There’s six weeks to go until the industry’s biggest exhibition kicks off. So what better time to identify six things we should be looking out for and what we need to know in the run up to the show.
It is well known that the FIT Show is targeting 10,000 unique visitors to the show over the three days. If achieved, it will be the most concrete sign yet that the exhibition has truly rooted in the industry and will be here for a long time.
However, the show is going to need many more than 10,000 to register to go. I was once told that for things like exhibitions and trade shows, you can knock a third off the number of pre-registrations for a more accurate figure of the numbers expected to turn up. So, I think the FIT Show should be aiming for the 14,000 registrations mark. They won’t want to just scrape by 10,000 unique visitors. They will want to ease past it with a few hundred to spare at least.
Also, that word “unique” is key here. There should be 10,000 different people step through the NEC doors during those three days in May. The figures published have to make that clear and be transparent.
It will have been a smidge over a year since the last FIT Show, which may have caught a few of us out. So the question has been raised as to how many truly new products will be on display this year.
I haven’t looked into every single company exhibiting, there’s too many and I haven’t got enough spare time. However, I will be keeping a keen eye as I walk past the stands as to who is exhibiting what and which product are the truly new ones.
I know there are a few companies strongly marketing themselves as bringing lots of new stuff to the show. But in comparison to last year, I suspect that the focus for exhibitors will be less on new products, and more on how their products and services can help installers to sell more.
Facilities and expectations
The NEC is one of the busiest exhibition halls in the UK. It is certainly no stranger to a trade show. But it will be the very first one for the FIT Show. The venue is bigger, the expected numbers are bigger, and so the expectation will be bigger also.
It will be a test for the FIT team and the NEC as a venue. And those visiting as well as exhibiting will be expecting a certain level or service. The ideal scenario for the organisers is for both visitors and exhibitors to feel like the halls have been filled well, the quality has been high, and the move to a bigger venue was as smooth as it could have been.
This one has me conflicted. On the Tuesday night the FIT Show is going to have stands open until 8pm. I believe the idea is that from 5pm onwards the show can take on a more relaxed feel, where stands can have food and drink and invite people to let their hair down and stay longer at the show. The bars will also stay open, I think there’s at least two. So there will definitely be plenty of booze flowing that evening.
I do like a beer. Nothing wrong with that. But you can’t help feel they’re shooting for a bit of a German vibe with this idea. It’s the first time so I’ll reserve judgement until the day after. But if you feel like finding me and putting the world to rights you can find me from 5pm on the MACO stand for #TNMP4 – Tweet N Meet Part 4.
Decent food and drink
This isn’t as trivial as it sounds. Food and drink will literally be the fuel that keeps this thing going. There will be lots of people, both visiting and exhibiting that will need to be kept suitably fed and watered. If the food options are limited and are of poor quality, expect frayed tempers by Thursday morning.
I found the food at Telford during the previous shows decent. They definitely got better each time. But I wasn’t blown away. Maybe I’m being too picky. These are exhibition centres after all, not dedicated eateries. Still, some decent tea, coffee and decent choice and range will be appreciated.
Plug for myself for the last one!
I’ll be once again getting DGB Live out of the box for another show. It seems as though this is the only time I get to do a live page now. Still, DGB will be the only industry media outlet (as far as I know!) to be doing such a thing. So if you can’t make it but want to keep up to date with all the important and interesting stuff while you’re actually getting some work done, be sure to keep it DGB Live.
My twitter feed (@glazingblogger) will also be spamming your timeline with images, anecdotes and I might event try a few live sessions if you think it would be worth it. It will all stop at 5pm though because if I’ve had a drink lord knows what garbage I could be posting on there.
One thing is for sure, it will be a busy three days, and a three days that I’m sure will be successful for the show, the organisers and the exhibitors alike. I suspect we’ll be ready for a two year break so when the industry reconvenes in two years time there will be plenty to talk about. We’ll have left the European Union by then.
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