Totally DIY & Tools closed doors on this year's two-day exhibition at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, this week – but plans are already underway to re-brand the event as the National DIY Show and move its February date to June.
The show will move back to a Sunday – Monday format, taking place on June 3 and 4 next year, keeping its venue at the Ericsson Hall at the Ricoh. The show is also promising to double in size.
“Our focus over the last 20 years has been on providing innovative and international products for independent retailers. Returning to a Sunday show opening we are responding to demands from this key section of our visitors,” says event manager Lucyanne Matthews. “The new show will feature various zones and plans are moving ahead towards a special new forum for the trade. More details will be announced shortly.”
It was a fairly mixed bag of responses to this year's Totally show, with several exhibitors commenting on the compact feel to the exhibition but many reporting strong leads despite this. “It's been a very good show for us,” enthused Gedbra company director Brian Jones, whose new product Quikset Pro impressed judges in the BHETA Innovation Zone. “We've exhibited four times at Totally and this year in particular we've had loads of good leads.”
Hinges supplier A. Perry also had positive things to say, with sales manager Patrick Corcoran telling DIY Week, “It's not been a bad show for us so far, I'd say it's a bit quieter than last year but we have seen many prospective customers as well as several existing so it's been fairly positive.”
When asked whether the company would be back next year, given the changes in the pipeline for Totally, Mr Corcoran said that they would “see what happens,” adding that “we want to keep the brand with Totally but we have to weigh up whether it will be worthwhile. Having said that, it only takes one really good customer to make exhibiting worth it.”
The company also exhibited at Spring Fair, though not in the new DIY sector launched this year. “We were in the Gift department and had a lot of interest in our metal garden art. We actually did £35,000 worth of sales in the first day of the show, it was unbelievable! I think the DIY sector worked well and we may well exhibit there next year.”
DIY Week also caught up with BHETA executive chairman Andrew Weiss as he walked the halls. “I think there are some really good, innovative products here at Totally this year,” he said. “I've seen half a dozen products I would like to buy myself. Having said that, the show is quieter than anyone would like and it is lacking some brand credibility – but given where it has come from I think they have done a really good job.”
BHETA sponsored this year's Totally Innovation Zone and Mr Weiss, who was one of the judges for the new product awards, said that the association was “particularly pleased” with the calibre of items on show. On Tuesday it was announced that Patlock – a new security solution for French doors – had won the coveted Best New Product award.