For the past 10 years, since the conception of Essential Install magazine, I have strived to build and expand our industry, with the philosophy that if the industry grows, we all grow. I firmly believe our company and its products have always been there for the industry in one way, shape or form.
Some years ago we launched Intelligent Homes magazine, a newsstand consumer title designed to create awareness of the industry for the consumer. At the time, we had to make a necessary decision; either continue with Intelligent Homes or launch, what was then, Essential Install Live! South (now EI Live!). Given the resources we had, we decided it was in the industry’s best interest to continue with Essential Install Live! South – don’t rule out the resurrection of Intelligent Homes in the future, however.
This year, with a view to making changes to EI Live! for the better, we have really upped our efforts across the board; from venue, speakers and marketing to introducing interlinked industries that are set to shape the future of AV and smart products. The idea of this message, with all EI Live! now has to offer, is to inform the industry why it should be behind the show for 2019.
You may have seen ‘The Big Reveal’ campaign and all consequent marketing collateral across social media including e-blasts, not to mention through our leading title Essential Install magazine. So, by now you will be aware that we are moving the show to a brand-new venue in the shape of Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre. You will also have seen that for the first time we are including commercial AV and automation, as well as smart products from the world of electrical contracting.
Given our ownership of another leading title, Electrical Contracting News, we are able to bring the full marketing power of another industry to help promote and take the show to a new level, as well as promote the show to commercial AV installers through our online presence and existing contacts via Essential Install Commercial.
I’m the first one to hold my hands up if we don’t deliver in some way; having said this, we all know that footfall is the litmus test to a successful exhibition – something in the past we have been criticised for, a fact of which I am completely aware. Two years ago, the old venue for EI Live! Sandown Park could only give us venue dates in July. At the time we took them because we didn’t have an alternative venue. However, the footfall was not what it could have been, mainly due to the dates we were given, and frankly it has been difficult to return the show to its former glory in terms of footfall for the past couple of years at a venue that lost some of the early momentum it had provided.
Nevertheless, 2019 will be different. We now have a fantastic, world-class new venue and the ability and facility to give EI Live! a complete shot in the arm, which is the objective for the 2019 event.
The UK needs a national show
The UK needs a national exhibition to further our industry. With ISE moving to Barcelona in 2021, and the increased logistics of getting to Barcelona compared to Amsterdam, establishing a genuine UK national show has never been more important.
ISE is and will continue to be a great event, but for UK and northern European installers, we want to provide an alternative that delivers the business benefits without the headache of extended travel, accommodation and other associated costs.
We actually made the decision to move EI Live! before the ISE announcement was made, as we wanted to deliver the show via this fantastic new venue regardless of what happened elsewhere.
So we are upping our game big time, with the show floor centring around the EI Live! Technical Theatre which will host world-class speakers along with the introduction of CPD points to further develop the visitors’ skills. Along with the introduction of commercial AV and electrical contracting smart products, together with the brand-new venue, we believe we have the basis for a very successful show. Most of the installers we speak to daily are talking about the current growth potential in our industry, so the show is rising to meet that challenge by offering more variety in a better venue to help support and expand the industry.
But we cannot do this all on our own; every successful show is a partnership between those who exhibit and visit, so as this is your industry exhibition, we are calling you to get behind it and make it the best it can be for the sector, now and for a long time into the future.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me for any of your show needs, and if I can’t, one of the EI Live! team will answer any questions you may have.