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    New opening days, revised content and considered move to new halls in 2014. Following significant industry feedback, extensive post show research and a number of targeted focus group sessions i2i Events Group, organisers of Glee, has announced its vision for the 2013 show and beyond.

    The main change is a return to the show’s Sunday to Tuesday format, in a response to opinion that Sunday remains a viable option for smaller independent garden centre visitors. The move to a weekend opening enables these retailers – a core part of Glee’s audience – to capitalise on weekend staff cover whilst freeing up an extra vital week day.  The move gives retailers, irrespective of size, greater flexibility to attend the show at a time best suited to their business.  This change has already garnered strong support from the Garden Centre Association (GCA) and its members, as well as Glee’s supporting trade associations, GIMA, Gardenex and The HTA.

    Nick Davison, Glee event director, comments on the move back to Sunday to Tuesday.  He said: “In the changing retail landscape it is vital that Glee also constantly evolves to meet the needs of the industry.  Since the close of Glee 2012 we have been working closely with our stakeholders, including trade associations, suppliers and retailers, to gather their feedback and thoughts on how Glee can help deliver a more profitable future for all.  Focus groups, on-site and post-show research and retailer meetings have helped us identify a number of changes that could be made, the most obvious of these was the move back to a weekend opening – a simple change that offers significant potential for increasing vital visitor numbers.  Added to this, there are also positive financial implications for exhibitors as contractors will now only be required to work one day over the weekend – a significant potential cost saving on stand build and set-up.”

    Iain Wylie of the Garden Centre Association said: “The Glee team have been looking hard at ways of improving the show for those attending. When we asked our members the majority stated that in 2012 they attended on Monday and Tuesday but a significant number said they missed the opportunity to attend and bring their colleagues on Sunday. We passed this feedback to Glee and they have been able to bring about this change for 2013. It is important that the show adapts both to changing times and the needs of visitors. Glee is clearly listening to their views and making changes and innovations.

    Iain’s views are echoed by Hillview Garden Centre CEO, Boyd Douglas Davies. He said: “I’m delighted to hear that Glee is looking to move the show back to a Sunday start in response to feedback from exhibitors and visitors. I think this will increase the number of visitors and improve the mood of anyone that hasn’t had to travel there in the Monday traffic! It will also free up a day during the week which is very valuable at that time of year.”

    The industry feedback received also covered the length of time that Glee should run. “Whilst there was some opinion that Glee should be reduced to a two day show, we have decided to maintain it as a three day show,” confirmed Nick Davison. “The third day means that there is more flexibility for retailers to attend.  A move to limit or reduce the amount of time available to retailers to visit Glee would undoubtedly have a detrimental effect on its success for both buyers and suppliers.”

    A vision for the future

    The challenging market means that, more than ever, Glee’s most vital role is to provide an unrivalled platform for showcasing new products and the latest innovation, whilst offering unparalleled opportunities for retailers and suppliers to network and do business.

    Additional show content, such as special visitor features and Glee’s dedicated seminar programme, is also set to change. The coming months will see the entire content of the show completely revised and refreshed, with the aim of adding value for Glee’s visitors without detracting from the core aims of networking and doing business.

    One additional idea that is also being considered for 2014 and beyond is potentially moving Glee to new halls within the NEC.  Nick Davison added: “Creating a fresh layout, moving halls has the potential to breathe new life into Glee. The new floorplan will not only help exhibitors reinvent their presence at the show, but retailers will also be walking a different floorplan.  In doing so we believe they will have a better chance of sourcing new suppliers they may not have normally come across.  It’s an exciting prospect for all, and we hope to be able to confirm further details in due course.”

    Find out more

    Further details about the changes taking place at Glee 2013 will be announced over the coming months.  Next year’s Glee will take place at the NEC, Birmingham from 15 – 17 September 2013. To enquire about exhibiting, call 0203 033 2197 or visit www.gleebirmingham.com for more information.

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