The Tackle & Guns Trade Show is set to have a new home as the organisers confirm a number of initiatives to refresh the event.
After being held at Stoneleigh Park since its launch some 16 years ago, the two-day trade exhibition is moving to the Ricoh Arena near Coventry.
The move coincides with new dates for the gathering of the shooting and fishing industries and it will take place on Sunday and Monday, September 11th and 12th.
“When David Hall and I first discussed launching a trade show we thought we might get five years out of it,” said Sean O’Driscoll, managing director of DHP, the organisers.
“Well we did a lot better than that. But I am the first one to agree that the last few years have seen a decline in exhibitor and visitor numbers and anyone who knows me well will understand that is not something that pleases me.
“From day one the whole ethos behind the T&G Show was to put on an event that services the trades. It really was that simple – put retailers in front of suppliers.”
Sean confirmed that was still the main thinking behind the show but added: “Although we have not put stand prices up for a number of years, declining attendance meant we were offering less value for money for the exhibitors – again something that doesn’t please me.”
The move to the Ricoh Arena will come with cost savings that will be passed on to exhibitors through reduced stand prices.
“We still get more than 500 individual shops visiting over the two days but that number has fallen from a high of more than 730 retailers a few years ago.”
To address this, Sean and his team are keen to turn the two-day exhibition into more of an event. One of the key components will be some very high-quality seminars.
“Retailing remains very tough for a number of our shops and we have to do more to help, assist and educate them, so the seminars will be specifically aimed at them. We intend to bring some leading lights from the retail world, both high street and on line, as keynote speakers,” Sean explained.
“I have visited a number of shows in other industries and it is clear to see that the better ones have evolved from something where you just see product to a full-on event that brings the trades together and informs, influences and educates and hopefully helps them become better and more profitable retailers,” confirmed Sean.
The Ricoh Arena is situated in the heart of England and is within two hours’ drive of 75 per cent of the population, being 800 yards from junction 3 of the M6 as well as within easy reach of the M1 and M40.
“We shall be releasing further initiatives over the next few weeks that I hope will demonstrate our desire to put on a trade show that the industry finds beneficial and will get behind,” Sean added.