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Sweet Success: Cake International and Crafts for Christmas
 draw record visitor numbers

ICHF Events saw record visitor numbers flock to its NEC shows at the weekend.  Cake International – The Sugarcraft, Cake Decorating & Baking Show and Crafts for Christmas, Hobbycrafts and Art Materials Live drew at total of more than 65,000 visitors.
Cake International – The Sugarcraft, Cake Decorating & Baking Show is the largest show of its kind in the world, having celebrated its 20th birthday at the NEC where Mary Berry and Mich Turner appeared as celebrity guests.

This flagship show saw 25,000 visitors attend the three-day event, a 25% increase on last year, with advance tickets for Saturday selling out for the third year running. Cake International has continued to grow year-on-year expanding to two new venues over the past two years with shows at EventCity, Manchester and ExCeL, London.

Troy Bennett, director at ICHF Events said: “In recent years we have seen a substantial increase in visitor numbers as well as exhibitors to Cake International, reflecting the growth of the baking and cake decorating industry as a whole. The show at the NEC has doubled in size in the last two years alone and this year we received our largest amount of competition entries ever. We are looking forward to continuing to expand the show, making it even better for future years.”

The show received over 1,000 competition entries, a 65% increase on last year, making this the largest showcase of its kind in the world. Popular creations included an almost life-sized Johnny Depp cake dressed as Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean, which was the work of Lara Clarke, an amateur baker from Brownhills, West Midlands. The highly coveted ‘Best in Show’ award went to Rose Macefield for her fishing themed cake, which featured a fishing basket, rod, net and trout.

Rose said: “I have been entering Cake International competitions since 2009 and have won gold and silver awards before but I never dreamt I would win the Best in Show, especially with such a high calibre of entries this year. I wanted to make a cake based on a popular hobby and wanted it to be life-sized. It took over 70 hours to make but I am thrilled that the hard work paid off – I am still in shock!”

Luisa Zissman, runner up from The Apprentice launched her Bakers Toolkit at the show. She said: “Right from the start we knew we wanted to launch Bakers Toolkit at Cake International. From past experience, we were confident the type of visitor would be exactly our target audience. We had a great time at Cake International; it was so exciting to meet new and existing customers and we loved showing off our new range of products, receiving some amazing feedback from both the trade and the public.”

Cake International ran alongside Crafts for Christmas, Hobbycrafts and Art Materials Live, which attracted over 40,000 craft fans throughout the four-day event. Offering three shows for the price of one, there was a wide range of crafts, demonstrations and advice from over 450 exhibitors.

Troy Bennett continued: “Crafts for Christmas, Hobbycrafts and Art Materials Live has been running for 27 years and continues to grow year-on-year. These are some of our best attended shows offering a high calibre of features for visitors and it is great to see them continue to grow.”

Keith Prince from Fiddley Diddley Pottery said: “We have been exhibiting with ICHF Events for seven years and this was our best show ever! We had a fantastic show recently in Glasgow but Birmingham was better still. We decided to extend our stand and brought new products with us, including some new Christmas items which were extremely popular. We were packed from start to finish and are thrilled with the whole show.”

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