New Date for Brityrex as Show Returns in 2009
Positive feedback from May’s Brityrex International exhibition at Manchester’s G-MEX Centre has been followed by confirmation that the UK’s only dedicated tyre show will return to the same venue in 2009. Although Manchester will again act as host city, the show has been rescheduled to a new slot in September, to avoid a crowded exhibition programme that includes two other major aftermarket trade shows in April and May.
“We’re delighted with the overall feedback we’ve received from exhibitors and visitors and believe that we can continue to develop the show further in two years time. Part of that development includes moving to a new slot in September, which we believe will benefit exhibitors and visitors by avoiding clashes with other exhibitions,” said Paul Farrant, managing director of show organiser ECI International.
Paul continued: “The new venue worked well, exhibitors made real efforts to present themselves very professionally and we were pleased that visitor numbers increased compared to the last exhibition in Harrogate, two years ago.”
Independently recorded figures showed that 2,358 visitors attended the three-day show, an increase of 13% over the re-launched show of 2005.
“Although the visitor attendance figures show an upward trend, we still want to improve on that performance for 2009. As a specialist trade show it’s not realistic or even desirable to bring in many thousands of visitors, but we believe that with the full support of all sectors of the industry there is further growth that can be achieved,” explained Mr Farrant.
James Boon, managing director of Hofmann Megaplan, is an exhibitor who valued the show’s move to Manchester: “Brityrex 2005 was a hard act to follow for us, but the move to Manchester this year and all the improvements that went with it, means that without doubt 2007 will prove to be even better both in terms of immediate sales and long term projects.
“The quality of visitor and atmosphere of the new venue ensured we had another great exhibition, and I think the organisers deserve real praise for putting on a fantastic, well organised and high profile exhibition,” he added.
Darren Duguid, UK sales manager with leading wholesaler BITS, was also impressed by the quality of visitors at the show. “The thing that stands out for me was the quality of visitors we spoke to. Because we were not constantly flooded with people on the stand, we had time for sensible and productive conversations with real prospects. That’s why we went to the show and hopefully once we’ve done the follow up work, those conversations will result in business,” he said.
For Absolute Air Solutions, a first time exhibitor at any show, the visitor response was “absolutely fantastic”. Managing director John Lazaretti said that Brityrex had more than repaid the decision to exhibit: “We’ve never exhibited at any show before, so we didn’t know what to expect at Brityrex. But the reaction was superb, we did business, made new contacts and increased our profile enormously over the three days,” he said.
Adrian Bader, managing director of Kings Road Tyres (Wholesale) said: “We were delighted with Brityrex. The venue was excellent, the organisers were helpful and our stand was busy on all three days. Most importantly, we were dealing with serious enquiries, a lot of which has already translated into business. In my experience, you get out of a show what you put in.
“We were also well supported by many of our suppliers and KRT was proud to be representing the British tyre industry. We’re already looking forward to the next show in 2009.”
Exhibition sponsor the NTDA, agreed that the new venue had worked well for the association and its members. Director Richard Edy said:” We were very happy with the move to Manchester and pleased to run our annual dinner and TAFF Awards alongside the event. Brityrex certainly provided an added attraction for members, who had the opportunity of visiting the show prior to attending our very successful dinner and TAFF awards night.”
While many exhibitors enjoyed a productive three days at Brityrex, there was also widespread disappointment at the absence of major British-based tyre manufacturers as exhibitors or supporters of the show.
NTDA chairman Peter Gaster, commented: “The tyre trade deserves its own dedicated exhibition in the UK and my own company KRT invested heavily, along with several other leading national wholesalers, to support the show. However, once again, the major UK tyre manufacturers have failed to take advantage of this perfect opportunity to talk face to face with the trade about their latest products, such as run-flat systems, share information about their plans for the market and recruit independents into their various distribution programmes.
“It continues to be a mystery to me why the manufacturers support all the other European shows but continue to turn their back on what is one of the largest markets in Europe. Under my chairmanship the NTDA will continue its efforts to convince manufacturers that supporting Brityrex should be a priority for future shows.”
Darren Duguid of BITS is also disappointed with the situation, “The tyre industry needs Brityrex to grow and develop into a major show and realistically, that will only happen with the involvement of the big manufacturers. They would add pulling power, credibility and status to the event, which could take it to the next level. They’ve got to be there in future.”
Steve Greatrex, who has taken TEAM Systems to every Brityrex since 1993, added: “I think it’s disrespectful that manufacturers cannot demonstrate support for the people that sell their products. None of us would have a business without them, but equally, they would be lost without the independents and wholesalers who market and fit their products. It has to be a partnership, and at present they are not pulling their weight in that partnership when it comes to supporting the UK’s only tyre industry show.”
And Hofmann Megaplan’s James Boon added: “I think it’s a huge disappointment that this show doesn’t get more support from the tyre manufacturers, and the effort put in by everybody else really and truthfully puts them to shame for not supporting such an event.”
Attracting the support of tyre manufacturers for the 2009 show is emerging as a major priority for ECI International. “We strongly believe that the majors should be playing a part in making Brityrex a long-term success for the UK tyre industry, and we’ve been struck by how many exhibitors obviously feel the same way,” said Paul Farrant.
“There’s no doubt that their involvement would add credibility and pulling power to the show. And at the same time, Brityrex would provide a perfect platform to speak to independent retailers and distributors in person, which is increasingly difficult with the changing patterns of tyre distribution,” he said.