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October 12, 2009

Home improvement event beats downturn with record attendance

Despite the global recession, this year’s Grand Designs Live show, which took place recently at the NEC Birmingham, welcomed 30% more attendees than last year.

Now in it’s fourth year, the home improvement event welcomed a record 40,000 visitors through the gates over three days.

“This is a staggering result given,” said Rob Nathan, group marketing director of Grand Designs Live organiser Media 10. “Given the negativity surrounding the current economic climate, it’s reassuring to see that consumers are starting to spend more on their homes and feel confident again.

“It’s also proof that, as a company, Media 10 is surviving the downturn that some other exhibition organisers are falling victim to. The increased buoyancy of the market is also really positive for the exhibition industry. Our shows are continuing to grow and be a success.”

Grand Designs Live consists of five shows under one roof: Grand Designs Build; Grand Interiors; Grand Kitchens and Bathrooms; Grand Gardens; and the Design Shopping Determination and Aspiration Arcade.

A host of celebrities greeted waiting visitors to kick off Grand Designs Live Birmingham, with the presenter of the Channel 4 TV show on which the event is based, Kevin McCloud, officially cutting the ribbon to open the three-day event. An indication of the standing of the show was revealed by its big-name sponsors, which included telecoms giant BT and major UK online bank First Direct.

It was also no surprise that exhibitors were delighted with the visitor turn out. Peter Hamblin, account director at Nescafé Dolce Gusto, was typical in his reaction, saying: “The event has gone exceptionally well. The Nescafé Dolce Gusto stand has been very busy and we’ve had a lot of interested consumers. The show has provided a perfect platform for brands like ourselves to engage with consumers on a face to face level.”

Already looking forward to the next event, Media 10’s managing director, Lee Newton, said: “The success shows that Grand Designs Live is going from strength to strength, so we’ll be looking to build on this for the next show in May.”

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