24 October 2009

Let's get real about kbb Birmingham!

kbb Birmingham will take place 21 - 24 March 2010 at the NEC Birmingham.

It will bring together under one roof the largest group of KBB professionals in the UK since the last kbb Birmingham in March 2008 when over 19,000 people visited the show. And that's a fact.

While we can't say what the precise number of visitors will be in 2010, if the trend of other interiors shows is anything to go by (Decorex 2009 for example which was 10% up on last year), the number may even eclipse 2008. Certainly every retailer I have spoken to in recent months is reviewing its supply line.

To those of you who think I am stating the blindingly obvious when saying that kbb Birmingham will take place as scheduled next year I apologise, but I'm growing just a tad weary of hearing rumours that the show will either fail or not take place at all.

Let's get real guys! kbb Birmingham is the national KBB event in the UK. It is one of the top ten trade shows of any industry in the UK, based on exhibition space. The area it will cover next year is approximately the same size as seven football pitches.

kbb Birmingham is run by UBM Live, formally part of CMP Information, which provides leading integrated media solutions across 30 different markets.

Its brands include Interiors Birmingham – the 2nd largest exhibition in the UK; IFSEC – the world’s leading security event, The National Business Awards, The Publican magazine, and TTG.

To say that kbb Birmingham will not take place in March 2010 just because earlier this year UBM Live cancelled kbb London is as daft as saying because Apple did not sell sufficient of its Cube computers nobody was going to buy its iMac either!

Okay, vested interest time. I work for the organisers of kbb Birmingham. And if you look in the column on the right of this blog you will see that it is one of the blog's headline sponsors. But I put it to you, good people in KBB-Land, that all of us that work in this industry have a vested interest in the national show taking place as it has done for the last 25 years.

Not only does it give the great-and-the-good the chance the strut their stuff once every two years in front of the UK's largest trade audience, it also generates a huge amount of business for the industry.

Over 45% of the 19,000-plus visitors who went to the show in 2008 said they intended to make a purchase within three months of their visit. There is simply no other way to generate that level of business in just four days.

As for kbb Birmingham 2010, you don't need me to tell you what a tough year the KBB sector has had. Some have yet to decide if they will be at the show in 2010, and clearly still have some tough decisions to make.

But over 200 brands have already signed contracts and will be exhibiting. More are signing up all the time, and there is an up-to-date list on the kbb Birmingham website.

If you want to know the truth about who is and who is not going to next year's show, visit the kbb Birmingham website. The information there is a lot more reliable than any of the gossip I've heard!

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