The UK’s biggest RV show got even bigger this year, as NCC Events has reported that the 2013 Motorhome and Caravan Show has broken its own visitor attendance record.
Running from Oct. 15-20 across 11 halls of the Birmingham NEC, the event drew in a record 101,179 visitors this year, according to a report by Caravan Times.
Saturday was by far the busiest day, with 26,632 visitors showing up to see the new launches and take advantage of show special offers.
Over 400 companies, such as Elddis, Swift, Bailey and Coachman, set up shop at the show, and some manufacturers reported upwards of 200 caravans sold on Saturday alone.
Key highlights at this year’s show included celebrity appearances by TV presenter Mel Sykes and top chef Ed Baines, who both entertained crowds in the Expert’s Theatre.
John Lally, director general of the National Caravan Council, said, “We’re obviously very pleased to have achieved another record breaking attendance, but our real measure of success is the quality of the customers we are able to attract to the Show and the experience those customers have when they get here.
“The display of product in the halls was unrivalled. They were the lightest, most innovative, well designed and well specified models we have seen for many years and this is reflected in the volume of sales.”
These latest figures mark a real seal of approval for the NCC show, which is only in its third year.
“For the industry, the sales success of this Show is about more than just reaping a return on investment,” John continues.
“It signals a potential upturn for the industry which we have been working towards since the recession hit. That is the real reason to celebrate.”
NCC Events is looking to secure a new southern England venue for its Motorhome, Caravan and Camping Show in time to run a 2014 edition after canceling its tenancy at Excel London.
Exhibition News reported that the events subsidiary of the National Caravan Council (NCC) has also revealed details of its first Spring Caravan and Camping Show at The NEC, set to take place on Feb. 19-24, 2013.
The debut Spring Caravan and Camping Show also fills the gap left by the cancellation of Ocean Media’s Boat and Caravan Show, which was previously held every February at The NEC but canceled at the end of 2011 after failing to secure enough manufacturer support.
The first NCC Caravan London show reported 43,356 visitors on Feb. 14-19. Despite the first London success, NCC Events chairman Anthony Trevelyan said insurmountable issues were raised with Excel around storage for the many exhibitor vehicles and products onsite.
The venue’s recent expansion had seen space allocated for the movement and safe storage of up to 650 exhibitor caravans, motorhomes and holiday homes disappear. The lack of suitable on-site camping and the venue’s location within the costly Low Emission Zone were also found to limit Excel’s suitability.
“Excel is a magnificent venue and, as we have witnessed during the Olympics, provides a world-class visitor experience. As a result, it is subject to ongoing expansion and, in recent years, in excess of 40,000sqm of the campus has been converted to hall space and there are plans for even further development,” Trevelyan said.
“The decision to cancel the 2013 event has not been taken lightly and it is not a criticism of Excel’s visitor facilities. We have demonstrated there is a desire and a requirement for a well run, industry supported southern show and we are committed to delivering it. The caravan industry and its consumer base have unique requirements; we are actively seeking an alternative venue in the south to stage the show and this will most likely have to be a collaborative approach with a venue than can be adapted to meet them.”
Bentley Motorhomes, the multi-award-winning U.K.-based motorhome manufacturer that went into receivership in August, has been bought by a caravan manufacturer.
Out And About Live reported that Vanmaster, a Lancashire-based manufacturer of quality caravans, has acquired the Bentley name and business from the administrator, Begbies Traynor.
Richard Saville, the administrator responsible for the sale, said he was very pleased the business has been sold, although he was disappointed it could not have be sold as a going concern. The sale, he said, has been completed and all of the tangible assets of Bentley Motorhomes have now passed to Vanmaster, including the Bentley name, motorhome design and production equipment.
The directors of Vanmaster are now working with suppliers and other interested parties with the objective of recommencing production at Bentley’s Mexborough factory.
It is planned that some of the staff laid off when the motorhome manufacturer went under will be re-employed by Vanmaster. It is also understood that Vanmaster is in discussion with Gordon Bentley about how his skills can be used in the company.
Vanmaster is also meeting with the Bentley dealer network to determine if they will sell Bentley motorhomes again when production restarts.
However, Ian Thompson, Vanmaster managing director, said when production of Bentley motorhomes restarts, it will be at a lower volume than previously. “We will not be mass production, we will be direct selling to customers.”
He also said that a primary focus of the on-going discussions with Bentley’s suppliers is to ensure that Vanmaster will be able to honor the warranty cover on Bentleys that are already on the road.
The popular Motorhome, Caravan and Camping Show will not return to London’s Excel Centre in 2013, according to a report by Caravan Times.
After an in-depth consultation between the venue and the organizers, NCC Events, too many logistical issues were identified and they were left with no option but to look for a new home for the show.
Movement and storage issues with valuable exhibitor products had been identified as insurmountable and the tough decision was taken to cancel the existing plans.
Anthony Trevelyan, Chairman of NCC Events, said: “Excel is a magnificent venue as we have witnessed during the Olympics and provides a world class visitor experience.
“The decision to cancel the 2013 event has not been taken lightly and it is not a criticism of ExCeL’s visitor facilities.”
But it was felt that without the guarantee of adequate storage space, the show would simply not have enough space to set up and down.
In addition, the location of the venue in a Low Emission Zone was due to cause problems for the large volume of caravans being brought in, and so this operation would have to be staggered.
The suitability of the venue for the event was also called into question due to the lack of suitable camping in the vicinity.
The National Caravan Council’s (NCC) Events division is expanding its second annual Motorhome and Caravan Show at The NEC in Birmingham, England, into an additional hall this year.
Exhibition News reported that his year’s show, which runs Oct. 16-21, will now stretch across 882,000 square feet. An NCC Events spokesperson attributed the decision to demand for more space from exhibitors.
NCC took over The NEC tenancy slot from former International Caravan and Motorhome event organizer Clarion Events and ran its first edition last October. Following a drop in admission prices, the organizer reported record-breaking attendance of 93,323 visitors, up 22,000 year-on-year. NCC plans to retain its pricing structure this year.
The NCC also ran its first London Motorhome, Caravan and Camping Show in February, attracting 35,598 paying visitors. This represented 82% of total attendance.
The future of the London Excel motorhome and caravan show has been thrown into doubt after a new Birmingham show was confirmed by the same organizers, according to Outandaboutlive.
Despite the National Caravan Council (NCC) stating just days ago that next year’s London Excel show will go ahead, today (March 9) it has emerged that the future of the show is now in question.
NCC Events, the body that organized both last October’s Birmingham NEC motorhome and caravan show and this February’s new London Excel show, confirmed yesterday that it will stage yet another motorhome and caravan show next February – this time back at Birmingham’s NEC. This means there are now currently two shows planned by the industry for next February – one in London at the Excel arena and one in Birmingham.
NCC, of which NCC Events is a subsidiary, told Outandaboutlive that the future of the Excel show is still undecided. NCC has surveyed its members and those who exhibited and attended London’s February show, and is waiting for the results of the survey before deciding on whether the 2013 London show will go ahead.
However, it is unlikely the industry will vote to stage a regional show in London after it has just secured its previous – and very successful – Birmingham venue back after just a year’s absence.
The Birmingham show next February is also being marketed as a regional show called the Spring Caravan & Camping Show. It will run from Feb. 19-24 at the NEC. NCC Events said the Excel London is still planned to go ahead from February 12-17.
The 50-plus year-old Boat and Caravan Show, slated for Feb. 21-26 at the NEC in Birmingham, England, has been canceled by organizers who cited a lack of support from caravan manufacturers and dealers.
Out & About reported that host Ocean Media has also been forced to cancel the Outdoor Leisure Show, which made its debut earlier this year alongside the established Boat and Caravan brand.
The sudden move follows a year in which the National Caravan Council launched its own events, beginning with last month’s Motorhome and Caravan Show in Birmingham.
Following a failure to secure the Boat and Caravan tenancy at the NEC next year, NCC Events then scheduled a new February show in London for 2012 – an event which ultimately contributed to the end of Boat and Caravan.
In a statement, Ocean Media explained the decision to cancel the show “has been taken because of a lack of support from the caravan manufacturers and their dealers, despite having strong support from all other parts of the show.”
The exhibition organizers described having “consulted in particular [with] caravan dealers” to establish that a national show was needed to support the leisure sector.” In the run up to next February, Ocean had received endorsement from the Camping and Caravanning Club and a number of caravan dealers.
The dealers eventually felt unable to participate in the show, which Ocean believes “undermined one of the main pillars of the show” and “rendered it no longer viable”.
With a heritage stretching back over half a century, Boat and Caravan could safely lay claim to being the longest running caravan show in the U.K. Having attracted over 87,000 paying visitors to a successful show last February, the cancellation now leaves NCC Events’ February show at London Excel as the only major caravan event for that month.
Ocean Media CEO Trevor Barratt expressed regret at the loss of the show, stating, “Loyal exhibitors, including a number of caravan dealers and the shows many visitors will feel sorry that due to a lack of support from one element of the industry, the 2012 show has canceled after more than 50 years.”