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11 Apr 2024

An Interview with the Furniture Shows' Shona Carmichael

An Interview with the Furniture Shows' Shona Carmichael
Shona (left) at her first Manchester Furniture Show

Shona Carmichael, Sales Manager, began her career with the Furniture Shows over 23 years ago with the Manchester Furniture Show (MFS). After having entered the business following the footsteps of her father, she tells us how thrilled she is to be back at Manchester Central this July.  “It feels like coming home”, she smiles, as she explains how her journey with the show began in the early 2000s.

Before Clarion Events’ acquisition of the show in 2016, the original founders of the Manchester Furniture Show, Theresa, and Lorraine, hired Shona as part of the sales team. Shona recalls her first MFS as marked by scorching heat, with “sun pouring through the venue's glass-roofed halls”, as she describes it. Yet, despite the sweltering conditions, exhibitors and buyers alike gathered, setting the stage for what was becoming a hallmark event in the furniture industry.

Over the years, the Manchester Furniture Show evolved and saw changes in industry trends, consumer preferences, and (thankfully) air conditioning access. Shona noted that any changes in the industry were always reflected in the show. As the industry shifted towards high-end designs and diverse offerings, the show adapted accordingly, welcoming renowned brands and expanding its reach to a broader audience.

What sets the show apart from others, according to Shona, is its summertime setting. The timing allows buyers to source products well ahead of the holiday season, ensuring timely deliveries for their customers. Additionally, the vibrant atmosphere of Manchester, coupled with its renowned dining and social scene, creates an ideal setting for attendees and exhibitors alike. “Manchester Furniture Show is more than just a place for business, it’s also about forging lasting connections and enjoying memorable experiences”, says Shona. She also commends Manchester’s central location as an ideal commute for Irish and Scottish buyers to make the trip and source new products.  

Visitors aren’t the only ones enjoying the experience in Manchester. As a sales manager, Shona is attuned to the needs and goals of her clients. She happily exclaims that she has “never had an exhibitor who had a bad experience at MFS”.  “Why wouldn’t you be there”, she continues, “you get your product on the floor, meet buyers from across the UK and give yourself extra opportunity to sell”. After 23 years in the business, she is confident this year’s edition of the Manchester Furniture Show will make a huge impact.

For Shona and many others, the show represents more than just a trade event; it's a reunion with familiar faces, an opportunity to catch up on industry news, and a chance to witness the latest trends firsthand. “I’m extremely optimistic about the return of the Manchester Furniture Show”, she says. With a renewed sense of energy and enthusiasm, she believes that the show's legacy will continue to thrive, offering a platform for collaboration, innovation, and celebration within the furniture industry.

If you haven’t registered to attend the Manchester Furniture Show, don’t wait to be a part of this historical industry event. Click here to get your free badge.


For stand enquiries, please contact:

Shona Carmichael

Sales Manager



Roberta Bontempo

Senior Sales Manager



For media enquiries, please contact:

Francesca Sequeira

Marketing Executive

0207 384 8158


About The Manchester Furniture Show:

The Manchester Furniture Show, running for 28 years, is synonymous with offering a platform dedicated to connecting the furniture industry in the North of England. Bringing together furniture professionals and showcasing a wide range of furniture designs, the show offers an opportunity for relaxed summer sourcing in the vibrant city of Manchester. For more information, visit



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