The National Convenience Show (NCS) 2013 and its partner events, The Farm Shop & Deli and The Forecourt Show, saw attendance numbers jump by 8% during the three days at Birmingham’s NEC last month.
Dates have already been set for 2014, when NCS and Farm Shop & Deli will run alongside the bi-ennial Food & Drink Expo and Foodex from 24 to 26 March. The Forecourt Show will return to the NEC in 2015.
“NCS and its partner shows bring together the convenience forecourt and speciality retailing markets and have been going from strength to strength in recent years,” says Andrew Reed, Managing Director of Exhibitions & Events for William Reed Business Media. “Twenty two partners plus 300 exhibitors and brands supported NCS in particular, which, being co-located with the ACS Summit, drew substantial crowds.”
The response from visitors was enthusiastic. Paul Cheema of Costcutter, commented of NCS: “It’s very important to come. We use NCS to source suppliers, new innovations and new ways of working – we never miss it.”
As ever, the events have used innovative formats to attract and engage audiences:
• The NCS Live@thecounter interactive theatre, hosted seminars, workshops, debates and tastings across every convenience category and attracted audiences of over 500 every day of the show.
• Farm Shop & Deli’s ‘Dragon’s Pantry’ saw eager entrepreneurs pitching new products and ideas to hardened retailers – several have signed deals as a result.
• The Farm Shop & Deli ‘Best Idea in Show’ went to The Big Cheese Making Kit Company. Founder Ailsa Proverbs said, “We’re delighted to win – this was our first trade show and were really pleased that visitors to our stand were impressed with our product – and we’ve taken lots of orders, too!”
• A new venture between Unilever and confectioner, Kinnerton, won ‘Best Idea in Show’ at NCS for turning ice cream into confectionary. New Magnum chocolates won the award and are in shops now!
NCS also secured a record number of partners in 2013, including Heineken, Booker and Allied Bakeries. “Their enthusiastic response bodes well for 2014,” says Andrew Reed.