Spring Fair closed what was, for DIY exhibitors at least, a long six day run today, with organisers and exhibitors alike heralding the show – and its new foray into DIY – a success.
This was the first year the show had included DIY and Home Improvement in its 14 retail sectors, and DIY Week spoke to several exhibitors making use of the show's new opportunities in the category.
AkzoNobel's channel sales manager James Nash told DIY Week, “For us, the show has been all about raising brand awareness and, for us, it's been good. We've been treating this year as a bit of a trial run to see whether we'll come back. But so far, it's gone well.
“Hopefully the show will grow next year and, yes, we'd be interested in coming back if the price is right and if this year's show proves itself to have been worthwhile. So far it has been worth our while coming.”
Stax, too, was upbeat about its outing at Spring Fair. Operational director Nigel Wright said, “I'm very pleased with how the show has been. We've never done Spring Fair and I think because of the breadth of range here there are a lot of great buyers as well as suppliers.
“We no longer exhibit at Totally DIY after supporting the show for years. It's just not big enough anymore, unfortunately. This year we wanted a change, so we have made our stand a bit more conceptual about what we do.
“It is a very long show. I would question perhaps whether we needed to come on the Saturday as we were one of just two halls open and it was very, very quiet. It does make it a long time away from the business, as well. It's early to call, but I'd say we'll probably be interested in coming back next year.”
Amtech was another supplier who opted to exhibit at Spring Fair over Totally this year. Area sales manager Paul Balfe explained, “We did used to exhibit at Spring Fair a long time ago, and then we exhibited at Totally for a good two or three year stretch. We were only there, though, because there wasn't a platform for us here.
“The show has been going well for us, in terms of people coming to the stand, I'd say there's a 50, 50 divide between new and existing customers we're seeing. Everyone knows us, they all know what we do. This sort of show is probably more important for the newer guys.”
For plenty more comments and a comprehensive review of this year's show – including details of top products on display – see the February 24 issue of DIY Week.