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I have to take my hat off to the Brintex team who organised a much-improved Totally show this year. Unfortunately the weather was not on their side yet again, as the snow came down on Sunday and Monday. But, while I'm sure the icy conditions may have affected some visitors' decision to attend, the show bore no resemblance to the disappointment some exhibitors described last year.

Those who did come along were greeted with a superb venue, great facilities and convenient parking right by the hall. There was no traipsing around never-ending car parks and no bus rides to reach the front entrance - something I found extremely helpful, considering I am currently nursing a broken foot. The free lunches were another great idea, enticing visitors to the event and giving suppliers somewhere to meet and do business with buyers.

Of course larger venues like the NEC in Birmingham are still ideal for other trade exhibitions, but I think it is clear the Ricoh Arena is much more in keeping with the size and style of the Totally shows as they are. The aisles could always be busier but suppliers seemed happy and praised the quality of the buyers they saw and the show as a whole. Many said they felt the show had a buzz about it again.

It seems organisers really took on board the concerns of exhibitors and visitors after last year's show and worked hard to meet their needs. No mean feat by any stretch of the imagination. And, while there may still be a way to go to finally create a show the entire industry is happy with and one that will lure some of the big brands back, the 2013 event has certainly given them something to build on.
View User Profile for Fiona Garcia Blog entries from Fiona Garcia, DIY Week editor

Posted by Fiona Garcia | 21 February 2013 | 15:50 | More from: Editor's Blog


Published prior to March 2014
By Paul Grinsell
We just want to thank Journeyman for his constructive appraisal of his visit to the show and his comments which, we would in the main, agree with.

Truth is, the move to the NEC alongside the Spring Fair in 2010 could have been the shows finest hour but it wasn t to be, we ended up in a position we could no longer accept and acted to protect the UK s national DIY and home improvement show.

The move to the Ricoh Arena has been widely applauded and so have its people polite, courteous and helpful.

By and large these days, trade shows are a mirror image of the markets and industries they serve. We cannot hide from the fact that we have been trading in the most torrid of times in recent years.

We agree that that UK NEEDS and wants a strong national tools trade show. From a very positive visitor base this year, we can assure you we will be redoubling our efforts to engage with all the major tool suppliers and encouraging them to participate in next year s show.

No sugar coating here. Our feet are firmly planted on the ground and we know what needs to be done! All help and support gratefully received
Published prior to March 2014
By Journeyman
I'm afraid I must disagree with some of the above.
Firstly yes I concur a much better location and in an area that the show didn't "get lost". For the last couple of years the Spring Fair has consumed the Totally Show so in regards to this yes a good move.
In terms of the show itself I am sorry but "Totally Tools" it certainly was not. As a buyer I attended to look for new ranges of tools to stock and I found simply nothing. Not a single power tool brand and to be honest drastically little on the hand tool side (with the exception of the usual Draper/Rolson etc..) but that was simply not what I was looking for.
In terms of a DIY show it was "so so" I would say but the tooling side needs to be readdressed urgently. The industry NEEDS a tool exhibition and this could/should be it.
I hope this can be looked at and sorten in time as there are already enough diy shows, it's the tool show that would/could make it that bit better and different.

Just my thoughts of course but I think rather than sugar coating it's important to offer constructive criticism to ensure this comes back stronger.
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