A few days ago, I posed a few question to Renegade Conservatory Guy, better known as Matthew Glover, about the FiT Show next April, and these are the answers I got. Enjoy!

  1. What made you want to set up such an expansive industry show?

Our research suggested that for people in the window, door and conservatory industry to be motivated to visit a national trade show they were keen to see full industry representation, the right types of companies present, and lots of exhibition stands. In other words, it was clear that the industry wanted a ‘Big Show’ or else they weren’t interested.

So, from the start we’ve thought big. We’ve targeted the big names first, and put together a campaign with a big budget to firstly encourage the exhibitors, and then the visitors.

  1. Where do you think the previous industry shows like Glassex went wrong?

 There’s many reasons for the decline and failure of Glassex. I’ve heard all sorts of reasons since I’ve travelled the country talking to potential exhibitors.

We’re trying to concentrate on what we’re doing, rather than worrying too much about a show which doesn’t exist any more.

  1. How much floor space is left right now and when do you expect the remaining space to be sold by?

 We’ve sold or have reserved around 80% of the floor space in the three Halls of the Telford International Centre. That equates to around 90 exhibitors booked, with room for around 45 more stands.

We expect to sell the remaining space within the next couple of months as there’s still strong interest from other potential exhibitors. It’s moving very fast. I’m told from people with a background in exhibitions that our progress is unprecedented for a launch show.

  1. Why did you decide to start promoting the show well over a year before it is even due to start?

We wanted to get the exhibitors lined up first, and many of them organise their marketing budgets well in to the future. A few exhibitors have said to me that they couldn’t have done it this year, because they wouldn’t have had any budget left.

We also wanted to ensure no other potential organisers beat us to it. I would have loved to have worked towards this Autumn, but our research suggested Spring 2013 was exactly the right time for the show.

We’ve got lots of things lined up over the next year, so the whole industry will be aware of the show, and keen to attend.

  1. While you’re overseeing this project, what is going on with your other business?

I’m still involved in all key management decisions, but essentially the team manage perfectly well without me being there all the time. In fact, it probably runs better without me there all the time! I’m very lucky to have a strong management team who are dedicated to growing sales, profitably and sustainably.

  1. What made you pick Telford when the NEC in Birmingham is close by?

We looked at three venues in the Midlands – Ricoh, NEC and TIC. When you weighed up all the factors, Telford came out top for our launch show. Convenient location just off the M6, we’ve got the venue to ourselves, fantastic facilities, friendly staff, free parking etc.

And we felt that with it being a new show, we needed a new venue to launch it.

  1. The best salesmen competition is an interesting one. Have you had much interest for that so far?

Yes, we’re working in the background on the mechanics of how we put it together. It will be a key feature and part of our visitor promotion, whilst also promoting best practice in double glazing sales.

I’ll be hoping that you put your name forward, confidentially obviously.

  1. Do you expect a lot of business to be done at the show?

Of course! People like to do business face to face. The event will be a serious business trade show, with networking opportunities, entertainment and a comprehensive seminar programme.

  1. What visitor numbers are you expecting?

Everyone’s going!

     10. Finally, how do you plan to integrate social media, i.e. Twitter into the show? Will there be   things like live Twitter feeds within the event?

As you know we’ve embraced Twitter already, and we’ve got an exciting campaign soon to launch on Facebook. We’ll be keen to keep people updated on what’s happening both on the run up to the show, and during.

I’d be interested to hear your views on how we could integrate Twitter feeds within the event itself. If it can be done, we’ll look into it. Thanks.

To find out more about the FiT Show, go to their website: www.fitshow.co.uk