The 2011 show was held in London for the first time, relocating from Birmingham NEC to ExCel in the docklands. And similar to other events (TFM and the Publishing Expo being another example) this was club sandwiched with the London Bike Show and the London International Boat Show.
The show at it’s previous location wasn’t of any interest to me, not least that I’ve always felt the exhibitors list wanting. And looking at this year list I wasn’t expecting much.
That said I’d been sent some complimentary tickets, Ben was over so it was a good excuse for a trip up to town. And across it, and out the other side; ExCel is the other side of the Isle of Dogs.
It was certainly busy and we wandered around looking at stands but not seeing very much, a friend who had visited the show earlier in the week bemoaned a ‘lack of gear and gadgity things…’ I can only agree.
I had an interesting chat with a couple on the Tick Awareness Stand, one of whom had contracted Lyme Disease from a tick bite. Changes in farming methods, and the increase in the number of people enjoying the outdoors has lead to an increase in the number of cases.
And on one other stand, someone committed the cardinal sin of not knowing the product they manufacture, even with a laptop connected to their website he wasn’t able to answer my question. I’ll spare them any blushes by not naming them. But suffice to state that if you manufacture freeze dried meals and have a stand at a show like this punters are going ask whether the food contains gluten or any of the other allergens. Not having an answer cost them a customer and any glowing reviews that I might have written.
For my part the small but cosy collection of stands at the BPC AGM is the best place for gear and gadgity things. Now if someone could persuade Henry Shires, Ron Bell and other cottage industry manufacturers to fly over with kitbags of their goodies then that would be, well, brilliant…