The organiser for Grand Designs Live in Birmingham, Media 10, has cited an 11 per cent increase in attendance at its three-day Birmingham show and is predicting strong visitor support in London in 2011. The announcement comes despite a dip in attendance at its 2010 sister event in Excel.
Media 10 held the fifth Grand Designs Live exhibition at The NEC from 8-10 October. Nearly 500 exhibitors participated, while pre-audited attendance reached 47,283, up from 42,578 in 2009.
Media 10 MD Lee Newton told EN its success in Birmingham stemmed from rising acceptance of the Grand Designs TV and exhibitions brand in the Midlands. He said his team also treated the show as a separate entity to the London event. This included localising celebrity content and focusing on Midlands designers.
“We have received positive feedback from both visitors and exhibitors and, given the economic climate, it’s clear to see that consumers are investing more in their homes for the future,” Newton said.
In contrast, its sister Grand Design Live exhibition at Excel London saw total attendance fall from 105,181 to 90,664 this year, according to ABC audited figures. Newton attributed the drop largely to Media 10’s decision to run the event across nine days instead of 10. He also flagged the impact of the controversial UK election on the show’s PR and media coverage as having an affect. Grand Designs Live London took place on 1-9 May 2010.
“I am not at all concerned about the numbers – we know why it happened,” Newton said. “The London show is strong and will rise again in April. If you look at our daily attendance rate, we actually held steady overall, which considering the election, is a positive.”
Media 10 also decreased the number of free tickets in the market, Newton said. There were 350,00 people at the organiser’s Grand Design Live and Ideal Home Show exhibitions in London in March/April, while 500,000 people will visit Media 10 shows in 2011 – a significant achievement for seven years in business, he added.
The next Grand Designs Live event takes place at Excel from April 30 – May 8, 2011. Media 10 has also announced it will take the Grand Designs Live exhibition to Australia in 2011.