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November 25, 2008

Recession appears to boost to Grand Designs Live

Despite a sharp decline in the housing market and tightening consumer spending, Grand Designs Live welcomed tens of thousands of visitors through the doors of the NEC, Birmingham in October.

Fans of the award-winning show for design, interiors, kitchens, bathrooms and gardens flocked to see Kevin McCloud, who presents the Channel 4 show upon which the event is based, officially open the Birmingham show for the third year running.

Despite the economic gloom, the show recorded impressive visitor numbers, with early indications of a 15-20% increase in visitors compared to last year. In fact,
Lee Newton, managing director of organisers Media 10, said the increased attendance level reflected the recession. “We believe that the show’s success is due in part to the massive savings that the self-build market offers. Self-build seems to be the only way out of the current housing slump.”
McCloud clearly agreed, commenting: “We’ve had an overwhelming response to this year’s show, here in Birmingham. It’s gratifying to know that in the current economic climate, people are recognising the value of improving their home and using Grand Designs Live as the resource for doing that. 
“Grand Designs has always been celebratory and the turnout at this year’s Grand Designs Live suggests that people are hungrier than ever for clever building solutions, design excellence and innovation.”

Crowds queued each morning to see celebrity experts and over 450 exhibitors.  Highlights included Sony’s House of the Future, which featured the world’s thinnest 40in TV from and Face Fabric, a bespoke sofa, upholstered using photos of visitors’ faces.

“The overwhelming success of Grand Designs Live shows that the exhibition industry is still buoyant so long as organisers continue to deliver quality events with relevant content, first class exhibitors and interactive features,” said Lee Newton, managing director of the show organiser’s Media 10.

“In a week that saw some of the worst economic news for decades, we delivered an incredible show with thousands more visitors than last year, and have seen exhibitor satisfaction levels rocket. It all goes to show that the Grand Designs Live brand is continuing to grow and grow.
Peter Sumner, managing director of Warwickshire-based Boule Gazon, was typical of exhibitors when he said: “Throughout the entire show, we had a fantastic time. There was a really positive vibe from the visitors which reinforces that the current trend is to make the most of what you have.”
Grand Designs Live returns to London next year at ExCeL, from 25 April to 4 May 2009. For further information, please visit www.granddesignslive.com

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