It’s All Grow For Harrogate
NOW in its 52nd year, The Flooring Show, which is billed as the UK’s longest-established and only national flooring event, was held in its traditional Harrogate home from 21-23 September.
After a few quiet years, the show is growing again. It was a sell-out with over 150 exhibiting brands, covering 3,500sq m across four halls, up from 120 brands and 3,000sq m in 2013.
Attendance was up, 2,650 visitors from 28 countries, a 15% rise on 2013. Highlights included more retailers, contractors and distributors (1,860) up 20% on 2013; more visitors from South of the Midlands), up 20% on 2013; and more from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, up 24%.
The show had more attractions, including the Wool Trends Centre presented by British Wool Marketing Board and the Campaign for Wool, featuring Dalesbred and Roughfell sheep at one of the main entrances.
A Wool Pavilion was supported by top carpet brands, Adam, Axminster, Brintons, Brockway, Bronte, Cavalier and Ulster, all surrounding a Homes & Gardens Wool Inspirations room set, and supported by seminars.
Another key area was the Trends Hub to inspire retailers and manufacturers about the possibilities for product development, and ways to connect with consumers.
The first Live Design project, sponsored by British Ceramic Tile, was a great success; students from the Arts & Design School at Huddersfield University used an ‘industrial workspace’ to produce commercially viable designs.
Other features included two floor fitting demo zones; the Wool – the Wonder of Ewe! area by Curtis Wool Direct; a seminar programme in the Business Enrichment Theatre with top speakers such as celebrity designer Oliver Heath and Giles Kime, executive editor of Homes & Gardens magazine; and a space for the live floorcovering apprentice of the year skills competition.
Wendy Adams, event director, said: ‘The show team put on an exciting, feature-rich event with something for everyone, and which looked good as well. We feel sure this contributed to the lively and friendly atmosphere that so many visitors commented on.’
Ann Shaw, sales director for Ball & Young said: ‘With several hundred visitors to our stand, we had a superb response, attracting new business and meeting old friends from the different segments of the flooring trade. The combination of optimism and a fabulous setting was the recipe for a very successful show’.
Martin West at Kingsmead said: ‘The show has made a giant leap forward. The quality of exhibitors and visitors was very high and the whole event had a positive feel to it.’
David Cormack at Cormar said: ‘It has taken a long time to feel that the industry is getting over the recession but I think finally it’s happening.’
Paul Stott, director of The Flooring Show, said: ‘We’re delighted that the hard work and financial investment by the new management team over the past three years appears to be bearing fruit, and we’re extremely grateful to the loyal exhibitors who have stayed with us through the past few tough years.
‘Exhibitor booking rates for next year have exceeded expectations, and we will do our utmost to ensure the 2015 show is bigger and better still.’
Next year’s Flooring Show takes place at Harrogate International Centre from Sunday to Tuesday September 20-22, 2015.
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal. You can find them at www.contractfloorngjournal.co.uk.