Furniture & Production Magazine Interviews Materials & Finishes Show’s David Todd
Tell us about you and your background David – what tracks have you come down to arrive at this point?
I’ve worked in exhibitions for over 15 years, working across a variety of sectors for industry shaping events around the globe, so I've not found the move across to Montgomery Group’s ‘design and build division’ too dissimilar to my previous roles. The transition has been very smooth. We’ve got a great team of experts, spanning a range of disciplines, from sales and marketing through to PR and content, all working to ensure a very successful relaunch of W Exhibition as materials & Finishes Show next May.
As the event director of the main trade event for the furniture and joinery market, what is your vision for the Materials & Finishes Show?
Our vision is very much to build on the success of W Exhibition, listen to the market and develop an event which serves the needs of our community both now and in the future. When Materials & Finishes Show goes live at the NEC (19 - 22 May, 2024), all areas of the material journey, from the initial stages of raw processing through to finishing and component supply for completed products, will be represented.
If you are involved in the wood, timber or stone processing chain and are looking to connect with furniture manufacturers, joiners, carpenters, machinists and installers - Materials & Finishes Show is the perfect platform for you to connect your brand with the UK market by exhibiting.
Materials & Finishes Show will attract buyers from every corner of the industry, from furniture and joinery manufacturers and designers right through to retailers, the KBB market, carpenters, joiners, worktop fabricators and stone masons.
Visitors will have the opportunity to see running machinery together with components, materials, technology and services for the manufacturing and processing phases of materials, alongside the latest products and developments for finishes.
Given the time lag between Materials & Finishes and its previous incarnation, how do you feel the audience will differ from before, and how do you feel they will react to the new- look event?
There is an abundance of passion, enthusiasm and the genuine appetite that there is for us to continue to deliver an event platform for the sector and I’m excited to be part of bringing Materials & Finishes to market next May.
The success of any trade exhibition hinges on the quality of the people in attendance, so this is by far our top priority. Building and enhancing our data, partnering with new associations and media partners to ensure we are attracting the right people to do business. The second most important element is listening to customer feedback. This is an event for our community and we want the event to be shaped by its customers, we want and need that constant communication with our clients.
With six months before the doors open, how is that vision progressing from an exhibitors’ point of view? In your opinion, what fundamentals have changed for exhibitors in terms of how they have evolved their marketing objectives, and how that manifests itself for them?
I think it would be naive of us to say that the run into the relaunched show hasn’t been challenging - from Covid delays and the negativity that this brought, through to an ever changing industry landscape. Luckily for us, the main pain-points from the previous exhibition have been very simple and quick fixes for us and we’re now in a very stable timeline, with dates secured for Materials and Finishes Show in 2026 after our return next May. This has allowed us to focus our attention on growing the event.
We’ve appointed a new creative agency and digital marketing agency who are working alongside our in-house team. We’re already utilising new marketing channels and techniques to ensure that we drive the right visitors to the show. Exhibitors and visitors will be seeing and hearing the Materials & Finishes Show campaign on more channels than ever before, from online and in print to on the airwaves as we activate our campaign with FIX Radio for the first time. We’re also working with brand leaders and influencers to ensure that we are plugging all gaps with our campaign.
Could you tell us more about the content of the event in addition to the line-up of exhibitors?
There are so many new and exciting features in development in the background. We’ve been working really closely with our community to ensure that Materials & Finishes Show really delivers above and beyond expectations next May.
Alongside new show features, such as the CPD certified learning programme, live demonstration zone and hosted buyer meetings programme, we are revising the show opening hours to include a new late night feature on Tuesday (May 21, 2024) of the show. This will allow an extra opportunity for out of hours networking, and extended hours for people to attend out of hours, which we know from experience works well on B2B trade shows.
Tell us about the current roster of exhibitors, what that looks like at the moment, and how you think that might progress over the coming months?
We’re in a really strong position as we move into September, with a good mix of legacy brands that people will be familiar with from the W Exhibition lineup, as well as a raft of completely new brands who have joined the lineup in recent weeks. What’s interesting is the broad mix of brand products and services that the Materials & Finishes Show 2024 lineup presents, which includes the likes AES, Fen, Quin Global, Amicus and Machinery Services to name a few. The full exhibitor lineup, which is growing weekly, is available on our website - www.materialsandfinishesshow.com.
Visitors will still be able to see the industry innovation that they expect at the show and this will be significantly enhanced with a wide materials and finishes offering. The KBB market is a key growth area for us, with brands such as Hanex signing up to exhibit in recent weeks. We’ll also be growing the fixtures, fittings and hardware section of the show, which will include brands such as our relaunch partner, Hranipex. Brands like these will perfectly complement the machinery and materials brands who are already part of the exhibitor lineup.
Where can people find out more about exhibiting the show?People can either contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our Commercial Manager, Ranju Singh (email@example.com) if they have an enquiry about exhibiting. Visitors can see what’s on offer, including our list of exhibitors, via the new website: www.materialsandfinishesshow.com.