Ecobuild has been on recently. This is an exhibition based around energy, sustainable construction and design. It’s been around for a while, and has grown to be known as one of the biggest exhibitions in the construction sector. The window industry always has a decent representation at the show, or at least it used to. After hearing some of the feedback and reviews of the show, I sense there is an opportunity for our very own FiT Show to cement it’s place.

Mixed feedback

The feedback from some quarters has been mixed at best. Take a look at what the Epwin Group had to say to MyTradeTV about the show:

Alan Calverley, Head of marketing at the Epwin Group was generally upbeat but observed that Ecobuild appeared to be quieter this year. “The show was possibly quieter than previous years but the quality of visitors higher and with larger projects in mind. With a new layout for next year the show may take on a new direction and become a general building rather than Eco one……without doubt the solar element of the show has declined, meaning in terms of space the overall feel is less stands.”

However, speaking specifically about the Epwin Group’s own performance, he was happier. “An optimistic industry turned out for the first big exhibition of the year, and the quality of leads for larger projects bore this out,” he stated. “Our ‘Through the Ages’ theme attracted a great deal of interest and got people talking. Many new and existing products were on display and the vertical sliding window, alongside the new solid core door were the real stars on the stand.”

A diplomatic way of saying footfall was rubbish. Check out what Internorm again told MTTV:

“Ecobuild is a great way for our potential customers to really see the true quality of our products,” said Andreas Simmer, Managing Director, Internorm UK, talking exclusively to MYTTV. “This year was no different. It also provided the ideal opportunity to launch our new Panorama HX300 product.”

This is a timber/aluminium window glazing system that can be integrated completely into the brickwork meeting the growing trend for frameless glass architecture. “It was great to see the interest in how the unlimited design freedom of this product can really help create open bright living environments,” explained Mr Simmer.

In terms of visitors to the stand, over the three days Internorm stated it saw a good mix of people allowing it to have contact with those working on both smaller self-build projects as well as architects working on much larger developments. “For architects specifically, as well as the products themselves, we also found that there was some good interest in the CPDs that we offer,” noted Mr Simmer. “Overall, we were pleased with the level of interest in our company as a whole and the products we offer.”

An answer well spun to take attention away from low visitor numbers. Not a single mention about footfall in the answer above. Instead deciding to focus on what was demonstrated at the show. But there’s no getting away from it, visitor numbers are down. Everywhere I have looked and read I have seen the same sort of comments.

Click here to read the full MyTradeTV report

Paul Godwin, Managing Director of FiT Events, the company behind our own FiT Show, was a bit more direct and aggressive:

When you consider that the number of exhibitors at Ecobuild has fallen from 1300 in 2011 to 800 this year, you can’t deny something is happening. It has been mentioned that the show needs to take a different direction in order for it to survive. As I haven’t been to Ecobuild and only observed what others have said about it, I can’t say for sure. But what I can say is that this presents the industry’s dedicated UK exhibition, the FiT Show a crucial opportunity.

Turn the screw

Strike while the iron is hot is a saying applicable for this situation. As Ecobuild struggles to give much of our own industry a reason to exhibit, this gives the FiT Show to bang it’s own drum and steal some potential business away from Ecobuild.

FiT Show isn’t until next year, but it will be next to Ecobuild on the calendar. I see this as a chance to really muscle in, steal some market share and grab some more exhibitors from Ecobuild to exhibit at the FiT Show instead.

Although the two shows are slightly different in that one is glazing industry specific and the other is general eco-construction, there is some crossover from some companies who choose to exhibit. It is those who they have to cement in place. They have the perfect opportunity to expand the number of exhibitors in 2016. 2014 was a bit of a consolidation year for the FiT Show, not really growing from the first one in 2013. But Ecobuild’s current state of health presents an ideal opportunity to elbow other shows out of the way and attract even more of our own industry through it’s doors.

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