Event Solutions: Supplier Showcase - Meet the indispensables

The essential elements of a well-run event include professional staff, reliable stands, comfortable furniture and a steady stream of refreshments. Steve Hemsley talks to suppliers who help shows run like clockwork.


Nomadic Display launches its online rental service in the UK in the next few weeks, having offered the service in the US for a number of years.

The site, nomadicrental.co.uk, will be based on the US version but include only those exhibition stands and event solutions popular with UK buyers.

Nomadic was set up in the US in 1975 and opened a UK office 11 years later. UK managing director Laura Moody says it offers exhibitors something modular, portable, reusable and reconfigurable.

"We get to understand a client's exhibition calendar so the package we provide works for them wherever they are exhibiting around the world," she adds. "The kit packs away neatly so it can be easily transported, and extra stand elements can be added."

Nomadic is known for its pop-up stand systems and the DesignLine hybrid exhibiting system it introduced in 2003. It also provides a 24-hour helpline.


- Autosport International at the NEC, 11-14 January

- Crufts at the NEC, 8-11 March

- A Place in the Sun Exhibition at Excel London, 30 March-1 April

- The London Golf Show at Excel London, 26-29 April

- Fly Silverstone at Silverstone, 13-15 July


Roka Bars UK sold its first mobile trailers and folding bars to the field marketing industry seven years ago and since then interest in the units among exhibitors and event organisers has grown.

Roka began in Germany in 1962 and the units are still made at its 50,000sqm manufacturing plant near Frankfurt. The UK business initially operated under a sole agency agreement but for the past four years it has been a subsidiary of the German company.

Managing director Simon Pauffley saw a gap in the UK market for high-quality catering units that moved the industry away from the white rectangle box with a flap at the front.

"Better units give a perception of better food and cleanliness and companies are more willing to brand these types of units," he says. "We use different materials and lighting and 18 months ago we launched a model with curved corners to create a retro feel."


- Cheltenham Festival, Cheltenham Racecourse, 13-16 March

- John Smith's Grand National Meeting at Aintree, 12-14 April

- Test match, England v West Indies at Lords, 17-20 May

- Caffe Culture at Olympia, 23-24 May

- BBC Good Food Show at Olympia, 16-18 November


Traditionally a design company, PCI Fitch has used its heritage to bring brands to life at consumer exhibitions.

The company, which was founded in the 1970s by Rodney Fitch, is now part of the marketing communications giant WPP Group. Clients employ the agency to encourage consumers to interact with their brands at public shows.

At the British International Motor Show at Excel London in July, it created a brand experience to promote the fourth-generation Corsa. Manufacturer GM Europe's brand message was that it put the fun back into driving. PCI Fitch adopted an urban playground theme with playpark-style rubber flooring and games.

Head of group account directors Nigel Lloyd-Jones says creating experiences at consumer shows poses unique challenges: "You have to stand back from thinking purely about displaying the product and consider the wider brand strategy. At the International Motor Show you have to avoid creating a stand that just looks like a car showroom. This usually means making full use of new technology, such as installing walls of plasma screens to excite consumers."


- Geneva Motorshow at Palexpo, 8-18 March

- Frankfurt Motorshow, 13-23 September

Other events to be confirmed.


Mobile Promotions offers numerous services to consumer shows, including staffing and trailer provision. However, for the past 21 years it has also turned its hand to running consumer roadshows and hosting sampling campaigns.

Although the Northampton-based company does boast a large database of promotional staff working around the country, its core business remains the supply of trailers, including large lorries, small modular units and tented structures.

As well as appearing at independent consumer events, these products also help brands take their marketing message to existing and potential customers who might not have the time or inclination to visit a big consumer exhibition in London or Birmingham.

"Consumer shows do not always work as well as they used to because there is so much pressure on people's time and money and they do not always want to, or can afford to, travel long distances to see products," says managing director Robin Carlisle.

Many clients are in the automotive sector. Events in 2006 included the Motorshow@ consumer event concept.


- Motorshow@ mobile exhibitions at Bristol, London, Manchester, Birmingham and Hull, May-August

- The Goodwood Festival of Speed at Goodwood House 22-24 June

- Bosch consumer roadshows at shopping centres around Europe, spring and summer

- Bernard Matthews regional food sampling roadshows, spring and summer

- Daimler Chrysler roadshow to promote Smart, summer and autumn.

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