Antiques News & Fairs Previews
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ANF News

An Eye on the Calendar - Sue Ede of Cooper Events

Antiques News & Fairs - Cooper Events


We are all missing our fairs!  It is certainly taking some adjustment to adapt to a world where we don't set off to a fair to meet our friends and colleagues on a more or less weekly basis during this crisis. 

Here at ANF we are programmed to report on the Fairs Calendar and all our advertisers activities and we miss engaging with them and seeing the wonderful preview objects they send us from their exhibitors.

The antiques industry is peopled with characters from all walks of life and many of them have led interesting lives.  The fairs circuit is like a club where the members convene in a different town each week and we cannot wait for life to return to normal so that we can take part in that life again.

In the meantime, we will keep an eye on the calendar - and bring you comments and views from the organisers with images from fairs past and fairs to come.


Antiques News & Fairs - Cooper Events

Sue Ede, Cooper Events

First out of the gate for this feature is veteran of many a fair at home and abroad and a sort of Godmother to the trade, Sue Ede of Cooper Events.  During the Corona crisis she has kept her finger on the pulse of the trade and as usual has heard from her many exhibitors who call regularly to get her take on the situation which has befallen us all.

Westonbirt House

The most recent Cooper Events which was listed on our fairs calendar is the popular Cotswolds Decorative, Antiques & Fair Spring edition, April 2020.  Now scheduled to take place 4-6 September 2020, subject to the regulations in place at that time.  Formerly Westonbirt Antiques & Fine Fair, the event is held in the spectacular Victorian Gothic Westonbirt House, now a school, just outside Tetbury, Gloucestershire, once described by Country Life as "the finest example of Victorian architecture, landscape and gardens in the Cotswolds".

Regular exhibitors at Westonbirt include:

Antiques News & Fairs - Cooper Events

Brian Ashbee Antiques - della Robbia Charger


Antiques News & Fairs - Cooper Events

King George Antiques


Antiques News & Fairs - Cooper Events

Not Wanted on Voyage - a lantern part of a suite from a Paris nightclub


We talked to Sue about her life in the antiques fairs industry and her views on how the trade is adapting during the Corona crisis:


ANF:  Tell us when you started in the business?

SE: A long time ago! In fact my first experience was standing in for a friend who couldn’t run their one-day Sunday fair. From there I learnt the ropes with the help of Jim, my late husband, in close support.

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

SE: Our visitors are much more discriminating now. They mostly know the differences between the quality fairs circuit and showground events and know what kind of events suits them best. Of course, the whole market is much more competitive now, overheads are higher and exhibitors expect a much better service from organisers.

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

SE: Before organising I was a regional director in the West Country for Athena, the poster people.

ANF:  What was the journey to your current role?

SE:  After helping a friend I slowly moved from one-day fairs to weekend events, then showground fairs and eventually was asked to join the Daily Mail Group (DMG now IACF) as Fairs Director for their UK group. People might still remember my  banana-yellow Audi A4 seen rushing up and down the motorway from one showground fair to the next.

Having retired from that at 60, and my husband, Peter Hodder, retired from Westlands Engineering after 40 years, together we bought Cooper Events. With our daughter Katie too, we have expanded that through acquisitions and rescuing events that needed a lift.

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?

SE:  We will, of course, have to wait and see what happens. Many exhibitors are on the wrong side of sixty and will be nervous about re-entering the fray. Nevertheless, the antiques market is extremely resilient and although this year may be possibly its worst, it will bounce back, just as it did after 911 and the 2008 financial crash. There is always a demand for good things and dealers are expert at finding fantastic treasures and recycling.

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?

SE: We are keeping in touch with many exhibitors through regular phone and email contact. Others prefer social media. Everyone knows this is going to be a tough year and it’s more instructive to watch the daily news than ask us for advice!

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

SE: We have almost always run our business from offices at home. It’s so much easier than having an office and more cost effective. And dealers do not keep normal office hours! Of course, you have to be organised and have a good support network of colleagues and friends.

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

SE: Many dealers are naturally worried about what is happening. Many already sell via websites and social media, which is something others will surely be learning!

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?

SE: Yes, auctions continue, deliveries continue, eBay is busier than ever. People will always want to spend money!

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?

SE: Like everyone at the moment, keeping in frequent touch with relatives and friends, watching TV and trying not to eat too much food!  


For details on future events and exhibitor lists contact Cooper Events

Cover image: Cut glass biscuit barrel from a past event.



 

 

 

 

 

 







News & Fairs Previews

An Eye on the Calendar - Sue Ede of Cooper Events

Antiques News & Fairs - Cooper Events


We are all missing our fairs!  It is certainly taking some adjustment to adapt to a world where we don't set off to a fair to meet our friends and colleagues on a more or less weekly basis during this crisis. 

Here at ANF we are programmed to report on the Fairs Calendar and all our advertisers activities and we miss engaging with them and seeing the wonderful preview objects they send us from their exhibitors.

The antiques industry is peopled with characters from all walks of life and many of them have led interesting lives.  The fairs circuit is like a club where the members convene in a different town each week and we cannot wait for life to return to normal so that we can take part in that life again.

In the meantime, we will keep an eye on the calendar - and bring you comments and views from the organisers with images from fairs past and fairs to come.


Antiques News & Fairs - Cooper Events

Sue Ede, Cooper Events

First out of the gate for this feature is veteran of many a fair at home and abroad and a sort of Godmother to the trade, Sue Ede of Cooper Events.  During the Corona crisis she has kept her finger on the pulse of the trade and as usual has heard from her many exhibitors who call regularly to get her take on the situation which has befallen us all.

Westonbirt House

The most recent Cooper Events which was listed on our fairs calendar is the popular Cotswolds Decorative, Antiques & Fair Spring edition, April 2020.  Now scheduled to take place 4-6 September 2020, subject to the regulations in place at that time.  Formerly Westonbirt Antiques & Fine Fair, the event is held in the spectacular Victorian Gothic Westonbirt House, now a school, just outside Tetbury, Gloucestershire, once described by Country Life as "the finest example of Victorian architecture, landscape and gardens in the Cotswolds".

Regular exhibitors at Westonbirt include:

Antiques News & Fairs - Cooper Events

Brian Ashbee Antiques - della Robbia Charger


Antiques News & Fairs - Cooper Events

King George Antiques


Antiques News & Fairs - Cooper Events

Not Wanted on Voyage - a lantern part of a suite from a Paris nightclub


We talked to Sue about her life in the antiques fairs industry and her views on how the trade is adapting during the Corona crisis:


ANF:  Tell us when you started in the business?

SE: A long time ago! In fact my first experience was standing in for a friend who couldn’t run their one-day Sunday fair. From there I learnt the ropes with the help of Jim, my late husband, in close support.

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

SE: Our visitors are much more discriminating now. They mostly know the differences between the quality fairs circuit and showground events and know what kind of events suits them best. Of course, the whole market is much more competitive now, overheads are higher and exhibitors expect a much better service from organisers.

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

SE: Before organising I was a regional director in the West Country for Athena, the poster people.

ANF:  What was the journey to your current role?

SE:  After helping a friend I slowly moved from one-day fairs to weekend events, then showground fairs and eventually was asked to join the Daily Mail Group (DMG now IACF) as Fairs Director for their UK group. People might still remember my  banana-yellow Audi A4 seen rushing up and down the motorway from one showground fair to the next.

Having retired from that at 60, and my husband, Peter Hodder, retired from Westlands Engineering after 40 years, together we bought Cooper Events. With our daughter Katie too, we have expanded that through acquisitions and rescuing events that needed a lift.

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?

SE:  We will, of course, have to wait and see what happens. Many exhibitors are on the wrong side of sixty and will be nervous about re-entering the fray. Nevertheless, the antiques market is extremely resilient and although this year may be possibly its worst, it will bounce back, just as it did after 911 and the 2008 financial crash. There is always a demand for good things and dealers are expert at finding fantastic treasures and recycling.

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?

SE: We are keeping in touch with many exhibitors through regular phone and email contact. Others prefer social media. Everyone knows this is going to be a tough year and it’s more instructive to watch the daily news than ask us for advice!

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

SE: We have almost always run our business from offices at home. It’s so much easier than having an office and more cost effective. And dealers do not keep normal office hours! Of course, you have to be organised and have a good support network of colleagues and friends.

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

SE: Many dealers are naturally worried about what is happening. Many already sell via websites and social media, which is something others will surely be learning!

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?

SE: Yes, auctions continue, deliveries continue, eBay is busier than ever. People will always want to spend money!

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?

SE: Like everyone at the moment, keeping in frequent touch with relatives and friends, watching TV and trying not to eat too much food!  


For details on future events and exhibitor lists contact Cooper Events

Cover image: Cut glass biscuit barrel from a past event.