Emap calls success with new "innovative" features
by Annie Byrne
Emap Connect, organiser of the gardening and outdoor living trade show GLEE, says it saw the show’s floor space increased by nine per cent year-on-year with 150 new exhibitors out of the 654.Held at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, GLEE 2010 occupied over 23,000sqm of floor space over four halls, co-locating with the pet industry trade show, Petindex. The organiser claims an eight per cent rise in buyers, eight per cent more garden centre visitors, 20 per cent more Builders Merchants and DIY stores visitors, and over seven per cent more department stores and supermarkets visitors.The organiser took the decision to move the dates of this year’s show so it started on a Monday instead of the Sunday. “Our research from visitors and exhibitors at last year’s exhibition showed the garden market still traded on the Sunday and therefore might not commit to visiting the show on that day,” says senior operations manager for GLEE, Nick White. “However, for Petindex we kept the Sunday start as it was less relevant with the independent market.”White says the newly-launched Glee Garden Angels initiative was a “great success” with positive feedback from buyers, exhibitors and sponsors alike. The Glee Garden Angels Dragons Den-style showcase saw six budding new businesses, or businesses with a new product to launch, pitch their business model and products to a panel of industry experts. Experts included three industry figures: retailers, manufacturers, and buyers, which included B&Q seasonal category trading manager, Steve Guy and the garden buyer for Wilkinsons, Lloyd Taylor. “The six finalists were allowed a three minute pitch on where they are now with the product and where they might need help,” says White. “They were then given the encouragement and guidance on how to get their products to be market ready. It was a really positive content-led feature of the show.”Suggestions given to entrants included outsourcing production to China to reduce the recommended retail price and to enlist the endorsement of celebrity or well-known gardening figure. Entrants were also able to tap into the business know-how from Support2Business Limited. New products and innovations are key to GLEE, says White. “Around 92 per cent of our visitors told us that they come to the show every year especially for the new products section for inspirations. Therefore we grew the size of this section substantially to showcase more innovative exhibitors.” Exhibitor David Marvell, MD of Marvells, says he was 40 per cent up on order value and enquiries from last year.“Glee 2010 has been a great success, we’ve been very busy seeing a lot of new and existing customers and we’ve taken more orders than last year so we are very happy we doubled our stand space,” says exhibitor La Hacienda’s director Simon Goodwin.