British Computer Fairs

British Computer Fairs was tech focused event company based in the United Kingdom.

It operated for over 20 years and over this time organised literally thousands of computer fairs around London and the South East.

Paul Driver, was the founder of this dynamic, events company, and he now operates a successful web design business called easable which is based in Ilkley, West Yorkshire.

BCF was the UK's longest running computer fair organiser and whilst it wasn't the first computer fair in UK, it was only just pre-dated by All Formats Computer Fairs and Northern Computer Markets. In the end it went on to operate much longer than both of it's forerunners and only closed it's doors in the middle of 2016.

In the early days, most BCF advertising focused on the huge choice and massive savings that could be found at a computer fair when compared with mail-order prices or those found on the high street. Later on, this was switched to emphasise personal service, as an alternative to impersonal online shopping.

The Croydon fair, which was held at a large school on Shirley Road was always the best attended event, and at it's peak, attracted as many as 150 traders at any one time and this was the reason that so many buyers would attend.

Many of the computer fair traders had their own shops or mail order businesses, whilst some worked for themselves as system builders, repair shops or software experts. Trading at the fairs was very lucrative for these businesses and by booking tables at the fairs, they would often speak to more potential customers in a day, than they otherwise might see all year.

For computer fair visitors, their guarantee of big savings arrived from the keen competition between traders. So whether visitors were in the market for a high performance laptop, a fast gaming PC or low-cost second-user machine, they were always sure to find a bargain. Indeed, many customers would arrive with hundreds in their pockets, absolutely determined to spend it.

Paul Driver said, "From the very beginning, a great deal of emphasis was placed in consumer confidence, and big efforts were made to educate visitors that their rights were exactly the same as if they were buying from a shop".

BCF was one of the first event businesses in the world to operate a website and went on to build the world's first online shopping mall,specialising only in computer goods. pre-dated Ebay in the UK and was a searchable, multi-seller marketplace, which many companies of the dot-com-boom went on to emulate. It is worth remembering that at this time, the phrase 'comparison website' had not yet been coined.

In the end, some say, that the internet proved to be the undoing of computer fairs and to a large degree, this is true. However, other factors were also in play, not least of which was the arrival of smart phones and tablets.

With a super computer in the pocket, who needs all those wires?


About is a web development business operated by Paul Driver, original founder of British Computer Fairs.

Easable's main expertise is in producing advanced websites with Drupal, a powerful content management framework, used by many of the biggest names on the internet. One niche that has proven especially successful for the business, has been providing website for schools.