TV Dragon Theo Paphitis to speak at Autumn Fair

Home & Gift buying event Autumn Fair has announced that retail entrepreneur and TV Dragon Theo Paphitis will deliver a keynote conversation on Tuesday 7 September delving into the evolving shape of UK retail.

Theo Paphitis, who champions small businesses through #SBS Small Business Sunday, says: “Autumn Fair is always a fantastic opportunity for connecting retailers and suppliers. After many months of making the best of the virtual world, this Autumn Fair is another sign that retail is getting back on its feet and people are wanting to attend these live shows. It is always a much-anticipated event for my #SBS Small Business Sunday winners and an opportunity for them to further blossom as a business. I’m delighted to be attending once again in Birmingham, anticipating the live buzz of the event, talking about retail and of course visiting the #SBS Pavilion. I’ll see you there!”

The Inspiring Retail Stage programme kicks off on Sunday 5 September at 11am with a hosted panel discussion featuring Melissa Dawkins from Made in Ashford, Dr Jackie Mulligan of ShopAppy, and Carol Pyrah from Historic Coventry Trust, focused on the future of the High Street. Futurist, founder and CEO of Next Big Thing, William Higham follows at 1pm talking about ‘How tomorrow’s retailers can win big by going back to the future’. William has worked with the biggest names in retail, from Sainsbury’s to Amazon. In this talk, he’ll look at how customers’ changing attitudes and behaviours will impact the High Street of the future. 

Sunday also throws the spotlight on TV interior design master Paul Moneypenny who will be taking to the stage to talk about his own design inspirations at 2:15pm.

For visitors keen to research the key trends of the season to help guide their buying decisions, day two serves up a vital insight into the macro-trends impacting consumers at 10.30am with Kate Usher, senior trend consultant at Trend Bible. From the changes the pandemic has brought onto lifestyles at home and work, to overarching generational shifts, this session will provide the information needed to use macro-trends in business.

Ahead of Theo’s keynote, on Tuesday at 1pm, Karl McKeever – founder and managing director of Visual Thinking – will tackle the Christmas season with his ‘Christmas is Coming: Creating a Showstopping Store Experience’ session.

On Wednesday, Autumn Fair’s charity and wellbeing partner, Retail Trust starts the day with Wellbeing Hour as its CEO Chris Brook-Carter joins Julie Driscoll, managing director of UK Retail, Hyve Group for a conversation on ‘Supporting colleagues in retail to thrive’. This important session explores the ways in which retail colleagues should be supported during one of the most turbulent retail periods in modern times. Learn about the work that The Retail Trust does and take away key practical lessons to implement across your organisation.

This is followed by ‘Heads Together: Subscribing to new models’ sessions with Chris Lambert, founder of ScrawlrBox, and Debi McCormack, founder of Boxcitement.

A Daily Digest catch-up session for visitors who may have missed any of the day’s content will take place at the end of each day. Hear from the Inspiring Retail Stage moderator and a selection of special guests on their thoughts from the day’s sessions and get a distilled look at the key topics and discussions.

For more information and to view the full programme please visit or pre-register and download the official Autumn Fair App Autumn Fair will be taking place on 5 – 8 September at NEC Birmingham

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