Clearview National March 2016 - Issue 172 - Page 66

FIT SHOW 2016 MAKING THE SYSTEMS FIT »»How do you judge the success of an exhibition? Floorspace sold? Leads generated? Visitors through the door? All of these are important, but maybe there is one feature that is often overlooked: representation. The FIT Show outings of 2013 and 2014 certainly put the Glassex ghost to rest, as fabricators and installers travelled the length and breadth of the country to descend on the International Centre in Telford to see what the industry had to offer, and if partnerships could be created with new suppliers. The organisers pulled out the stops to create a show that was relevant for the modern era, bringing together the industry’s leading players that were showcased alongside professional seminars, challenging competitions and gala dinners. However, one feat that the FIT Show has managed to achieve – one that possibly went unnoticed – is that the broad range of exhibitors now reflects the glass and glazing market like no other UK-based exhibition has for well over a decade. It could not be ignored that the first two outings of the FIT Show played host to a wide range of visitors, all of whom fed into the supply chain, and which proved that the Telford-based fabricator and installer trade show was one to invest in. As a result, more than a dozen PVCu and aluminium systems companies are exhibiting at the FIT Show 2016 when it opens on April 12 at the Telford Internal Exhibition Centre – the biggest gathering of its kind for more than a decade. Companies exhibiting so far include: Deceuninck, Duraflex, Eclectic, Eurocell, Ikon, Liniar, Profile 22, Rehau, Selecta, Spectus, Swish, Synseal, and VEKA. All of 66 M A R 2 01 6 whom have got major announcements they want to share. Furthermore, it shows that the FIT Show is truly an exhibition of our time – designed to reflect the nature of the industry as it is now. Through the FIT Show we can see how fabricators are proud to stand sideby-side with their principal suppliers and demonstrate the importance of shared values and a unified approach to product design and technical excellence. “We have got every industry sector standing shoulder to shoulder at Telford this year keen to talk to customers – existing and new,” explained Paul Godwin, managing director of The FIT Show. “We have got fabricators, hardware suppliers, door companies, machinery experts, glass companies, software designers, and systems companies, in fact a true spread of the industry as it is today.” Those old enough to remember Glassex in its heyday will remember the changing dominance of different sectors. Paul, who was Press Officer on that event for around a dozen years, remembers it well: “For years the systems companies called the shots. When many of them slipped into the red as the market became oversupplied, the conservatory roof firms took over; and I even remember the software houses dominating for a couple of years. There never seemed to be a balance. “At the FIT Show we now seem to have a good balance with most of the systems suppliers taking space and in fact we have more of them attending the FIT Show than any other UK-based exhibition for a generation. Another fundamental difference between The FIT Show and Glassex at its peak is the number of trade fabricators that now exhibit; there are so many framemakers that market themselves professionally these days when such activities were once the sole domain of the extruders.” It also proves that the best place for these companies to launch their new products to achieve the best response is where the industry’s heart and soul is now found – at the FIT Show. This, of course, has a natural trickle-down effect to the other exhibitors, and they bask in the glow of associated glory, and the buzz and enthusiasm that the systems houses have helped to create. Also, as many of these companies are revealing brand new, ground-up systems, it presents an excellent opportunity for fabricators and installers considering additional or alternative systems the opportunity to compare most of the major brands, all under the same roof. As a result, systems companies will be using their not inconsiderable marketing clout to encourage their customers and associated installers to meet them at Telford, who will then tour the rest of the show to see what else is on offer. The Fabricator Installer Trade (FIT) Show takes place at The International Centre Telford on the 12th, 13th and 14th April 2016. Entry is free -