The National Caravan Council has decided against launching its planned London caravan show in favour of assuming control of Clarion Events’ International Caravan and Motorhome event at The NEC in Birmingham.
The NCC Motorhome and Caravan Show, organised by NCC Events, was originally scheduled to launch in October at Excel London, making it a direct competitor to Clarion’s NEC event, which also occupies an October slot. However, in a decision backed by the UK’s six largest manufacturers of caravans and motorhomes, NCC Events will now run its own show using Clarion’s October tenancy at The NEC.
The support of the manufacturers, Bailey, Coachman, Elddis, Lunar, Swift and Trigano – which comprise the majority of exhibitor revenue at the Clarion event – gave NCC Events the strength to effectively pull away and start its own show.
The new event will be run by Gary Barbe, former events director of Ocean Media’s National Boat, Caravan and Outdoor Show.
“Our short-term strategy is simply to reduce exhibitor and visitor costs, and to increase marketing to grow the caravan and motorhome industry. The people best positioned to do that are those who are most passionate about the market,” Barbe told EN.
Partner associations The Caravan Club and The Camping and Caravanning Club have also lent their support to the NCC show.
Despite stepping away from the Birmingham event, Clarion will continue to run its sister event in Manchester in January, with the support of the NCC. Clarion CEO Simon Kimble told EN that despite not wanting to give up the NEC show, it was the right decision to allow the caravan and motorhome industry to run its own event.
“Clarion worked very hard over the last four years to consistently deliver a high quality caravan and motorhome show at The NEC in October and we enjoyed good visitor figures again this year, with more than 72,000 people through the doors during the six-day show,” he said. “I very much hope the National Caravan Council will capitalise on our success at its own show in 2011.”
The NCC sold its shows to Clarion in the late 1990s, a decision that was never fully accepted by members.
“Members frequently ask me why the NCC sold what they referred to as the ‘crown jewels’,” NCC Events director general John Lally wrote in the NCC journal, The Business, in November.