Christmas may be over for another year, but one Yorkshire company is already turning its attention to Christmas 2019.

Event services company Joe Manby Limited is celebrating 45 years in the event services business with the Christmas and Gift Fair at the Harrogate Convention Centre from 13-16 January.

The long-running event was first held in the town in 1950 as the Harrogate Toy and Fancy Goods Fair and is one of Joe Manby Limited’s longest-standing clients.

Recognised as the leading Christmas event, more than 90 exhibitors will fill seven halls at the Harrogate Convention Centre next week, enabling retailers to source the hottest selling lines for Christmas 2019.

Joe Manby Limited will provide integrated event services, including floor plans, shell scheme and bespoke standfitting, signs & graphics, electrical installation, carpets and furniture hire to the event.

The company is still owned and operated by Joe’s sons, Richard and Andrew Manby, and boasts some of the UK’s top brands and organisations as long-standing clients

Richard Manby, director of Joe Manby Limited, said: “When my father started the business in 1974, it had just two clients, one of which was the Harrogate International Toy Fair. Now renamed, the Harrogate Christmas and Gift Fair remains a loyal client more than four decades later and we take real pride in continuing to build on this excellent long-term relationship.”

Says Richard Manby: ““The success of Harrogate’s first major trade fair helped shape Harrogate’s future as a conference and exhibition town. The exhibition sector contributes around £11 billion to the UK economy. Over the years, we’ve seen some big changes in the events sector. Exhibitors today wouldn’t recognise the exhibition stands of the early 1970s which were more like stockrooms, complete with doors to keep them private, rather than the open and inviting ‘shop windows’ that are today’s exhibition stands.  

“Essentially though while exhibitions come in all shapes and sizes for every sector and profession, their purpose remains the same. They form a crucial part of many businesses marketing strategy, enabling exhibitors to get face-to-face with potential customers to forge new relationships, strengthen existing ones and generate positive PR.”

Event organiser Simon Anslow of Harrogate Christmas and Gift, comments: “They say business and pleasure don't mix, but in
Harrogate they can! Joe Manby Limited bring real knowledge, understanding and expertise to our events which is much appreciated by exhibitors and ourselves as organisers.”

Other time-honoured clients of Joe Manby Limited include the Institute of Housing, Harrogate Floor Show, Spring Fair and the Trades Union Congress, all of which have been clients for more than 30 years.