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.