Over three days, almost 6,000 people passed through the doors of The International Centre for the inaugural Fabricator Installer Trade (FIT) Show, as Telford became the epicentre of the UK window, door and conservatory industry.
170 exhibitors that backed The FIT Show so unanimously enjoyed the attentions of 5,810 visitors who were attracted by the ‘everyone’s going’ campaign that became a catchphrase within the industry. Not only was the event embraced but also the venue which also proved to be a popular choice even if the town’s car parking facilities were stretched (plans for a new multi storey car park will resolve this for the next event).
All roads led to Telford from day one of the exhibition, right until its conclusion as visitors, including 4,078 pre-registered guests, an outstanding 59% of the total, flocked to the show from home and abroad keen to view hundreds of the latest industry innovations, bringing the town to near standstill.
Such was the demand to get FIT that the large rush of visitors attending early quickly filled the main ICT car parks and then subsequently each overflow car park. Despite the larger than expected number of vehicles visitors were able to reach the event with the minimum of inconvenience despite the large numbers.
It was a similar story inside the venue where footfall remained consistent in all four halls throughout, much to the delight of exhibiting companies. Several reported record levels of high quality leads from key decision-makers: directors/owners/chief executives/chairs accounted for a fraction under 50% of the visitors.
Dan Gill, Managing Director of Residence 9, said: “It’s been a corker of a show, really full on. On the first day alone our stand accounted for 7% of those scanned; we were three deep in people and working flat out to speak to them all.
“We have received a huge number of confirmed and quality appointments which persuaded us to rebook for next year’s event. We regularly take out advertising space in the glass and glazing publications, but The FIT Show has enabled us to reach a totally different audience.”
Ultraframe, Marketing Manager, Mark Hanson commented: “It’s been a fantastic showcase and a real shot in the arm for the industry. The vibrancy and buzz of The FIT Show has energised everybody involved.
“The glass and glazing industry has a certain reputation about it. It’s great to show people just how professional an industry it is.”
As a result of the collective success of The FIT Show and their own individual accomplishments, such as those of Residence 9, a significant quantity of those who exhibited have already rebooked for next year’s event including Solidor, Door-Stop International, Deceuninck, Distinction Doors, Lister Trade Frames, Insight Data and Wintech Engineering and many more.
As word of the success of The FIT Show has spread, booking enquiries for 2014’s event have also been received from a substantial number of non-exhibiting companies, with CR Lawrence moving swiftly to secure a large stand.
The show also saw a grand total of £20,000 handed out at The FIT Show Gala Dinner, hosted by comedian Ed Byrne, to the winners of the Sales Professional of the Year, Adrian Phillips of Nolan UPVC, and Master Fitter Challenge, Arron Clegg of Eco-Sash.
Paul Godwin, Managing Director of The FIT Show commented: “Of course Matthew [Glover] and I always believed that the industry would embrace a new national event. But even we could not have anticipated just how enthusiastically the exhibitors would be in creating some of the most exciting displays we have ever seen. And then the visitors flocked in…It has been an exciting, nerve-wracking and now, an immensely satisfying experience. Our thanks go out to the industry for listening to our ideas and taking up the challenge so magnificently.”