Where do I begin? There is so much to say, but I’m going to try and condense this all as much as possible as this could quite easily turn into a novel!

The FiT Show is quite easily one of the best industry events that has ever been, according to the feedback I’ve seen and my own opinion. The buzz in the halls was clear to see. People were genuinely looking forward to meeting the various companies that filled the four halls. Every stand was packed with people. And this was the great thing, even though myself and Nick only went for the one day, it was very well attended, and by all accounts Tuesday was also well attended. I’m guessing Thursday may have been a tad quiet thanks to a few hangovers, but still, no one can say that the event wasn’t well attended!

This was the only head scratcher…

Where was Zoom?

Where was Zoom?

This got quite a few people talking. But overall that’s not important. What is important is that the companies put a lot of hard work and money in to some amazing stands. It was seriously impressive.

The halls were well organised, though with anything on this scale it was quite easy to get lost, which we did a couple of times! We tried to get round as many people in our short time there, which we almost managed to do. We were lucky to see the guys from UAP, Emmegi, Masterframe, GQA Qualifications, MyTradeTV, Listers, Custom Glass, Swisspacer, Dempsey Dyer, Deceuninck, Yale, GlassNews, Seniors and many others! We would have loved a second day there as we had plenty more people to see but just ran out of time! It was also great to see some people in the flesh that we usually only get to talk to on Twitter. Most gave me a nice reception, I did get one rather frosty look, but other than that, I managed to survive the day!

The Gala dinner was the showpiece of the day, which was an event in itself. A huge room with 60 full tables, packed with various names and personalities within the industry.

A packed hall.

A packed hall.

The Hope 66 team were rightly given a warm round of applause for their continuing charity work and their epic ride across America!

The Master Salesperson awards and the Master Fitter awards were also presented. Adrian Phillips of Nolan uPVC won the Master Salesperson of the year and Aaron Clegg of Eco Sash won Master Fitter of the year. Twitter favourite Nigel Grant came third in this!

Ed Byrne did a fantastic set! He nicely laid off our industry, he did have the odd pop, but that was to be expected. Really good choice of comedian to get people in the mood!

Who's that with Ed Byrne?

Who’s that with Ed Byrne?

The dinner was a good place to network a bit informally. Though I think most people there were more interested in the beer than fenestration, and I don’t blame them! The food was great. Myself and Nick also want to thank Joe Martoccia from Ultraframe for inviting us on their table and for their hospitality in the hotel, the drinks and the warm atmosphere! It really is appreciated and it won’t be forgotten!

Of course, me and Nick were there with our NFA heads on. The feedback and support for the scheme has been fantastic and this is something I will be writing about in another blog post soon.

Just a couple of small criticisms really. The parking, although we got there early enough, was apparently a struggle. There is room to expand parking possible next year, which I think has to be considered. The Wi-Fi was also quite shaky. But overall, these issues aren’t important enough to take anything away.

In summary, the FiT Show was very well organised, very well attended, very well supported and excellently executed. As a first attempt, it was a bloody good first go and it shapes up the next one in June 2014 nicely. Congratulations has to be given to Matthew Glover and Paul Godwin and the rest of their team that has put this together – a job well done!

Wednesday has given me plenty to write about, so expect a lot of fresh content here very soon! It was good to meet some of you in person!