Panel & Joinery Production Interviews Materials & Finishes Show Event Director, David Todd
With less than a year to go until Materials & Finishes Show (formerly W Exhibition) returns to the NEC (May 19 - 22, 2024.) We catch up with event director, David Todd to find out how he’s settling into his new role at the helm of the reimagined show and explore how preparations for the May event are shaping up.
David, you’ve had a few months to find your feet and familiarise yourself with the furniture manufacturing and joinery industry. How’s everything going?
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. What is very apparent is the 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.
How is the floorplan shaping up for Materials & Finishes Show next May?
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, with 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 running woodworking machinery that they expect at the show, but 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 ‘elements’ section of the show, which will include brands such as our relaunch partner, Hranipex. To have secured the support of such a forward thinking and ambitious company as a relaunch partner is a real coup for the show and will perfectly complement the machinery and materials brands who are already part of the exhibitor lineup.
There’s a long gap between the incumbent W Exhibition in 2018 and the new Materials & Finishes Show next May. What changes are you making and how is the campaign shaping up?
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. 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.
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.
You’ve mentioned new brands joining the lineup, what else can people expect to see when they visit the show next May?
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.
If there are brands out there who haven’t yet joined the lineup for Materials & Finishes Show 2024 but who are perhaps considering joining, what would you say to them?
If you work in the joinery and furniture manufacturing industry and are involved in the wood or timber processing chain, you need to be part of Materials & Finishes Show 2024.
Exhibiting at Materials & Finishes Show will allow you to:
Meet and do business with over 8,000 potential buyers (including furniture manufacturers, joiners, carpenters, machinists and installers)
Drive HOT leads that your sales team can start work on immediately through our complimentary badge scanner programme
Launch new products to the industry and get their face-to-face feedback and interest
Benefit from our FREE PR & Marketing - get your products and services in front of our 20,000-email database, 6,000 social media followers and 150,000 website visitors
Hold live demonstrations and give your clients and potential customers best practice tips on using your products & services
Join over 200 leading brands from the timber and stone industries
Nothing brings a brand, its products or services to life like being able to see, touch and speak to the people behind them face-to-face at a live event.
We know from research by the likes of the Association of Event Organisers that 90% of live event attendees plan to purchase in the next 12 - 15 months of visiting a show. It’s estimated that 85% of exhibition attendees will not have been seen by an exhibitor's sales team before. I would encourage brands to take the opportunity to engage with prospects at Materials & Finishes Show!
When Materials & Finishes Show goes live at the NEC (19 - 22 May, 2024) it will bring together every corner of the joinery and furniture manufacturing industry. If you are involved in the wood or timber processing chain and are looking to connect with furniture manufacturers, joiners, carpenters, machinists and installers - Materials & Finishes Show is the perfect platform for you.
Where can people go to find out more?
People can either contact me directly, or our Commercial Manager, Ranju Singh 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.
Notes to editors:
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 at Materials & Finishes Show.
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.
Materials & Finishes Show will attract buyers from every corner of the industry, from furniture and joinery manufacturers and designers right through retailers, the KBB market, carpenters, joiners, worktop fabricators and stone masons.
The event, formerly W Exhibition, has over 50 years of heritage and will return to the NEC in its new and reinvigorated format from May 19 - 22, 2024.