This year’s kbb show, which is taking place across four halls of the Birmingham NEC between March 6-9, features hundreds of exhibitors from the kitchen and bathroom sector and, as the first show since the pandemic, is set to reunite the industry after an unprecedented two years.
Speaking on the opening day of the show Jon Johnston, sales director, kbb Birmingham, said: “It was hugely exciting to open the doors this morning and see so many familiar faces back at the NEC. We’ve had a great start to the show and are expecting an audience of over 12,000 visitors over the four days. We have hundreds of exhibitors across 26 different product categories who have been busy meeting with our visitors all day. The show floor is buzzing and it’s clear that there’s a real appetite in the KBB industry to be back at a trade show.”
Rotpunkt UK’s head of operations, Matt Phillips, recognised the importance of shows like kbb for not only engaging with existing dealers but also introducing the brand to potential new customers.
“Fundamentally, over the past 10 years, shows like kbb have been the mainstay of attracting new dealers to the brand,” he explained.
“In the lead up to the show there was obviously some uncertainty around Covid restrictions and how that could affect the exhibition but, inevitably, what the decision came down to for us is that the UK is such an important market for us and, as it’s the first opportunity two we’ve had, in two years, to engage face-to-face with new and existing customers we knew we had to be here.
“With the strength of the leads, we’ve seen already, if today is the benchmark for what the next three days are going to be like, then it’s going to be a really good show for us.”
Reflecting on the importance of the timing of the event, considering the backdrop of the past two years, Bill Miller,managing director of The Kitchen Bathroom Buying Group (KBBG) said: “It’s great to be back. I’ve obviously been wondering how busy the show would actually be considering the hiatus we’ve had with Covid, but it’s fantastic to see how busy it is. We were expecting it to take some time for the numbers to build up, but it’s been crazy since the show opened. We’ve met a mixture of our existing customers – which is obviously great to re-engage with them after two years without face-to-face contact – but we’ve also met plenty of brand new customers.”
Rashpal Sidhu, who takes over as managing director of Roca UK on April 1, added: “Events like this are hugely important to the industry. Bathroom products need to be physically seen by our retailers and the engagement that this exhibition offers us is fantastic.”