The idea for launching CIJ Group (then Christmas in July) came back in November 2016. As I began my daily commute back to Richmond, I grabbed a copy of the Evening Standard and saw an article by the ES Small Business Agony Aunt, Jo Malone MBE titled:
“Here’s why Christmas will be a washout if it hasn’t happened by July”
It caught my eye as my events company had been organising ‘Christmas in July’ press events for various brands and PR agencies.
Having seen first hand the challenge of declining journalist attendance, I had a vision, where all brands & retailers would launch their Christmas products collectively to maximise their most profitable time of year - saving budget and resources whilst increasing exposure. Brands & retailers sit next to each other on the high street to maximise their footfall and sales so why should a press launch be any different? And so The Big Christmas Press Show was born (formerly the Christmas in July Festival).
After many successful shows and moving to the renowned exhibition venue, the Business Design Centre, we launched our virtual Power Pitching series to support in house PR teams and PR agencies to meet with their target media for all occasions and seasons in the retail calendar, including Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter & Black Friday. We also developed the online image library, PressFix to support PRs to connect with journalists and influencers 365 days a year.
A lot has changed in recent years, although our mission today remains the same, to create innovative solutions for the evolving retail and media landscape. Many brands & retailers are now launching for Christmas later in the year so we’ve adapted to offer targeted long lead events for key sectors such as Homewares in the Summer, with the majority of activity including The Big Christmas Press Show, taking place in the Autumn. This is to allow for later product lead times, sample availability and the digital shift in the media.
Our ethos centres around putting the media first, whilst offering unrivaled value to all brands, retailers & PR agencies. We’re excited for what the future brings in this dynamic industry, we invite you to come and join us on our journey.