The inaugural Motorhome and Caravan Show enjoyed an impressive turnout, with some 93,323 motorhome and caravan fans visiting the exhibition at Birmingham’s NEC from 11-16 October.
The show was run by industry trade body the National Caravan Council’s exhibition arm, NCC Events, for the first time. It took over the exhibition and NEC tenancy slot from the previous organiser Clarion Events, and renamed the show.
The NCC’s strategy of driving down ticket prices, and promotions including local TV advertising, was a hit: NCC Events says attendance reached 93,323, up from the 71,793 reported by Clarion in 2010.
What’s more, key exhibitors have reported strong sales of motorhomes at the show, which is a shot in the arm for an industry finding it tough in the current financial environment, and reeling from the news of leading multi-site caravan and motorhome dealership Discover Leisure falling into administration during the show.
Auto-Trail’s joint MD Stuart Turpin said: “We were extremely pleased with the large numbers of visitors attending the show. It was very encouraging to see both existing users replacing their motorhome and the many first time buyers who either purchased a new motorhome or who were planning to in the very near future.”
Swift Group’s commercial director Nick Page said: “We have had a fantastic show and our sales have far exceeded our target and also beaten last year’s figures… The introduction of the Euro 5 engine along with award winning products and new models have created a real reason for customers to change and we are delighted with our performance.”
Bailey’s Marketing Director Simon Howard said: “We chose to use this event to launch our first ever motorhome range and the retail sales performance of both these vehicles and our touring caravan ranges have wildly exceeded expectations.”
And Oliver Drinkwater of VB Airsuspension added: “When you invest a large proportion of your marketing budget into one show, you really hope it pays off. I’m pleased to say that this has been the most successful show we’ve ever done.”
The next NCC-run exhibition will be The Motorhome, Caravan & Camping Show at London’s ExCeL arena from 14-19 February 2012. It’s currently being billed as the ‘Spring Showcase’ and is traditionally a time of year when many motorhome manufacturers introduce ‘mid-season’ models.
The Show website is now live and advance tickets are priced at £7 (for seniors aged 60 years and over) and £8 for adults (a £1 transaction fee applies to all advance tickets).