Let’s get on with the Show!

The volume of trade shows increases year-on-year, although some shows that have failed to adapt swiftly to market forces have disappeared over the past eight years. I’ve road-tested the most well-known shows over the past few years; I’ve talked, chaired and consulted … and finally partnered those that best promote my personal work as a designer, or SBID as an international organisation.

In September I attended The Flooring Show in Harrogate – a really strong product within a big industry, and with new owners very keen to make the faded past disappear for good as they work hard to build a modern show for a new audience of buyers.

The World Interiors Event in Amsterdam, the first of an annual educational conference-based event, was attended by speakers and designers alike from all around the world. As the title suggests it is a strongly international event, and I was glad to reconnect with our counterparts in eighteen representative countries from Europe at the event it is truly a global event for business.

I then took the train to Paris and visited the world renowned Maison & Objet. SBID is the official partner for Britain to Maison & Objet and I gave a presentation as usual in the Business Lounge. I’ve been attending this show for sixteen years: a massive show, it has a lot of candles and gift shop items in one section but in the main it is a venue for residential products. The lounge is populated more and more each edition.

I then took the Eurostar back to London where several other shows are hosted. I have found in the past that some of these London shows overlap on days and also sometimes on core product offer. I visited 100% Design but I missed many others.

I did not attend Decorex this year or Tent since I was due to head out to Toronto to announce the ‘Finalists of the SBID International Design Awards 2013’ at IIDEX. This show is hosted in Canada’s largest convention hall. It is an interior design show exhibiting products, furniture, trends and providing seminars in a large theatre.

From Toronto I headed back to London for one day before flying to Barcelona where at HISPEC, the international Hotel trade exhibition, I presented a seminar on trends and style, translated into twenty different languages. The show is attended by leading international hotel brand franchisees, trend-spotters, architects, designers, catering companies, buyers and the media.

This week, my team represented me at an Interiors Design Summit in London. I have not attended this show after its launch several years ago as I don’t really agree with the contractual obligation. I was invited to attend as a guest with a work colleague – unpaid to attend, but obliged to pay a £1,000 fee to the organiser if for some reason I failed to show up. I’m not sure that contractually this would be a fair contract term if tested, and therefore would not be enforceable, but I don’t support it and have declined the invitation as it arrives year on year.

We are fast approaching the LEAF Interior Design Awards in Berlin, which I will present for interior design, followed by SLEEP, the hotel show, and that’s my conclusion of trade exhibitions until the first week of January 2014 and it all starts from the top again!

I have only covered three months so you see … Trade is a real business!

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