How will new HTA retail shows affect your plans?

HW asked four show exhibitors to forecast the impact of the HTA events that are scheduled for next year.

Ole Valentin, director, Maingate "We will definitely be going to Glee next year - for us it's a must. Anything else is a luxury.

"Glee's organisers had lost their way a bit in the past couple of years but now there's a sense of realism and flexibility - and this year's smaller show was a phenomenal success. It was even helped by the fact that some larger companies didn't show.

"Garden Expo will be hard at the [Stoneleigh] venue. If it rains you will need a tractor to get out of the car park. The only thing that's good is the timing - there is still some season left."


 Simon Quinton Smith, director, Quinton Edwards "I think we'll be going to Garden Expo because it's a new show. We're not sure about Glee - I don't know if it makes a big difference to us. It doesn't do any harm, it gets my name out, but as the saying goes: 'I know half of my marketing spend is wasted, I just don't know which half.'

"I do attend quite a lot of shows. The cost has a huge effect on whether to show or not. But when they are cheap, no one's talking about work."


Will Lamb, managing director, Baginton Nurseries "We haven't decided yet. We are having a meeting this week to discuss it, as there are a number of options open to us.

"It's another decision to make. As a medium-sized grower, we can't have a presence everywhere. Previously [appearances at trade shows] have paid for themselves, but now it's more difficult.

"Unfortunately, the HTA shows come at the end of the bedding season so there's not a lot we can show except for the coming season."


Jane Darby, sales manager, Darby Nursery Stock "Our first loyalty is to Glee and it's sad that it is being diluted, both for exhibitors and visitors. There are now more shows than is ideal and, as you do more, each becomes less cost-effective.

"The feedback we got from retailers was that they like Glee and we would like to be there again. Four Oaks was also really good for us this year.

"That said, we have already booked a place at the National Plant Show, though it's at a time when both garden centres and nurseries are still pretty busy."


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