The Very Best of Exhibitions

Welcome to our new blog for Lightinteriorsonline, which is linked to our new Linked In group for the business.

We will be reporting every day right here on all subjects that affect the interior design industry.


Our first subject is EXHIBITIONS.

We ask do they work?

Do you get a return on your investment or are they simply too expensive?

In many ways exhibitions are like the ultimate shop window and ultimate networking opportunity for a business. They offer a chance to meet potential clients/businesses face-to-face, to market products to a huge audience.

Here we take a look at the ones up and running at this time and we want your opinions too.


Show: 100% Design Show

When: September 19-22

Where: Olympia London

About: This event attracts more than 27,000 visitors across four days, including architects, designers, specifiers, retailers and developers , as well as multinational companies looking to source products. There are seven exhibition categories, including interiors, workplace, kitchens and bathroom, design and build and emerging brands. This is the place to come to target architects and interior designers. Trade visitors also get in for free.

Cost: Businesses must email the show organisers to get prices for exhibiting. If you plan to pay someone to design and set up your stand, obviously this will bring additional costs. If your business is outside London, then factor in hotels, which can be anything from £80 per night, petrol, parking or train travel.

Is it worth it? This is a good event for reaching a lot of the important people. The free entry for tradespeople means it’s likely to attract a lot of visitors, which provides a great marketing opportunity and a chance to meet people face-to-face. This in the long-term could save both time and money so this show could be a good investment.


Show: Grand Designs Live

When: May 5-13 in London and October 1-14 in Birmingham

Where: London Excel and Birmingham NEC

About: Based on the Channel Four series and presented by the show’s frontman Kevin McCloud, this show offers visitors advice, new product launches and specialist exhibitors in six project zones. It aims to target people doing renovations or planning self-builds and provides an opportunity to explore products and services.

Cost: Businesses must email to get prices for exhibiting. Special accommodation rates are available for exhibitors.

Is it worth it? Good for showing off products to the public as this type of event will attract huge numbers of people who watch the TV programme. Exhibiting in Birmingham might prove to be a slightly more affordable option to avoid the higher costs associated with being in the capital.


Show: Clerkenwell Design Week

When: May 22-24

Where: Various venues in Clerkenwell, London.

About: Clerkenwell is home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else. Clerkenwell Design Week includes a number of design shows, including Design Fields showcasing leading furniture and lighting from around the world, Platform featuring up and coming design talent, Project, which displays contract furniture, lighting and surface brands from around the globe, Elements featuring architectural accessories, British Collection featuring lighting and product designs from homegrown talent, and Light, dedicated to top international lighting brands.

Cost: Most of the exhibitions are around £400 per square metre plus vat. The Platform exhibition is £280 per square metre plus vat.

Is it worth it? At the 2017 event there were 34,973 visitors and 67 per cent were architects and designers and more than 57,000 business leads were captured over the week. This could prove to be a solid investment for targeting potential clients


Show: Milan Furniture Show

When: April 17-22

Where: Milan Fairgrounds, Milan

About: The show attracts more than 300,000 visitors from over 165 countries, as well as journalists from all over the world writing and talking about it. The exhibition covers more than 200,000 square metres. Architects, designers, lighting designers, retailers and general contractors all attend, offering plenty of business opportunities.

Cost: Registration fee is around £500 plus vat, stands range from £100 per square metre plus vat, an obligatory lump sum for services of just over £4 per square metre must also be paid. Return flights to Milan can cost from around £150 per person and then there are accommodation costs, although discounted deals are available.

Is it worth it? There is no doubt this show would be expensive for a business to take part in. However, if you’re looking to enter the international market and get your products and services seen on a worldwide platform, it could be a sound investment.


Show: Lux Live

Where: London Excel

When: November 14-15

About: Europe’s biggest annual lighting event, Lux Live is an opportunity to see the latest developments in lighting. It is split into zones, including trade and commercial, lighting technologies and outdoor. Visitors include consulting engineers and advisers, infrastructure owners/operators, such as Costa Coffee, British Gas, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and the BBC and electrical distribution experts, including Screwfix.

Cost: Email to enquire about prices for exhibiting. Businesses can also pay to be listed on the interactive floor plan. A basic package costs £156, while the elite is £1,036. Hotel accommodation ranges from £80 per night.

Is it worth it? This show is certainly the one for learning about the latest advances in lighting and for meeting big-name operators.


Show: Light and Building

When: March 8-13, 2020

Where: Messe Frankfurt, Germany.

About: This biennial show is said to be the world’s leading trade fair for lighting providing the world’s largest stage for the market. The latest products for lighting, electrical engineering as well as home and building automation are included and it attracts more than 2,600 exhibitors and 210,000 visitors, including architects, interior architects, designers, planners and engineers, as well as tradespeople and representatives from the retail and wholesale sectors and from industry.

Cost: Stand space can vary from anything from £140 per square metre to £302 plus vat and an obligatory media package of around £513, which ensures all companies are shown on all information channels before, during and after the fair. There is also an environmental charge of around £2.74 per square metre plus vat. Return flights to Frankfurt start from around £100, while hotel costs must also be factored in.

Is it worth it? There will be a major outlay for taking part in a show of this kind. However, as it is only held every two years and is one of the largest it could be a valuable investment in terms of getting your name out on an international scale and meeting potential overseas clients in one place. The next show isn’t until 2020 so there is certainly plenty of time to budget for it.


What do you think? Have exhibitions worked for you or were they simply not worth the money?


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