Trade exhibitors say the feedback they receive from Chelsea's 157,000 visitors is second-to-none and is invaluable in developing into new ranges and improving supply lines and ranging.
Most companies exhibiting found the high cost of exhibiting at the show was covered with sales. But they said upping profile with consumers-and using feedback to develop products — was equally, if not more important.
Garden Retail awards sponsor Town & Country Jamieson Page said: "The RHS expect us to be here. We're in our 16th or 17th year. This is the only consumer show we do now where we are hands-on with the general public. We get feedback that we don't always get from retailers."
Thompson & Morgan young plants manager Paul Hansord said: "We have to be seen to be here. A lot of customers look forward to meeting us. We get a lot of feedback , positive and negative, and are able to deal with both."
Hozelock stand manager Alan Jones said: "We're at Chelsea to get the product into the public eye. People tell us they are generally happy with the products but tell us areas we can improve on and items we could stock."
Bulldog Tools marketing manager Fred Foot said: "The biggest reason we're here is to talk to the end user and send feedback to the factory. This is our fifth year here and it has been a learning curve to bring the right products but we have it right now."
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