The Australian Gift and Homewares Association (AGHA) has unveiled plans for a trade show it claims will rival the leading events around the world.

Named Design Life, the exhibition will be held at The Dome at the Sydney Showgrounds between February 23 and 26 next year.  With a focus on high-end homewares, this 'by invitation only' expo will assemble the best companies and offter a holistic approach to buyer engagement with networking, learning and product sourcing provided by exhibitors thmeselves.

The idea for Design Life was sparked by exhibitor feedback and will be held as a complimentary event to the Home & Giving Fair, which cuts down expenses for exhibitors and enhances the experience for retailers.

“As market uncertainty and changes in how business is conducted accelerate, AGHA understands that at the top end, trade exhibitions increasingly are a marketing tool for lead generation,” says David Leek, AGHA CEO.

“Our members have made it clear that many sales are now occurring post-event as buyers carefully weigh their options. Having a quality environment to present a corporate identity and philosophy, as well as display product to its best, becomes yet another strategic, competitive tool.”

Custom built stands at Design Life will cover a minimum of 36 square metres. There will be dedicated space for networking, demonstrations and showcase areas.

Interested companies are urged to contact 1300 441 384 or visit Design Life.

This comes as AGHA announces changes to its pricing structure for stand space at its Home & Giving Fairs.

Stand rates for the February 2013 show will be slashed by 20 per cent. This does not apply to stands at Design Life.

Leek says the move is about helping the industry maintain its resilience to continue trading successfully in tough economic times.

“Given the current uncertainties in the exhibition industry, the AGHA is well positioned to support the gift and homewares segment by lowering the barriers to entry for new exhibitors and ensuring that our current exhibitors have more to invest in promoting their stands at the Home & Giving fair,” he adds.

“Easing some of the financial pressure is AGHA’s way of rewarding an industry that has, and will continue, to successfully trade in a difficult market.  The next Home & Giving trade fair is destined to be hugely successful.  We want as many companies as possible to take advantage of this industry leading initiative.”