Clarion Events have decided to cancel ‘The National Fine Arts and Antiques Fair’, scheduled for January 16-20 at Birmingham’s NEC because of a lack of exhibitors.
"This has been a very difficult decision but
due to the insufficient commitment from the trade we believe our
reputation for delivering an impressive variety of antiques and
fine art would be compromised and ultimately the visitor and
exhibitor experience would be adversely affected," said fair
director Tiffany Pritchard.
"It is a great pity and we are particularly
sorry for those dealers who had committed to the fair and to the
many regular visitors who will miss their early New Year visit to
The 2013 event would have been the 23rd
edition of the fair, which was marketed as the more upmarket
alternative to Clarion's triannual Antiques for Everyone
fairs, also held at the NEC. Until 2004, the event was restricted
to LAPADA members only, and until February 2012 it was still held
in association with LAPADA.
But the National fair has struggled to
maintain exhibitor numbers over the past few years, despite being
open to non-LAPADA members, averaging around 55 exhibitors.
In 2011, Ms Pritchard said: "We struggled
with exhibitor numbers and I think this was because many dealers
hadn't had a good autumn trading. This, combined with the snow
before Christmas, knocked confidence in the market at the end of
Once again this year, many dealers wanted to
see how the autumn fairs went before commiting to exhibiting at the
National and, after another difficult season of trading, many
decided against it, leaving only around 30 exhibitors signed up by
late November when the fair was cancelled.
Fresh competition in the form of a new
London fair in January, The Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art
Fair organised by The Antiques Dealers Fair Limited from
January 10-13, has also proved attractive to some dealers as an
Clarion are not ruling out holding the
National fair in future, but this will depend on the economic
climate and the fairs calendar for January in 2014, and it may have
to take on a different format.
They are also keen to stress that the Antiques for
Everyone fairs will remain unaffected and, at the time of
writing, 55% of stands for the spring event from April 4-7, 2013,
were already sold, with 185 three-fair contracts signed and more
expected before the deadline of December 3 when stands go on