FIT Show becomes annual event

The FIT Show will become an annual event, with the next outing on May 12-14 2020 in halls 2 and 3 at the NEC.

Visit Glass will return for its second year, as will the show’s Gala Dinner, Late Night Tuesday, and learning programme.

The organisers said they will work closely with the industry to ensure that FIT Show’s progressive and relevant platform is further developed.

Director Paul Godwin told Glass Times that he didn’t expect the show to grow as result of this decision, saying that the current political turmoil and economic uncertainty had altered the conditions in which the show operated.

“Brexit has changed everything,” he said. “The political climate has messed everything up.”

Paul said that 2019 bookings were down on forecast figures, which was likely to be because of the stalemate in parliament.

“When Matthew Glover and I launched this show, we didn’t anticipate this was going to happen,” he said. “Three years ago, we booked the extra hall thinking that Brexit would be done and dusted. However, the political horizon has changed and we are trying to adapt.”

Paul dismissed suggestions that the new owner, Angus Montgomery Group, put pressure on the team to increase the frequency of the event.

“It was the FIT Show team’s decision,” he said. “When the show was sold to Angus Montgomery, it was bought on the basis that it was a two-year show because it fitted in with a two-cycle including the joinery show, W Exhibition.

“Going annual is a response to market forces.”

Paul also said that waiting another two years would be detrimental to the organisers and the exhibitors, saying that it would be very difficult to regain momentum.

“Trying asking any company to put their business on hold for a year,” he said, “and that’s what you are asking us to do.”

Established in 2013 at Telford Exhibition Centre, FIT Show has grown both its footprint and footfall over the years. Remaining at Telford for its 2013, 2014 and 2016 shows, FIT Show moved to the NEC for 2017 with 250 exhibitors and 10,000 visitors in attendance. It has remained buoyant despite most recent political and economic uncertainty, with FIT Show 2019 set to deliver another record-breaking showcase, the show’s organisers said.

“The decision to revert to an annual proposition is very much a positive move, and one which reflects the expressed needs of our audience,” 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.”

Nickie continued: “We want to be smarter with our budget and overheads to create a sustainable event that operates at the peak of its efficiency and potential, both now and in the future.”

Angus Montgomery Group purchased 80% of FIT Show in January 2017, with Nickie West continuing as event director alongside FIT Show founders Matthew Glover and Paul Godwin both serving on the board as chairman and director respectively.

“An annual showcase will allow us to deliver the best ROI for our exhibitors, developing a more consistent campaign that doesn’t drain on resources or enthusiasm,” Nickie said. “It will allow them to better plan for product launches, get more frequent facetime with key customers and prospects, as well as creating an extra opportunity to connect with new audiences with as little down time as possible in the customer cycle.”