Last week Clarion Events, which runs the Winter Art & Antiques Fair Olympia, said the next staging of the November fair may go ahead in a revised format, running on the balcony level of Olympia’s National Hall above one of its consumer events, the Spirit of Christmas Fair (October 29-November 4).
However, Clarion has stressed that the fair will fold – and will not be reviewed in the future – if sufficient participants have not signed and returned contracts by July 27. Around 60 dealers are needed for the event to go ahead. Depending on stand size, it can to take up to 100 in total.
“We have taken the time to listen and review the current market conditions to establish a new way forward for a winter fair – which the majority of our dealers have indicated they would like,” said fair director Mary Claire Boyd.
The event ceased in its previous format after 27 years following its staging last November. Boyd announced at the time that it was no longer financially viable, but commenced a period of consultation with dealers to gauge the interest in a new, lower-cost event.
Part of the scheme to make the fair more cost ef fective includes a cheaper stand build, similar to that used in Section One of the Antiques for Everyone Fairs (which Clarion also organise).
Dealer Jeremy Astfalk of The Old Corkscrew said: “This pricing coupled with a London venue that already has an established footprint is a very astute move on Clarion’s part. The big question now is whether enough of the trade will grab this opportunity and make it a reality.”
Mark Goodger of Hampton Antiques told ATG he received details of the proposed fair shortly before arriving at the ongoing summer edition of the Art & Antiques Fair Olympia (continues until June 27).
“I was quite pleased with the rates and as soon as I turned up I told them I will be exhibiting,” he said. “They let us know everything in black and white and they’ve brought the prices right down. I’m looking forward to it.”
Clarion now runs the venerable summer antiques fair alongside its House & Garden Festival.
Clarion said the winter fair would have a dedicated entrance from Hammersmith Road, its own marketing campaign and cross-promotion with other events.