Playfair may split with IoG Saltex for next year's show following NEC decision

Association of Play Industries (API) members have "unanimously" decided to investigate a break with IoG Saltex and a return to Stoneleigh Park for its annual Playfair exhibition.

The decision - a show of hands vote at the association’s general meeting last month – follows the surprise announcement in August that Saltex will move to Birmingham NEC in November next year.

API chair Michael Honeigman said: "The membership agreed it wanted to have an outdoor show but we need to investigate and understand how many people will commit. The API may fund free spaces for the first two years."

He said the industry needed to move quickly and make a decision on a possible outside exhibition in June or July by Christmas.

Playfair was held at the park from 2008 to 2012. It joined Saltex in 2013 following falling exhibitor numbers – 22 exhibited in 2014, 20 in 2013 and 40 in 2012.

Hoenigmann said his view as managing director of play company Proludic was that the NEC was a good location for his company and he had run successful indoor shows in Europe, but that API members in general felt let down by the IoG.  

"The IoG should have given us a heads up, it makes it difficult to go with them. There was no engagement with any of the play sectors and no notice. Everybody’s now on the back foot."

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