Trade show season is nearly upon us and there are few locations in the UK more synonymous with such events than Birmingham.
The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) first opened in 1976 when it staged the International Spring Fair. That particular show has, amazingly, returned every year since and the centre itself has sprawled to twenty interconnected halls set across 611 acres. Put simply, if you’re looking for a trade show, you come to the NEC.
In this post, I’ve picked out 5 trade shows you’ll want to check out in 2016. And I’d recommend keeping an open mind, because shows which are focussed on topics you have zero interest in may actually be worth a visit - you never know what you might find and they can be a brilliant family day out.
The NEC is celebrating its 40th birthday this year and there’s some real treats on offer, as a result.
The Spring Fair (7th - 11th Feb)
The aforementioned Spring Fair is a stalwart at the NEC and for good reason. It is the UK’s leading home and gift exhibition and has grown to around 3,000 suppliers. In 2016, nearly 300,000 new products are expected to be on display ranging from gadgets to housewares. There’s something for everyone!
The Motorhome and Caravan Show (11th - 16th October)
The biggest gathering of the latest in motorhome and caravan tech can be found at the NEC later this year. It’s a big one, with previous years’ events enjoying as many as 98,000 visitors. If you have even a passing interest in outdoor holidaying, this show is worth a visit, even if it’s just to snoop around some of the fabulous motorhomes on offer.
Toy Collectors Fair (Feb, May, Sept, Dec)
We’re all kids at heart. So, what better way to while away an afternoon than to visit the Toy Collectors Fair? With over 500 stands containing some of the most highly desirable collectable toys in existence, it’s a sight to behold. Kids will love it and grown ups will marvel at the market value of the toys they used to play with when they were young.
Brewing Equipment & Technology (18th - 19th May)
Ever fancied brewing your own beer? Perhaps you’re just intrigued by the process which goes into producing your favourite pint. This show is a must for anyone with a passing interest in ‘proper beer’ and offers a chance to come face-to-face with the growing micro-brewery industry.
Crufts (10th -13th March)
This post would be nothing without a mention of our favourite canine event. This year, it celebrates 125 years of being the biggest and best dog event in the UK. Get off that sofa and visit it in person - it is a brilliant day out for adults and kids alike.