As the ninth Grand Designs Live Birmingham, sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, closed its doors at the NEC once again last weekend (9-12 October); Media 10 – the prestigious event's organisers celebrated its most successful show to date, with a new four day format and 60,000 plus gate declared (subject to ABC audit). With exhibitor numbers exceeding 550, Grand Designs Live affirmed its position as the UK's top contemporary home show.
As excited visitors gathered to enter the 2014 event, show host Kevin McCloud was on hand to greet
their arrival, before cutting the ribbon and declaring the 2014 show officially open. This year, the show's
footprint also expanded to house more features in Grand Technology with the Tech Box along with
Food and Housewares and a new garden feature called the Urban Allotment.
Visitors arrived early, eager to get home ideas, inspiration and advice from the show's experts, which
this year included Kevin McCloud, George Clarke, Charlie Luxton and Jo Hamilton amongst others, who
hosted a series of talks and workshops, live from the Grand Theatre.
Commenting on the 2014 event, Show Manager for Media 10, Nathan Garnett said: "Our ninth
Birmingham show has been a huge success; it's great to see it continue to grow and develop over the
years. We were able to introduce new features to the show this year, including the Natural Building Live
and the Urban Allotment which allowed more exhibitors to join us and encouraged even more visitors
through the door. The show has continued to attract local visitors as well as those from further afield
who came to explore the latest trends in interior design and seek advice from top experts in the
business. We look forward to continuing the success of Grand Designs Live."
Exhibitors were also delighted with the show's success:
Alexei Cowan - Head of Trend at Homebase: "At Homebase we want to help everyone live in a home
they love and it was fantastic to be able to showcase our stylish new autumn/winter ranges at Grand
Designs Live Birmingham. There was a feeling of excitement at the show with lots of people looking to
make improvements to their home, and for inspiration to get them started on their next project"
Sabina Gonzalez-George - Creat3d – "The build up to the show has made a real difference people are
extremely excited as they get to finally experience our technology first-hand"
William Burrows – Husky Heat Pumps: "This has been the biggest four days in our company's history,
one in four people coming to our stand were good leads"
Stuart Dantzic – Caribbean Blinds: "It's great how the organisers have split the show across the four
days, allowing for a consistent flow of high quality consumers. In my eyes this has been the best Grand
Designs Live show, by far!"
Paul Alice – Hillary's Blinds: "It is truly inspiring to see just how many visitors are in 'project mode',
planning their next renovation; obviously this is great for us as exhibitors as we're able to contribute and
develop their ideas, showing what we have to offer"
Conor Mcquire – Poultry Talk: "The show has been a great success, and our live chicks have turned out
to be a real head-turner! It's refreshing to see that visitors are showing a genuine interest in keeping
their own poultry, after all, that's what we're here for"
Some of this year's key highlights included Kevin McCloud and Harry Dwyer, from the Channel 4 show
Supersized Salvage, making an armchair from an airliner live in the Grand Theatre, which was then
auctioned on stage for £570, with all proceeds going to NCCA UK. The winner of the Self Build on a
Shoestring was selected during a live judging event, with Kevin McCloud presenting the award to a
London-based team for their entry named SHELL. Kevin McCloud's Green Heroes exhibition, returned
to showcase the best in green product design along with the Live Kitchen Experience sponsored by
Miele, which offered live kitchen demonstrations by top culinary chefs. Also back by popular demand
was the Ask An Expert section, which offered visitors free 30 minute consultations on all aspects of a
build, renovation or development with a range of experts.
Grand Designs Live will return to London at the ExCel from 2-10 May 2015. Visit
www.granddesignslive.com for more information.