The largest and longest established large-scale flooring show in the UK brings more than 4,000 people to the town in September across the three-day event. In excess of 3,000 buyers visit 250 brands, with 150 exhibitors bringing circa 1,000 staff to man the event.
The UK flooring industry is worth an estimated £2bn, and The Flooring Show is the flagship annual event for the sector.
Alex Butler, Event Director at The Flooring Show, said:
The show is an important driver in the flooring sector. It’s used to launch new products, increase brand awareness, and meet new and existing customers. A large proportion of exhibitors return year after year highlighting how worthwhile it is for their business.
As 2022 marks its 60th anniversary, the show is pulling together a feature on its enduring connection to Harrogate. The show started off in the hotels in Harrogate, as many did, then moved into the convention centre.
There are individuals who have attended every single show, there are family-run businesses that through the generations have attended. That’s why they have such fondness for it.
As The Flooring Show has grown, their businesses have also grown, so we’ve been on this journey together. That heritage piece is really, really important to us. Competitors come and go, but we remain the strongest at Harrogate Convention Centre.
Despite Harrogate Convention Centre being redeployed by the government as an NHS Nightingale in 2020 and into 2021, there was no doubt the show would return in September 2021.
We had to have an open conversation with our exhibiting community about finding alternative options because we weren’t sure how long the convention centre would be a Nightingale, and there was huge push back from the exhibitors.
The Flooring Show is inextricably linked to Harrogate. They love everything about Harrogate Convention Centre, its central location, its proximity to local amenities – they’re able to entertain clients when they finish the show. In a nutshell, they love it.
Alex reports they have already received 70% re-bookings for the 2022 September show, showing how solid and loyal attendees are year-on-year.
Organisers work closely with The Majestic Hotel and St George Hotel to accommodate the thousands of buyers.
Alex is confident there will be another 60 years of the show, and that the exhibitions sector will also make a strong return.
At the beginning of the pandemic, all exhibition organisers had a worry that technology would overtake face-to-face with virtual events, but actually it was the opposite, people became fatigued with screen time. The flooring industry is very much about the social element as well. You miss what you can’t have, and people missed that opportunity to have business meetings face-to-face, and shake hands. We’re social animals at the end of the day, we can’t exist in our little bubbles.
Paula Lorimer, Director of Harrogate Convention Centre, said:
Harrogate Convention Centre is the lynchpin of the hospitality sector, bolstering B&B, hotel, bar and restaurant bookings. Our reputation in the North as the town of choice for exhibition and trade conferences is second to none, and it’s a history and reputation we aim to build on. We look forward to giving the Flooring Show delegates a warm Yorkshire welcome for their 60th celebrations.