Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Stay ahead with Google Alerts

Keeping a keen eye on activity around your industry is imperative in order for you to keep up with competitors and customer trends. Finding this information can sometimes be a laborious task and many of us may not know where to look. This is where Google can help.

Google offers a free service called Google Alerts. You can access Google Alerts via Google researches the internet through news articles, blogs, discussions and videos to find you the latest information based upon your search query from credible sources.

Using Google Alerts is very easy. You simply insert a search term, define what type of information you seek (Everything, News, Blogs, Realtime, Video, Discussions), set how often you want this information to be sent to your email, set the quantity of results within the email and finally set the email address which you would like the results to be sent to.

You can cancel these alerts anytime by going into your Google account.

Save money and time through this fantastic free service.

And, don’t forget to watch out for Interiors & Lifestyle Futures next Search Engine Optimisation workshop, provisionally scheduled for 8 March in Birmingham.

To book a place, please email: or telephone: Stoke 01782 415210 or Birmingham 0121 331 7925

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Interiors & Lifestyle Futures at the Interiors Show 2011

The Interiors & Lifestyle Futures team and member companies will be at the Interiors Show at the NEC, Birmingham from Sunday 23 January until Wednesday 26 January.

You will be able to catch us as guests of Birmingham City University’s' Global Color-Trends' Stand, F33, Thinking Space, Hall 2. We’d be delighted to see you for a chat or to pass on information about our latest workshops in February and March.

Interiors & Lifestyle Futures' member companies and associates taking part in the Global Color-Trends Stand will be: Sitting Firm; mrf Ltd; Glass Domain and Hille Educational Seating.

Interiors & Lifestyle Futures is also taking part in the Meet the Buyer event on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 January in the Mezzanine Level Lounge, Hall 5. This provides a unique platform to facilitate partnerships and create market opportunities specifically for the European market. The event will bring together eight key buyers/decision makers from the European Interiors & Lifestyles sector that are keen to meet UK suppliers and form commercial relationships.

The Meet the Buyer event is fully financed by UKTI and Interiors & Lifestyles Futures through European and AWM funding.

For further information, please call Interiors & Lifestyle Futures' Ruth Edwards on 07970 262066 or email:

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

2012 Olympic Games Free workshop 26 January

Post by Ruth Edwards
West Midlands companies in Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country are invited to a free half-day workshop, which will explore business opportunities from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The workshop will explore:

• What goods and services are being purchased by London 2012 now; over the next 18 months; and the main route to accessing these tenders –
• Additional business opportunities related to London 2012, such as the Host Boroughs surrounding the Olympic Park; and “Stratford City”, the biggest shopping centre in the UK, being built next to the Olympic Park.
• Local opportunities from the London 2012 Games, such as matches in the London 2012 football competition held at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry; and the 2012 Torch Relays, whose routes will no doubt include Birmingham.
• Business opportunities after the London 2012 Games are over; the so-called “legacy” benefits from the Games.
• Specialised help, advice and support for you - such as free, monthly “2012 Sector Briefings” – to improve your chances of winning tenders from the London 2012 Games.

Time: 9.00 a.m. for a 9.30 start, finishing at 12.30 Wednesday 26 January
Venue: Birmingham Central Library Lecture Theatre, Chamberlain Square, B3 3HQ.
Booking: For your FREE place please contact Nicol Wagstaff at West Midlands Chambers LLP.
Tel: 0121 607 1753

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Business opportunities in the United Arab Emirates

Post by Pat Steele UKTI

Export of interiors and lifestyle products to the United Arab Emirates has increased dramatically over recent years, continuing despite the economic downturn. UK businesses are taking part in the UAE’s property and construction, hotel, leisure and consumer sectors and Dubai and Abu Dhabi account for the majority of goods that Britain exports to the region.

A collaboration between UKTI, Walsall Equestrian Society and Interiors & Lifestyle Futures gave a number of West Midlands companies a chance in November 2010 to promote their design-led products in this lucrative market.
Five equestrian companies teamed up with 11 contract interiors companies, meeting buyers and making contact with the Dubai-based British Business Group and the Association of Professional Interior Designers.

The ‘Exclusive Showcase of High Quality British Design and Interiors’ event took place at the prestigious Al Murooj Rotana Hotel and the West Midlands companies picked up orders and/or are arranging further contact.
While showcasing their products, the West Midlands companies also had the opportunity to take part in the industry seminar programme that included discussions on trends in contemporary design and sustainability issues. Jacqui Pountney, Chief Executive of the Walsall Equestrian Society said of the event: “We were delighted at the success of the venture and our equestrian members were very pleased to be part of it. They made a number of good contacts and we learnt a good deal that can help business develop.”

Dubai is an ideal venue for UK companies to promote themselves. It ranks as one of the world’s leading trading centres and offers a gateway to a market of more than one billion people, covering the Commonwealth of Independent States, East Africa, the Asian sub-continent and the Middle East.
This showcase allowed companies to take best advantage of opportunities generated not only by an affluent national population but also by the upmarket tourist trade and major property development.

West Midland companies taking part in the Dubai Showcase:

Flyaway Ltd
Frank Baines Saddlery
Vale Brothers Ltd
Patrick Saddlery Ltd.
Emma Wyatt Gifts

Contract interiors
Soul Living
Johnson Tiles
New House Textiles
H & E Smith
NEJ Stevenson Ltd
OER Fireplaces Ltd
Insite Arts Ltd
Marcus Gear Ltd
The Dudson Group
Twin Design Ltd
Clive Durose

If you are interested in any future export groups or activity that Interiors & Lifestyle Futures is setting up please contact:
Interiors & Lifestyle Futures:
To contact the Walsall Equestrian Society: