Published on 31 - May - 2012
Free lunch planned for Totally DIY visitorsComplimentary lunches for retailer visitors, and a cap on stand size to encourage major suppliers back into the show - those are the two major initiatives planned for Totally DIY 2013.
Many exhibitors and visitors to this year's show found fault with the venue
Exhibitors and potential exhibitors attending a presentation this week at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, the show's new home, were told by show director James Murray: "Our goal is to deliver a show the industry can be proud of."
Sales director Paul Grinsell said: "We had the option to go back to the NEC, but we did three pieces of research with visitors, exhibitors and non-attendees, and the feedback was clear that we should look for another venue. And the exhibitors said clearly that the Midlands was the place to be. Moving to the Ricoh gives us the opportunity to stand the show on its head, and make the visitor experience a very different one."
Offering retailers and buyers a plates sit-down complimentary lunch will encourage more of them to visit the show, and to engage with the exhibitors for a longer period, he said.
And responding to complaints that major suppliers had not supported the show in the past, he said the problem was that large companies tend to think in terms of large stands, and then decide against participating because they can't justify the cost of those stands. To address this, exhibitors at the 2013 show will be limited to a maximum stand size of 50sq m, thus reducing the possible cost.
"By capping the stand size, we'll get out of the 'mine's bigger than yours' syndrome," said Mr Grinsell.
Organiser Brintex is also addressing the issue of accommodation: the sole on-site hotel has only 80 rooms, with plans for a further 30. Mr Murray said that a nearby hotel may be designated the show's 'home' hotel, with the possibility of a shuttle bus service to and from the Ricoh. Novotel and Hilton both have hotels nearby, and Coventry has a claimed 4,500 hotel rooms in total.
Totally DIY will have sole occupancy of the 6,000sq m Jaguar suite at the Ricoh, and at present there are no events booked for any other part of the complex during February 10 - 12, the show dates.
"And we'll be able to exercise tighter control over the audience profile than we could at the NEC," added Mr Grinsell. "We want to work closely with exhibitors and get the names of your best customers and best prospects so we can invite them to the show - and to lunch."
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