Not much fun at Glee?
The late summer bank holiday is the indicator for many of us to start getting ready for Glee , the annual hard-landscaping showcase of new products which inevitably happens three weeks after the extra day's break, but this year's show, scheduled for 20-22 September at the NEC in Birmingham is looking set to be a pretty thin and feeble affair with many of the "regulars" deciding the costs of exhibiting in the current climate just don't make sense when returns are so uncertain.
Jon Layton, sales director at Pavestone commented,
"Glee has collapsed from 11 halls to 4 barely filled halls. This year has seen nearly all hard-landscape suppliers drop out and attendance from merchants looks to be poor from our research and so we pulled the plug. We haven't got the funds to treat it as a flag-waving excercise and all PR expenditure has to be self-funding. t's a great shame as it has been a fantastic platform in previous years."
Another "big name" deciding to take a break are Stonemarket, although they choose to keep their reasoning close to their collective chest.
However, it's not all doom and gloom. Strata Stone , the Middlesex based importer of natural stone hard landscaping products will be showcasing their latest collection of paving, internal flooring and wall art (???)
Sales Director Paul Childs says,
"Strata Stone believe that this year's show is the most important for some time as merchants are increasingly looking for suppliers that can offer unique competitively priced hard landscaping products along with flexible load sizes, excellent customer service and tailored marketing support."
"We have decided to invest in a larger stand this year to accommodate our exciting new products in addition, we are main sponsor of the landscaping hall and the new GLEE gardens initiative. We hope that our new fresh branding will be evident as we introduce many news styles, textures & colours.”
Similarly, East Yorkshire's Natural Paving are delighted to again be exhibiting at the GLEE trade show in September, according to Sales Director Denise O'Gara.
"In a year where the economic climate has been difficult we feel it is still important to have a presence at such a key exhibition for the landscaping industry. We see GLEE as an opportunity to say thank you to our existing customers who have supported us and we look forward to welcoming potential new customers to our stand."
Of course, the real proof of the pudding is in the eating, so we'll have to wait until September 22nd, when the doors close on this year's event, to see whether it was a luscious Black Forest Gateaux or a mere trifle.