The inaugural Garden Expo show, aimed at garden retailers will now run on 29-30 June alongside the HTA-organised National Plant Show, which was always planned for two days, at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire.
The HTA has a marketing agreement to promote Garden Expo, which Clarion Events is organising. The new show is a rival for garden centre buyers to the established Glee, next held at Birmingham NEC on 20-22 September.
HTA marketing director Andrew Maxted said: "A two-day show is something we have been actively advising to Clarion. Substantial research among our membership after Glee found two days is much preferred for a show in our sector. Three days at an event adds to costs. We're not the motor industry or the print industry and two days is enough. We have offered Glee the same advice. Retailers recognise the cost to exhibitors is more than it needs to be with more money coming out of the industry. That hits margins. Retailers want to see a good breadth of products but shows being disproportionately expensive is not a good thing."
Glee's ratecard charges exhibitors £200/sq m while Expo is £140.
Garden Expo organiser Sarah Porter said: "We're waiting for two major companies to come on board and that should prompt more to sign up."
Expo sign-ups include: Agralan, Davidson Richards, Fallen Fruits, Fiskars, G7 Computer Services, Gardenskill, Grakka, Growth Technology, Haws Watering Cans, Hozelock, Labels & Packaging, Mr Fern's Nurseries, Munton Plant Sports, MGM Trading, Open Retail Solutions, Sankey, Snap it Edging, Spear and Jackson, Stewart Plastics, The Old Basket Company, Timber Displays and West Meters.
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