friendly and welcoming. We are always delighted to return to Glasgow.

What's the biggest change you've seen at the SEC over the years?

The Hydro is the biggest physical change I have seen. But the venue continues to evolve and it's great to see the investment that continues to go into it.

Describe Glasgow in 3 words...

Vibrant, friendly, creative.


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