‘Virtual’ success in Showcase Ireland online pivot

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IRELAND’S premier craft and design sector exhibition that has been Showcase Ireland for 45 years has in response to Covid-19 restrictions, successfully pivoted from its traditional home at the RDS Dublin to being hosted fully online instead.

The expo which took place from 25 to 29 January was transformed into a fully functioning online trade fair with business to business ecommerce virtual showrooms and meeting places.


The move online has extended its formerly bricks and mortar platform and while in all likelihood Showcase will to return to the RDS in January 2022 the online pivot has expanded possibilities that in spite of the expo’s success, were previously unexplored even in this digital age.

“Showcase Ireland has always been about delivering real value to buyers and part of that has always been our Irish hospitality,” said Enterprise Ireland Regional Director North America, Sean Davis. “The steps we are taking in 2021 will help Showcase Ireland to grow and flourish for years to come.”

The shift to an online exhibition for 2021 has likely led to a far greater reach for Showcase, potentially accessing more international buyers than ever before and organisers have capitalised on this prized potential for Ireland’s craft and design sector. Organisers this year commissioned a report by international research organisation Frost & Sullivan, the ‘Generating Global Growth Through Ecommerce” study launched at Showcase with copies distributed among participants.

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Showcase Ireland organisers are looking to the future of pairing the bricks and mortar annual event to extending an ecommerce platform

While the bricks and mortar that is Showcase annually at the RDS is set to continue, the shift towards ecommerce is not without its risks. Up to 50 percent of customer queries are based around where a delivery is so real-time tracking is essential. Consolidation of services where a variety of deliveries are expected from a number of couriers would be an asset to the online expansion of Showcase Ireland, opening up huge potential for the event that last year delivered €26 million in sales across sectors including home and gifts, fashion, jewellery and the growing wellness industry.

“Showcase is now in its 45th year which is some record of its success,” said Council of Irish Fashion Designers Chair Eddie Shanahan, a member of Design & Crafts Council Ireland and Chair of Showcase Ireland. “Buyers come to Showcase Ireland because they know they will find creativity and innovation. The DNA of luxury is good design, quality and craftsmanship and sustainability. Those are the trademarks of Irish companies at Showcase.”

Tags: Showcase Ireland, Irish Fashion Designers, DCCI, Enterprise Ireland


Kim Mullahey

Kim Mullahey is Pynck.com’s Ireland Correspondent. She holds an honours undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Chicago and has taught Adult Education Creative Writing Studies. Through a media career spanning nearly 25 years Kim has written and photographed regional news, national and international horse sports, fashion and lifestyle. Kim lives with her husband and son in Kildare Ireland, and a stray marmalade cat who has adopted the family.

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