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INDUSTRYNEWS IT REALLY DOES LOOK LIKE


Early in February The FIT Show was launched to the press. Aimed squarely at fabricators and installers of windows, doors and conservatories specifically, it smacks a little of the old school of double-glazing ...and no wonder; one of the two people behind the event actually owns a factory making windows, doors and conservatories.


Matthew’s somewhat rebellious and ‘left field’ nature manifested itself through the Renegade Conservatory Guy blog which more than once has seen him fall foul of one sector or another. And it’s that same somewhat irregular outlook that now sees him behind the launch of The FIT Show, partnered by PR man and GlassTalk talking head Paul Godwin.


EVERYONE’S GOING…


That research highlighted a number of clear preferences, such as the location (the Midlands), preferred opening days (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) and that would- be visitors wanted to see large numbers of exhibitors, showing a wide range of industry- specific products (surprise). It also showed that visitors were not interested in celebrities (which is just as well, says Paul Godwin, as there won’t be any). A free bacon butty and cuppa for visitors turning up early each day is, however, felt to be essential.


What there will be, says Matthew, is a lot


of the right kind of exhibitors with a visitor experience that will include “things that will directly benefit installers and fabricators, such as sales tips for smaller companies and one-man-bands, and lighter items such as a Master Fitter competition and Master Salesman awards.” The FIT Show is very clearly pointed at the sharp end of the business.


Matthew believes that a key ingredient of


One of the strengths - but also sometimes the weakness - of the home improvement glazing market, is that it remains an industry still largely populated by entrepreneurs, always an interesting bunch to be around if perhaps occasionally a little too interesting. But the recession has acted as a filter for the market, the tough trading conditions driving the dubious element on to pastures less strenuous to plunder. And that leaves people who tend to be committed to the industry, to making their businesses succeed even when the effort required to turn a decent coin can entail a bit of hard work.


Matthew Glover, for example. He is the man behind Wakefield-based Conservatory Outlet, a business that has gained some renown for its accomplished dealer network and marketing platform. A dyed-in-the- wool double-glazing man Matthew and his brother Andrew (MD of retailer West Yorkshire Windows) worked in their dad’s window factory as soon as they could say ‘espagnolette’.


First, what is The FIT Show? FIT –


‘Fabricator, Installer, Trade’ – was created, Paul Godwin advised the press at the launch, following the consumption of a bottle or two of red wine, as had GlassTalk three years earlier. He explained that the two of them had come to the same conclusion via separate routes, that the window, door and conservatory industries missed having their own trade show and that there was a growing hubbub about how a £3.7 billion industry really should have its own forum. Advised that they should really find out a little more scientifically if others agreed with them, research was conducted with the results qualifying the partners’ gut instincts.


“We were ready to just go out and follow


our total conviction that the glass and glazing industry was ripe for its own event,” said Matthew. “We knew, had no doubts at all, that everyone would go. However, very wise people advised that we should carry out research, which we did, and of course it showed we were absolutely correct,” he laughs.


The FIT Show is commitment: “We both earn our livelihoods from the window, door and conservatory markets; we believe in the industry and therefore we are committed to making this work, to give the industry what it wants. We listen and we will respond directly.”


Part of that commitment is to choose a Midlands venue for The FIT Show which, as it’s not taking place for another year or so in April 2013, will mean that the excitement has some time to ferment further.


“People have responded to the personal approach,” said Matthew, but also of course, because The FIT Show is the right thing at the right time.”


Having witnessed the sheer quality of the proposition, a not insignificant £500,000- plus marketing and promotional budget, coupled with the excitement and enthusiasm engendered by Matthew and Paul, we have to agree that pretty much everyone will, indeed, be going.


To read more news, log onto www.clearview-uk.com and join in our Forum discussions.


Clearview NMS « March 2012 « www.clearview-uk.com » 55


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