Glee organisers aim to put event on the map in Europe with revamp

Changes designed to increase visitor numbers at industry's leading trade show.

Glee is reaching out to Europe to exploit the absence of German trade show Gafa this year and is already 80 per cent booked, organisers announced at a garden retail exhibition media launch at Kew last week. Organisers of the NEC show, held on 16-18 September, hope to increase its 25,000 visitors with a simplified layout, a new website where exhibitors can upload PR, a “Going Green Trail” and better facilities for overseas visitors. These include an improved “Glee World Network” to help an expected influx of foreign buyers. Exhibitors will brand themselves as keen exporters. European buyers can pre-book appointments with these companies as well as book discounted hotel accommodation, free show information, seats at seminars and a buyers’ centre at the show, with advice from UK export body Gardenex. A dozen European trade journalists at Kew heard Glee marketing director Jonny Thompson launch the revamped show, which will see nurseries move from Hall 9 to a more central position in Hall 3 after complaints of a lack of footfall. Hall 9 will be empty. Nurseries will share with garden retail services exhibitors, while landscaping moves from Halls 6 to 8 to Hall 4, closer to machinery, garden care and nursery. Thompson said he wants Glee to be recognised as a “transactional trade show — a must-attend event”. He said it was the UK’s “only national plant show” and placing nurseries next to retail services “created a real synergy”. Notcutts Nurseries managing director John Lord and the HTA welcomed the nursery section move. Bransford Garden Plants sales director and Glee organising committee member Adrian Marskell said the changes had been welcomed by the trade: “We’re back in the middle of the show. Hall 9 is better light-wise but the message was we were stuck out on a limb.”

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