Previous FIT Shows have offered installers valuable new opportunities, even when those companies are already considered top of their game, it has emerged.

One such company is Carlisle-based Finesse Group, which offers a full range of home improvement services. But despite the broad reach of the company, owners Ian Milburn and Kevin McGarr believe in the power of exhibitions to help keep them on top of their game – and not just for the products.

“It is one of the most exciting times in our company’s history,” Ian said, “and we need good trade shows not only to find the newest products but also to meet the people that are selling them. We don’t just buy products; we seek trading partners – companies that we can grow with.”

Ian said that he missed the first FIT Show in 2013, but was impressed with the second event in 2014, which he attended with an open mind. While he didn’t have a written plan, he had mentally noted a number of companies that he wanted to see, including Northern Ireland based door and window manufacturer Apeer.

“We were aware of the company through its marketing and advertising so we wanted to meet them, to see their products, and get a feel for the people behind them,” he said. “We came away believing that we could grow our business with them.”

Apeer is headed by Asa McGillian, and exhibitions are a vital tool in achieving his stated goal of achieving sales of £20 million by the end of 2016.

“We have attended both FIT Shows because the event is the natural successor to Glassex, which we always found worked for us,” Asa said.

“At the 2013 FIT Show we launched our Modo contemporary door range; we always go to a show with something new to launch and we are constantly developing and introducing new products. We need good shows to seek out a very special sort of customer; we are selective and meeting people face to face is the best way to find them.”

Apeer followed up Finesse’s enquiry within a few days after the FIT Show, and the subsequent relationship has worked out extremely well.

“Our foam-filled composite doors are leading the way not just through their superb quality, but also through the design and exciting sales campaigns we have done on the back of the new options,” Ian said. “We like to work with companies that strive to meet the standards that we attain and offer a service that helps us to continue to support our customers in the very best way possible. Apeer do that, and more.”

More than 175 further exhibitors can be seen at The Fabricator Installer Trade (FIT) Show which takes place at The International Centre Telford on the 12th, 13th and 14th April 2016. Entry is free but avoid the queues by registering early at

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