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200 International Buyers for Showcase - Ireland's Creative Expo
Karen Hennessy, CEO Crafts Council of Ireland pictured at Showcase - Ireland's Creative Expo with An Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore
Karen Hennessy, CEO Crafts Council of Ireland pictured at Showcase - Ireland's Creative Expo with An Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore
Enterprise Ireland's overseas offices targeted 200 specific International buyers for Showcase - Ireland's Creative Expo. Opened by an Táiniste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, TD., Showcase took place from 19-22 January. Showcase is Ireland's largest interantional trade fair, attracrting buyers from 26 countries around the world, keen to discover new, exciting and innovative Irish products.

435 of Ireland's leading designers, manufacturers and craft makers came together at Showcase to meet with over 5,000 retail buyers from Ireland and abroad and present thousands of high quality products, many of which were unique to the show. This year's showcase saw a 10% increase in international buyers driven by a new direct marketing effort by Enterprise Ireland's international offices. The organisers expected sales orders in excess of €20million as a result of the four day event. Now in its 38th year, the event plays a crucial part in the craft sectors contribution to the Irish economy of almost €500million annually.

The trade fair also awards the most innovative and promising companies showcasing at the event, this years winners included:

Overall Best Product Award:  Helena Malone, goldsmith, for her rhapsody rock crystal quartz neckpiece.
Export Supplier of the Year Award: Ireland's Eye Knitwear, chosen on the basis of quality, design, value and customer service.
Creative Island Award: Chupi, Irish designer who makes delicate gold jewellery inspired by the beauty of natural things.
Craftsmanship Award: Matt Jones, Woodturner, clean and modern shapes that allow the grain of the timber to speak.

According to Stephen Hughes, Consumer Retail Manager, Enterprise Ireland: "Showcase is a valuable route to new, international markets for participating Irish companies. Enterprise Ireland's network of overseas offices has worked hard to ensure that once again there will be a large international buyer presence at Showcase. Amongst the overseas visitors at this year's show will be over 200 specifically targeted international buyers from the USA, Canada, Japan, the UK, Germany, Benelux, France and the Nordic countries. As always, we look froward to welcoming new international buyers and to extending a warm welcome back to many key international buyers who return year after year to see what is new and innovative in Irish craft and craftsmanship and, most importantly, place export orders".
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