Exhibition News March 2019 - Page 47

Feature Adventure time Show manager Rob Debenham gives EN an insight into The Caravan & Motorhome Show and The Destinations Show, which have now been co-located at EventCity for eight years 35k visitors for The Caravan & Motorhome Show 28k sqm at EventCity 31k visitors for The Destinations Show T he Caravan & Motorhome Show and The Destinations Show, both organised by Clarion, have taken place at EventCity for the last eight years. EN meets with show manager Rob Debenham to hear more the 2018 editions of the events. How have the shows grown in the past five years? The shows and the content have changed massively. The Caravan & Motorhome Show is now so big that we’re at maximum capacity, so instead of bringing more content to the show, we bring new content. My team and I spend a lot of time researching, meeting dealers and manufacturers, reviewing the new products and ensuring they’re exciting enough to bring people to the show. Why did you choose to move to EventCity? In terms of The Caravan & Motorhome Show, it was all about the space – EventCity is so versatile and offers 28,000sqm of space, we use up every bit possible for this show. For The Destinations Show, part of the reasoning behind the move was the huge expansion of Manchester airport, opening up a number of routes to go all over the globe. Logistically, are there any issues of having vehicles on the show floor? Yes, having vehicles on the show floor can be a nightmare; to bring motorhomes to the show, some are driven here – which means they get dirty. We have bays at the back to give them a good clean before bringing them inside to put them on show. Now, with the larger doors, it’s much easier to get them inside the venue. The show is then built around them. What is unique about the market and the industry? In terms of The Destinations Show – there is no other holiday and travel show in the North of England, which is true about The Caravan & Motorhome Show, too. A huge number of visitors that come to The Caravan & Motorhome Show are from within a 60-mile radius, so it is local people who attend. What have been the biggest changes within the industries the shows serve? The Caravan & Motorhome Show has a market that is really burgeoning. Caravans are now designed to be more of an activity vehicle, which is ideal for a younger and more adventurous audience, strengthening the market as it attracts a wider range of clientele. For The Destinations Show, specially tailored and bespoke trips are on the rise; you can sit down with a consultant at the show who can literally plan your whole trip from start to finish. Why are the shows in January? For the caravan industry, January is peak season for orders being placed. This then allows for enough time to kit-out products and deliver them ahead of the summer. From The Destinations Show point of view, this is peak time for booking holidays, as it follows Christmas and is during the January sales. EN March — 47