SOME 430 of Ireland's leading designers, manufacturers and craftmakers, will come together in the RDS later this month to meet thousands of retail buyers from Ireland and abroad.
This year's Showcase is predicting a 10pc increase in international buyers, driven by a new marketing effort in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland offices abroad.
Some 5,000 buyers have been attracted from 26 countries across the world to the four-day event starting on January 19.
Karen Hennessy, chief executive of the Crafts Council of Ireland, which is the driving force behind the creative expo, said it was a significant opportunity for designers working in craft to do business internationally. "Showcase is a four-day trade show in Dublin, which attracts thousands of international buyers from around the world, who come to Ireland to do business and whose investment is significant to the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises here," she said.
Showcase estimates trade-order sales in excess of €20m at this year's event; playing a major part in the crafts sector's contribution to the Irish economy of almost €500m annually.
This year, Showcase will be organised in two main category strands -- Fashion and Jewellery and Home and Gift.