2020 has been one hell of a year so far and it’s one that few of us are unlikely to forget, bringing challenges that many of us hoped we would never face. But times of great change are also times where great opportunities appear.
Web developer, Denre Bruins and trade magazine publisher, Charlotte Cowell, were contemplating a collapse in all the major industries they worked in: Exhibitions – which relied entirely on large public gatherings being viable – and trade magazines, which relied on advertising.
They say: “What might have become a Catch 22 situation soon revealed fantastic possibilities when we decided to create an online interactive event for one of our biggest clients, The British Craft Trade Fair, after the physical show was forced to cancel during lockdown. BCTF Online was so successful it led to a series of new online exhibitions, reaching as far as America and Japan, including international event, Virtual Celtic Trade Fair.
“The success of these trade events, together with the fact that both online shopping and support for local retailers sky-rocketed during lockdown, gave us the idea to put on a special online marketplace for our community of British manufacturers and designer-makers. Joining them on the site are some hand-picked local retailers from our home town of Berkhamsted, to help recreate the virtual town centre shopping experience. Not only will this help reach shoppers while there is still some lockdown, it will also help shops and other businesses to capture customers from further afield.
“Happy Shopping in My Town Centre!”