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posted on: 6/10/2011 13:33:19

Glee has reported 11,149 visitors (pending ABC audit) to this year’s garden and leisure trade show from 48 countries. The figure represents a 14.5 per cent drop on last year’s 13,047 total unique attendance (ABC audited).
Organiser Emap highlighted an increase in attendees with a primary interest in garden care and machinery this year, as well as a 10 per cent rise in visitors with an interest in food and catering. Despite the overall drop in number, event director Nick Davison pointed out the show retained over 70 per cent market penetration in its core gardening centres audience.
In addition, 70 per cent of attendees were directors of buyers with direct purchasing power and more than 30 per cent had a spending budget of up to £1m.
“Glee is seen as an increasingly important place to do business,” Davison told EN. “Like mostindustries in the current climate there is continued consolidation of both buyer and supplier numbers, and people are also budgeting and trading more cautiously. It’s common sense that this picture will be reflected at Glee.
“But it’s not a numbers game – the quality of attendance and the amount of business being done are far more important, and these have been exceptional. We’re extremely proud of Glee and the overwhelmingly positive feedback we have received.”
The 2011 Glee included several bigger features as well as a new Glee Planetaria area, dedicated nursery space and an expanded seminar programme. There were 670 suppliers participating this year including 200 new exhibitors and 45 lapsed companies, Emap stated.
Next year’s show will again be held at The NEC from 17 to 19 September 2012. Davison said the organiser had undertaken its biggest research project into the event to date this year and will now institute a programme of change and evolution for next year’s exhibition.
“We will also continue to work closely with our partner associations to help further shape the figure of Glee,” he continued. “All of our show sectors, from Garden Care and Plants to Landscaping and Garden Design are vital parts of this picture and we will continue to build this offering as much as we can in the next 12 months.” 
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