Antiques News & Fairs
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ANF News

An Eye on the Calendar - Arthur Swallow Fairs

 

Antiques News & Fairs - Arthur Swallow Fairs



Continuing our series An Eye on the Calendar, the prominent and popular 2nd generation Burgoin family firm Arthur Swallow Fairs like all other fair organisers had to have a major rethink with the cancellation of their Decorative Home & Salvage Show in early May, which was set to kickstart a run of six summer shows.

 

Working with their PR manager, contributing writer and stylist to Reclaim and Period Living magazines, Alice Roberton, they planned a far reaching project to engage with their 35K plus audience and offer online exposure to the trade, recognising that a sector of their audience do not have websites or social media presence.


They called this campaign the AS Fairs Covid-19 Support and the results have been outstanding.

The cornerstone of the campaign is their Covid-19 Dealer Directory – 125 as of 24 April, and counting, which is a free service open to any dealer, whether they exhibit at AS Fairs or not. It’s a simple alphabetic listing showing a trading name, brief description of stock, location and links to any online selling platforms.

Follow this link AS Fairs Covid-19 Support Dealer Directory to add your business free of charge.

Richard Burgoin: "Well before the birth of the internet the trade was run by old school on-the-ground social networking; visiting fairs, word-of-mouth, recommendation and on a ‘who knows who’ basis. Nothing has fundamentally changed here, however the ease in which trade can socially network online means word can be spread quicker, bringing about constant visibility. The old and the new tools we have for social networking work excellently together, but right now, without fairs to trade at the new is invaluable. If you’re not online, now is the time to get yourself online!"


Their efforts have been picked up across the mainstream media with The Daily Telegraph featuring AS Fairs in their Brave New World piece on how the trade is reacting to lockdown and a new trading landscape. The overall message in the feature matches their belief that support and visibility are key now.

ANF has joined Antique Collecting Magazine to lend our support and we will be sharing the Covid 19 Support Trade Directory across our network.

Dealer and Salvage Hunters TV celebrity Drew Pritchard has also joined forces with AS Fairs to promote their campaign and you can watch a recording of Alice's interview via Instagram Live Trade Talk to hear Drew’s very positive comments about the importance of fairs to the trade – right across the landscape from ground up.  He said “Wherever the first fair opens up after this I will be there first in the door!”  Drew has also been showing his support for the trade during the crisis with his #SalvageSundays on Twitter and Instagram.


Antiques News & Fairs - Arthur Swallow Fairs

Richard and Marc Burgoin


Richard Burgoin and his brother Marc run AS Fairs together and we talked to Richard in our regular Eye on the Calendar conversation:


ANF:  Tell us when you started in the business?


Richard Burgoin: Our father Peter Burgoin was an antique jewellery dealer in the late 1980s and after he was robbed of his stock one evening after a fair he decided he would try his hand at fair organising instead. In 1995 he started the renowned RAF Swinderby fair (everyone who ever visited has a story to tell of this fair!). My first job in the business was when I was 15 at Bakewell Town Hall Antique Fair, here I used to help the stallholders carry their stock up to the hall on the first floor.


ANF:  What were the main differences in the antiques trade and the fairs circuit then and now?

RB: As with most businesses, social media has taken over, even to the point where websites aren’t so essential anymore. Instagram has almost taken over as the best online place for dealers to promote themselves and sell, this is largely because it’s such a visual format – it’s as if it was made for selling antiques! I think many aspects of the business remain unchanged but there is definitely a change in the way that fairs are promoted due to the internet. The trade is a very social business and people like the ritual of getting out to buy and I believe that whatever happens fairs will always be needed.


ANF:  Was this your first job or did you come from another industry?


RB: I was originally an engineer after leaving school, which I did for three years. My father asked if I could help in preparing tickets for fairs when I had finished my day job, this soon developed into a full-time role.

Antiques News & Fairs - Arthur Swallow Fairs

Regular AS Fairs exhibitor: Andy Noble Interiors


ANF:  What was the journey to your current role?


RB: When I started working for ASFairs I would answer the phone, process bookings and payments. My father used to do everything on paper and had an old telephone filing system that had all the customers addresses. The fairs were growing rapidly and, looking back, it was chaos. One day I said, ‘Dad, we need to get a computer’. It felt as dramatic a thing to say as the famous quote from JAWS when Roy Scheider says ‘You’re gonna’ need a bigger boat’!

I left school with no computer knowledge, so I enrolled at university and studied computers, business and finance. We invested in a computer and soon had a database built. We were then able to deal with the stallholders, and business in general, more efficiently. Sadly, my father was diagnosed with oesophagus cancer and immediately retired. He handed the reins of the business over to my brother Marc and myself.  It was an extremely challenging time, dealing with my fathers’ illness and running the fairs.  We knew we needed to try and make the fairs more appealing to the wider audience and so we gave the event a new name, it became ‘The Antiques & Home Show’.  Our long-term lease had run out at Swinderby and with only a fair-by-fair lease available to us we needed a new home, and in 2009 we moved to Lincoln Showground where we continue to hold these shows today. Since taking over the business in 2009 we have launched many new and popular events. The Decorative Home & Salvage Shows, which we hold five to six times a year, have been hugely popular. The boutique format of these events, with beautifully styled stands, great on-site catering, a bar, a programme of inspirational and hands-on workshops and a very relaxed atmosphere, attract a great mix of trade and public. The Sunday Vintage Flea Market at Lincoln Showground is incredibly popular and always packed.


Antiques News & Fairs - Arthur Swallow Fairs


Regular AS Fairs exhibitor - KL Vintage

 

ANF:  There is no denying or escaping the fact that fair organisers and the dealers who exhibit, particularly those on the circuit, have been hit very hard in the current crisis.  What are your thoughts and plans for when we come out the other side? Do you have anything special planned to celebrate your return?


RB: I think that people will be more conscious of consumption and will be eager to re-use where possible - the antiques trade is perfectly positioned for this. I anticipate a strong comeback; In 2008, immediately after the credit crunch, we had one of our busiest years. I think that when we eventually get back to events there will be a lot of socialising to be done – in the old-fashioned sense, trade has always been run on social networking and there will always be a need for ‘on the ground’ fairs. We love what we do and miss seeing our dealers, we’re like one big family and there will be some celebrating to be done once we’re all together again!


ANF:  Is there anything you will do differently in your business in general when we get through this crisis?


RB: I think our investment in operating a good online presence has been affirmed during the crisis, so we’ll keep this up.  Dealers have had to step up a bit and be more focused and active online too, which is good.


ANF:  How are you keeping in contact with your exhibitor client base during lockdown?  Have you been able to offer any exposure via your social media platforms?


RB: Before lockdown was announced we knew we’d need to find ways to stay in touch with our dealers and visitors and remain visible and relevant. With no fairs to talk about and promote our attention quickly turned to how we could help dealers and so our PR person Alice Roberton and I formulated a Covid19 Dealer Support plan. This involves daily dealer ‘shout-outs’ on our social media, largely on Instagram, building an Insta directory in our ‘highlights’ and creating an online directory of dealers on our website, which we are constantly adding to. The directory now features over 100 dealers. Alice has been doing Instagram ‘live’ interviews with key trade people and we have just confirmed that we will be hosting a virtual Decorative Home & Salvage Show on Instagram in place of the actual event on 9 May. Full details of this will be shared soon, so keep an eye on our social media. We’re also using our newsletters, which you can subscribe to at asfairs.com, to share information. We’ve had national press for our efforts, most notably a Brave New World of Antiques feature in the Telegraph. In a nutshell, we have stayed extremely visible and, in turn, have helped keep dealers visible at a very crucial time for trade.


 

ANF:  How are you running your business from home? Do you have any tips for colleagues?


RB: We have moved our office home but are used to transporting offices from show-to-show so that part was fairly easy.  Having our boys at home has proved more challenging, although we have found that tiring them out in the morning with lots of garden exercise works best for us!


ANF:  What feedback are you getting from your exhibitor clients during the crisis?  How are they surviving without the fairs taking place?


RB: We’re getting a mix of stories, but in general those who are selling online, holding orders, offering payment plans and who are upping their online game are faring pretty well. The overriding message we’re getting is that they cannot wait for fairs to return!


ANF:  From the feedback we have from dealers there is a reasonable amount of business happening in the domestic market where delivery or storage is an option but export sales are less easy.  Would you agree from your conversations with clients?


RB: There is definitely still business occurring within the UK. There’s a lot of trade-to-trade business going on as well as people buying for the home now lockdown has made home a real focus.


ANF:  We usually ask our correspondents what they do to relax from their busy schedule but maybe we can ask how you spend your time during lockdown? 


RB: I love riding bicycles, mostly mountain bikes, but during lockdown I have been getting out on my road bike more often. If there is one piece of advice I can pass on, it’s to try Yoga. I first tried it over 20 years ago after an accident and it’s been brilliant.

 

 Antiques News & Fairs - Arthur Swallow Fairs

 Regular AS Fairs exhibitor - Chris Holmes Antiques


For more details about AS Fairs future fair dates contact Arthur Swallow Fairs


Follow this link AS Fairs Covid 19 Support Dealer Directory to add your business free of charge.

 



News & Fairs Previews

An Eye on the Calendar - Arthur Swallow Fairs

 

Antiques News & Fairs - Arthur Swallow Fairs



Continuing our series An Eye on the Calendar, the prominent and popular 2nd generation Burgoin family firm Arthur Swallow Fairs like all other fair organisers had to have a major rethink with the cancellation of their Decorative Home & Salvage Show in early May, which was set to kickstart a run of six summer shows.

 

Working with their PR manager, contributing writer and stylist to Reclaim and Period Living magazines, Alice Roberton, they planned a far reaching project to engage with their 35K plus audience and offer online exposure to the trade, recognising that a sector of their audience do not have websites or social media presence.


They called this campaign the AS Fairs Covid-19 Support and the results have been outstanding.

The cornerstone of the campaign is their Covid-19 Dealer Directory – 125 as of 24 April, and counting, which is a free service open to any dealer, whether they exhibit at AS Fairs or not. It’s a simple alphabetic listing showing a trading name, brief description of stock, location and links to any online selling platforms.

Follow this link AS Fairs Covid-19 Support Dealer Directory to add your business free of charge.

Richard Burgoin: "Well before the birth of the internet the trade was run by old school on-the-ground social networking; visiting fairs, word-of-mouth, recommendation and on a ‘who knows who’ basis. Nothing has fundamentally changed here, however the ease in which trade can socially network online means word can be spread quicker, bringing about constant visibility. The old and the new tools we have for social networking work excellently together, but right now, without fairs to trade at the new is invaluable. If you’re not online, now is the time to get yourself online!"


Their efforts have been picked up across the mainstream media with The Daily Telegraph featuring AS Fairs in their Brave New World piece on how the trade is reacting to lockdown and a new trading landscape. The overall message in the feature matches their belief that support and visibility are key now.

ANF has joined Antique Collecting Magazine to lend our support and we will be sharing the Covid 19 Support Trade Directory across our network.

Dealer and Salvage Hunters TV celebrity Drew Pritchard has also joined forces with AS Fairs to promote their campaign and you can watch a recording of Alice's interview via Instagram Live Trade Talk to hear Drew’s very positive comments about the importance of fairs to the trade – right across the landscape from ground up.  He said “Wherever the first fair opens up after this I will be there first in the door!”  Drew has also been showing his support for the trade during the crisis with his #SalvageSundays on Twitter and Instagram.


Antiques News & Fairs - Arthur Swallow Fairs

Richard and Marc Burgoin


Richard Burgoin and his brother Marc run AS Fairs together and we talked to Richard in our regular Eye on the Calendar conversation:


ANF:  Tell us when you started in the business?


Richard Burgoin: Our father Peter Burgoin was an antique jewellery dealer in the late 1980s and after he was robbed of his stock one evening after a fair he decided he would try his hand at fair organising instead. In 1995 he started the renowned RAF Swinderby fair (everyone who ever visited has a story to tell of this fair!). My first job in the business was when I was 15 at Bakewell Town Hall Antique Fair, here I used to help the stallholders carry their stock up to the hall on the first floor.


ANF:  What were the main differences in the antiques trade and the fairs circuit then and now?

RB: As with most businesses, social media has taken over, even to the point where websites aren’t so essential anymore. Instagram has almost taken over as the best online place for dealers to promote themselves and sell, this is largely because it’s such a visual format – it’s as if it was made for selling antiques! I think many aspects of the business remain unchanged but there is definitely a change in the way that fairs are promoted due to the internet. The trade is a very social business and people like the ritual of getting out to buy and I believe that whatever happens fairs will always be needed.


ANF:  Was this your first job or did you come from another industry?


RB: I was originally an engineer after leaving school, which I did for three years. My father asked if I could help in preparing tickets for fairs when I had finished my day job, this soon developed into a full-time role.

Antiques News & Fairs - Arthur Swallow Fairs

Regular AS Fairs exhibitor: Andy Noble Interiors


ANF:  What was the journey to your current role?


RB: When I started working for ASFairs I would answer the phone, process bookings and payments. My father used to do everything on paper and had an old telephone filing system that had all the customers addresses. The fairs were growing rapidly and, looking back, it was chaos. One day I said, ‘Dad, we need to get a computer’. It felt as dramatic a thing to say as the famous quote from JAWS when Roy Scheider says ‘You’re gonna’ need a bigger boat’!

I left school with no computer knowledge, so I enrolled at university and studied computers, business and finance. We invested in a computer and soon had a database built. We were then able to deal with the stallholders, and business in general, more efficiently. Sadly, my father was diagnosed with oesophagus cancer and immediately retired. He handed the reins of the business over to my brother Marc and myself.  It was an extremely challenging time, dealing with my fathers’ illness and running the fairs.  We knew we needed to try and make the fairs more appealing to the wider audience and so we gave the event a new name, it became ‘The Antiques & Home Show’.  Our long-term lease had run out at Swinderby and with only a fair-by-fair lease available to us we needed a new home, and in 2009 we moved to Lincoln Showground where we continue to hold these shows today. Since taking over the business in 2009 we have launched many new and popular events. The Decorative Home & Salvage Shows, which we hold five to six times a year, have been hugely popular. The boutique format of these events, with beautifully styled stands, great on-site catering, a bar, a programme of inspirational and hands-on workshops and a very relaxed atmosphere, attract a great mix of trade and public. The Sunday Vintage Flea Market at Lincoln Showground is incredibly popular and always packed.


Antiques News & Fairs - Arthur Swallow Fairs


Regular AS Fairs exhibitor - KL Vintage

 

ANF:  There is no denying or escaping the fact that fair organisers and the dealers who exhibit, particularly those on the circuit, have been hit very hard in the current crisis.  What are your thoughts and plans for when we come out the other side? Do you have anything special planned to celebrate your return?


RB: I think that people will be more conscious of consumption and will be eager to re-use where possible - the antiques trade is perfectly positioned for this. I anticipate a strong comeback; In 2008, immediately after the credit crunch, we had one of our busiest years. I think that when we eventually get back to events there will be a lot of socialising to be done – in the old-fashioned sense, trade has always been run on social networking and there will always be a need for ‘on the ground’ fairs. We love what we do and miss seeing our dealers, we’re like one big family and there will be some celebrating to be done once we’re all together again!


ANF:  Is there anything you will do differently in your business in general when we get through this crisis?


RB: I think our investment in operating a good online presence has been affirmed during the crisis, so we’ll keep this up.  Dealers have had to step up a bit and be more focused and active online too, which is good.


ANF:  How are you keeping in contact with your exhibitor client base during lockdown?  Have you been able to offer any exposure via your social media platforms?


RB: Before lockdown was announced we knew we’d need to find ways to stay in touch with our dealers and visitors and remain visible and relevant. With no fairs to talk about and promote our attention quickly turned to how we could help dealers and so our PR person Alice Roberton and I formulated a Covid19 Dealer Support plan. This involves daily dealer ‘shout-outs’ on our social media, largely on Instagram, building an Insta directory in our ‘highlights’ and creating an online directory of dealers on our website, which we are constantly adding to. The directory now features over 100 dealers. Alice has been doing Instagram ‘live’ interviews with key trade people and we have just confirmed that we will be hosting a virtual Decorative Home & Salvage Show on Instagram in place of the actual event on 9 May. Full details of this will be shared soon, so keep an eye on our social media. We’re also using our newsletters, which you can subscribe to at asfairs.com, to share information. We’ve had national press for our efforts, most notably a Brave New World of Antiques feature in the Telegraph. In a nutshell, we have stayed extremely visible and, in turn, have helped keep dealers visible at a very crucial time for trade.


 

ANF:  How are you running your business from home? Do you have any tips for colleagues?


RB: We have moved our office home but are used to transporting offices from show-to-show so that part was fairly easy.  Having our boys at home has proved more challenging, although we have found that tiring them out in the morning with lots of garden exercise works best for us!


ANF:  What feedback are you getting from your exhibitor clients during the crisis?  How are they surviving without the fairs taking place?


RB: We’re getting a mix of stories, but in general those who are selling online, holding orders, offering payment plans and who are upping their online game are faring pretty well. The overriding message we’re getting is that they cannot wait for fairs to return!


ANF:  From the feedback we have from dealers there is a reasonable amount of business happening in the domestic market where delivery or storage is an option but export sales are less easy.  Would you agree from your conversations with clients?


RB: There is definitely still business occurring within the UK. There’s a lot of trade-to-trade business going on as well as people buying for the home now lockdown has made home a real focus.


ANF:  We usually ask our correspondents what they do to relax from their busy schedule but maybe we can ask how you spend your time during lockdown? 


RB: I love riding bicycles, mostly mountain bikes, but during lockdown I have been getting out on my road bike more often. If there is one piece of advice I can pass on, it’s to try Yoga. I first tried it over 20 years ago after an accident and it’s been brilliant.

 

 Antiques News & Fairs - Arthur Swallow Fairs

 Regular AS Fairs exhibitor - Chris Holmes Antiques


For more details about AS Fairs future fair dates contact Arthur Swallow Fairs


Follow this link AS Fairs Covid 19 Support Dealer Directory to add your business free of charge.