The first ever Spring Caravan & Camping Show at Birmingham’s NEC is being hailed as a massive success after attracting 83,854* visitors and healthy sales, despite a very tough economic climate.
The brand new Show, organised by NCC Events, ran at the Central England venue for six days from Tuesday 19th to Sunday 24th February, and occupied four halls (60,000 sq m in total).
Launched in March last year, The Spring Caravan & Camping Show is a regional showcase catering for newcomers to camping, caravanning and motorhoming as well as existing enthusiasts looking to purchase new models, leisure accessories and camping gear, and to research new holiday destinations, attractions and service providers.
The Show also provided a comprehensive display of holiday homes and lodges marking the start of the holiday park season.
The industry’s major manufacturers all supported the Show, distinguishing it from other dealer focused regional events. Exhibitors included ABI, Bailey, Coachman, Elddis, Lunar, Swift and Trigano, who all used it to display brand new mid-season launches as well as best selling ranges.
Many companies exceeded their Show sales targets and there were reports of fewer than expected trade-ins suggesting that many sales were coming from newcomers to the market.
Advance ticket sales had reached 43,158 by the start of the Show and walk up attendance remained consistently high throughout the week, reaching an incredible total visitor attendance of 20,469 on Saturday (23rd).
With half term holiday dates and a desire to attract families and newcomers to the holiday pastime, NCC Events themed free show features on popular outdoor activities that could be enjoyed on a camping or caravanning holiday.
Visitors could ‘have-a-go’ at climbing on the Rockface Challenge, angling on ‘Rod and Reel’, kayaking or water zorbing on the ‘Paddles Up!’ indoor pool, pick up BBQ recipe ideas in ‘Campsite Cookery’ in association with Calor Gas and learn all about wild birds, reptiles and creepy crawlies in the ‘One-to-One’ with Wildlife theatre in association with Dudley Zoological Gardens.
Experts from the TV and sporting worlds were enlisted to stage live presentations at each of the features with a different personality attending each day. They included BBC ‘Operation Iceberg’ presenter and extreme adventurer Andy Torbet, cook, author and broadcaster Valentine Warner, wildlife TV presenters Kate Humble, Nick Baker and Julia Bradbury and London 2012 Olympic Games gold medalists in the canoe slalom Tim Baillie MBE and Etienne Stott MBE.
The Caravan Club staged a ‘Club Day’ on opening day with discounted entry and entertainment for members, including a performance by Strictly Come Dancing Duo ‘Vincent & Flavia’. They also supported the Show by offering free Motorhome Manoeuvring courses.
The Camping and Caravanning Club launched it’s ‘Clean Washrooms Guaranteed’ initiative with TV personality Kim Woodburn from ‘How Clean is Your House’ on opening day and on ‘Friendly Friday’, offered members discounted entry to the Show and a day of events including talks from mountaineer Alan Hinkes OBE. In association with Volvo UK, exhibitors and the official tow car sponsor of the Show, the Camping and Caravanning Club also provided visitors with free expert towing tips from behind the wheel.
Says John Lally, CEO NCC Events, “This brand new Show has exceeded all expectations. There has been a great atmosphere in the halls all week and everyone has pulled out all the stops to ensure visitors enjoyed themselves and didn’t go away empty handed.
“Our aim has been to provide a Show with high quality products and great choice for enthusiasts whilst attracting families and also newcomers to caravanning and camping in a bid to grow the market. Feedback from attendance and our exhibitors suggests we have achieved our aim.
“This is a brand new Show and we have already identified areas for improvement in 2014 to encourage visitors to return year on year to purchase.”
The Spring Caravan & Camping Show will return to the NEC from 18th – 23rd February 2014.
NCC Events will now turn its attention to the industry’s National Show, The Motorhome & Caravan Show which returns to the NEC from 15th – 20th October 2013.