Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell reflect on the news that the FIT Show will become an annual event.
So, we are past the halfway point in the FIT Show. I think there’s no coincidence in the fact that ‘show’ and ‘exhibition’ are also synonymous with entertainment, and while we attend events like this one in order to be informed, we also like to be entertained.
Just a personal thought. However, as hedonists probably hate being told, you can have too much of a good thing – and so we turn to the news that the FIT Show will become an annual event.
We’ve been here before – and the overriding opinion at the time was that the FIT Show would be better off as a biennial show.
Today, however, the market is in such a disarray that the show would better serve it exhibitors – and visitors – if it was an annual event, according to the show’s organisers.
“Brexit has changed everything,” Paul Godwin told me. “The political climate has messed everything up.”
So, let’s get the two main cynical observations out of the way: this is just Angus Montgomery’s (the new owners) attempt to squeeze more profit out of the show; and the exhibition will shrink because exhibitors won’t take stands every year because their new product cycle isn’t that regular, and it is a common refrain that companies don’t like to exhibit if they have nothing new to show the industry.
The first observation is nonsense, according to the FIT Show organisers, mainly because Angus Montgomery bought the event on the basis that it was a two-yearly show – it fell neatly into step with the joinery show, W Exhibition.
On the second point, I haven’t been given any forecast figures by the FIT Show, but there is an expectation that this won’t increase the floor space sold – from what I gather.
Instead, this is an exercise in building and maintaining momentum, and better servicing the exhibitors.
In a statement, FIT Show event director Nickie West said: “In addition to putting our audience needs at the very heart of what we do, we are also aware that many businesses have had to adapt their strategy to reflect these uncertain political and economic times and FIT Show is no different. Where some brands may not be ready to exhibit this year, they simply cannot afford to wait another two years to reconnect with customers and their supply chain. We also know from visitor feedback that an annual platform will better meet their sourcing and purchasing requirements.”
The proof of the pudding is, of course, in the eating, so we’ll have to wait for just under 12 months to find out if the decision is the right one. Meanwhile, my diary is packed, and I’m going to make as much of this event as I possibly can.