ACE, the Association for Cultural Enterprises, is perhaps not a widely-known organisation unless, that is, you happen to be engaged in the heritage and cultural sector, in which case you'll recognise it as a watchword for retail excellence across the country. ACE's membership ranges from small local heritage centres to major national museums and galleries, who meet to share and develop their expertise in creating and merchandising some of the most innovative, quality and bespoke gift products around.
Highlight of the association's year is the annual ACE Trade Show and Convention, which features keynote national and international speakers as well as the opportunity to interact with delegates from around the country and a bespoke range of suppliers. The 2015 Convention featured speakers from Tate Modern, the Disney Store and the Botin Centre in Santander, Spain. The 2016 Convention at Telford International Centre on 8th and 9th March 2016, promises another programme of fabulous sessions from speakers such as Maxine Groucutt, former Visual Merchandiser at Liberty, and Sarah Sevier, Head of Retail at the V&A, with a session on the commercial success behind the Alexander McQueen show Savage Beauty.
At the heart of the convention is the ACE Trade Show, featuring more than 80 hand-picked suppliers. Entrance to the trade show is free of charge and open to all. It attracts a wide range of visitors over the two days as well as convention delegates who are able to make good use of the opportunities to visit stands between sessions. Through experience and development over the years the companies exhibiting at the show are those with a proven track record in delivering what their customers require, making it such a relevant and targeted retail event in the sector.
Exhibitors in 2016 include suppliers of giftware, such as Customworks, Just Trade and Pomegranate Europe Ltd, as well as suppliers of retail services, such as EPoS providers K3 RSG, and talented illustrators like Emma Metcalfe and Tobyboo. The 2016 ACE Convention and Trade Show will be held at the Telford International Centre, Telford, Shropshire. Admission to the show is free of charge upon registration, so book your place now and don't miss out.
For full details of the show and the wider convention and to register, please visit www.acenterprises.org.uk/convention