Harrogate Flooring Show to become regular event
21-Sep-10by Annie Byrne
The organiser of the Harrogate Flooring Show has claimed success and is planning next year’s event after launching the event this year in the face of veteran exhibition, the National Flooring Show. The Harrogate Flooring Show took up four halls, or approximately 3,600sqm, at Harrogate International Centre – half the space the National Flooring Show used to fill at its peak in the same venue and timeslot. Despite this, organiser, David Wildman said his new show exceeded exhibitor and visitor expectations. Just over 140 exhibitors participated in the three-date event, held 5-7 September, up from the 60-80 originally expected, he said. Audited visitor attendance figures exceeded 3,000. “Most of our customer’s customers come from High Street, and it’s still tough out there,” Wildman said. “We had tremendous attendance despite the retail gloom.” Wildman founded the National Flooring Show in Harrogate in 1991 and ran the event every year until selling to UBM in 2001. After several years in Harrogate, UBM announced it would relocate the 18 year-old event to NEC Birmingham on 5-7 September 2010. UBM’s decision to switch locations prompted former Wildman to launch the rival 2010 Harrogate Flooring Show, also on 5-7 September. The National Flooring Show has since been postponed to 23-26 January 2011 to coincide with the Interiors Birmingham.“I have worked in the flooring business all my life, so these customers are my friends. They were very unhappy that their beloved exhibition was being moved to Birmingham,” Wildman said. “We didn’t want to damage the show they [UBM] had, but it wasn’t going to be the show it was in a different location.”According to Harrogate International Centre deputy director, Simon Kent, Wildman’s enthusiasm and knowledge of the industry was always going to ensure a successful show. “The event…once again places Harrogate at the heart of the flooring industry,” he said.Next year’s Harrogate Flooring Show is scheduled for 4-6 September 2011. Wildman said it was considering taking more space next year.