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The most significant change concerns the first 2002 Antiques For Everyone of the three held annually at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre.

The spring NEC fair, the largest quality event in the country, has always been held in mid-April and has become a seminal fixture on the fairs calendar for both trade buying and trade selling – this year from April 19 to 22 some 650 exhibitors attracted more than 25,000 visitors.
But next year the dates have been moved from April right back to May 30-June 2, just before the opening of arguably the trade’s most important fair, the summer Fine Art and Antiques Fair at Olympia which will be held next year from June 6 to 16.

Fran Foster, Antiques For Everyone organiser, emphasises this change is for one year only and was forced on her because the International Printing Machinery Show (IPEX) is taking up every hall at the NEC for a build-up period of many weeks in order to install massive printing machinery.

There was an immediate hostile and vociferous reaction from the exhibitors when Mrs Foster informed them of the change at this month’s NEC fair, held from August 2-5. It did not help that the announcement came on Friday, the second and traditionally quietest day, giving dealers plenty of time to exchange grievances and amplify reactions.
The change does mean that some 60 dealers who stand at both the NEC and Olympia will have to make a choice. With the new dates, the dismantling day at the NEC will be the first setting-up day at Olympia, so dealers with larger stock will find it virtually impossible to do both.
However, a number of silver, jewellery and picture dealers have said they will attempt to go for the double.

Fran Foster guarantees this NEC change is a one-off forced upon her but there are no such assurances for the other date change at Antiques For Everyone – Manchester, which was launched this year in late June.
Owing to its venue, the G-Mex Centre, being used next year for the Commonwealth Games, the fair has been brought forward to April 4-7. Dates have not yet been set for 2003 and there is even talk of a second annual Manchester fair.