Welcome to your Day Two FIT Show 2017 review. Yesterdays was 1254 words long. I promise I’ll try to keep this as concise as possible!
By far the busiest day
I turned up to the NEC for the second day of the 2017 FIT Show and it was visibly busier in the foyer and halls in the morning. It’s fair to say that day one was steady, this second day was far busier. The day where most have picked to visit Birmingham for the exhibition and where many will be staying this evening for the Gala Dinner.
There was a genuine buzz and energy this morning, something I didn’t quite get yesterday. Stands were properly busy, all staff were at the pumps making sure everything was running smoothly. The organisers and those exhibiting can be happy with a good days work done.
Thursday will be quieter in comparison. Hangovers will be in abundance and those taking a one day trip here will have already been and seen what they needed to see. Exhibitors might appreciate a quiet day to be honest!
Stands of note
Myself and Lee were given a personal tour of the AluK stand and products first thing this morning by NFA 2016 Social Networker chamption Laura Morgan. They have taken a great deal of pride in their stand and credit where it is due, it does look superb and was my stand of the day. Their product range has expanded massively recently, and to list every single product option on here now would be impossible. But, there has been a big push made in the residential part of the market, and they have some products now which are really going to push the PVCu part of the market hard.
Spitfire and Inotherm have separate stands this year, but have once again brought their sexy doors with them, and continue to be one of my stand out products of the exhibition.
I managed to spend a bit of time at the Glass Times bar this afternoon as well, managing to catch up with a few friends of mine and discuss the good and the bad of the sector right now. That seemed to be my theme of the day. I saw a lot of stands and products yesterday, much of what I wanted to tick off my list already. Today focused in on people, meetings and getting a bit of actual work done!
We were treated to light lunch at the mahoosive Liniar stand today as well. Superb design, very busy for much of the day, and it was good to put our feet up and talk to Sue and others about things other than windows!
As sad as it is, I do have to mention the security situation today. As you will know, the terror threat level has been raised to “critical”, the highest level available. This means higher police and security presence at all major venues at events across the UK. The NEC was no exception as I expected:
Massive respect to these guys. The foyer areas have glass ceilings, and the weather has been blazing today. It would not have been comfortable for them at all. They also told us that the guns and all the other gear they have to take weighs four stone. Imagine carrying that around in the heat. Total admiration for these guys, putting themselves in danger to protect the public to ensure that our industry can continue with it’s work today. I expect them here tomorrow as well.
There was a visible security presence across the arena today, much more than the previous day, with bags being checked across the venue, and guards visible at all times. Whilst it was reassuring to see the precautions being taken, you cannot help but feel sad that even exhibitions now need this sort of security. But top marks to the organisers and venue for taking the right steps today.
Look ahead to day 3
On a personal level I think I have seen most of what I wanted to, and met most of who I wanted to. My last few hours at the FIT Show on Thursday will be taken up by a couple of meetings planned already, and seeing the last few stands I want to see before I make a dash home. I’m hoping for an after lunch finish so I can beat the traffic and catch up on some work at home!
It will obviously be quieter tomorrow, and that is understandable. But from what I have heard so far, visitor figures are going to sail past those of the last show, something which the organisers can be proud of. The key for exhibitors is to make sure the right people have come. They will want to see the decision makers and the ones that spend the money. It could have 20k visitors over the three days, but it needs to be the right people. The business done after the show will be the tell tale sign of whether it has been worthwhile for the exhibitors.
I’m looking forward to a good third day and a swift drive home too!
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