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Executive Hire Show Review:

“Tremendous platform”

Hirers found the Executive Hire Show was the ideal place to meet fellow professionals and suppliers, and to see the latest products. Alan Guthrie reports.

The Executive Hire Show aimed to bring passionate hirers and innovative suppliers together to do business, and it certainly succeeded. Approximately 1,800 people visited the event, held at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, on 31 January and 1 February, with 107 exhibiting companies. The Show attracted an impressive cross-section of hirers, from nationals to local independents, eager to learn about new products and to network with other industry executives.

For Steve Corcoran, Chief Executive of Speedy Hire, such an event is essential. "The hire industry needs a forum where suppliers and customers can meet and exchange views and ideas. The Executive Hire Show provided a wide range of suppliers with the ideal opportunity to exhibit their latest equipment to potential customers. Speedy Hire was delighted to be associated with the Exhibition through its sponsorship of the Safety Zone. The nine short listed products representing the latest innovation in Health & Safety were displayed and all visitors were offered the chance to select the winner. Looking to the future, I see this exhibition as a tremendous platform on which to build, and I would encourage all suppliers and customers to support it."

Good cross-section of products

“The whole experience was excellent,” according to Richard Dey, Group Hire Director of Travis Perkins. “I met more hire people at the Show than at any other hire exhibition I have attended in recent years. There was a good cross-section of products representing the major hire markets. And I cannot fault the location. The Ricoh Arena is central and easy to get to, and at the end of the day you could quickly gain access to the M6. London used to be terrible to get out of by car.”

GAP Group hosted its 2007 Senior Sales Meeting in a dedicated meeting room at the Ricoh Arena on the second day of the event, and its National and Key Account Managers took the opportunity to meet the suppliers in the main hall. “The Show presented us with a fantastic setting in which to base our meeting,” states Joint Managing Director Iain Anderson. “After an interesting tour of the Show in the morning, our team spent the afternoon in a productive meeting to discuss the company’s achievements and its future plans and strategies, including our new Health & Safety campaign.
The day as a whole was a big success.”

Chris Winfield, a Director of Watford-based independent Herts Equipment Rental, admits to having become sceptical of exhibitions in recent years. “We would go to Hirex, first in London and then in Birmingham, but it became a ‘no-show’: there were no special deals available to hirers like ourselves, and no advantage to be gained in being there. There would be nothing on display that you couldn’t see in brochures and catalogues. I was curious to see if the Executive Hire Show would offer something new - every hour spent away from the office means you are missing phone calls and visits from customers. But it is also important to keep in touch with your industry and the people in it.

“The earlier start (8am on the first day, 9.30am on the second) than at previous exhibitions meant you could have breakfast meetings with colleagues and contacts before entering the main hall, and the Health & Safety seminar programme was an excellent idea that can maybe be expanded in the future. The organisers have listened. Overall, the exhibition was a great opportunity for hirers to meet, do business, swap ideas, and generally work together.”

Good location

Another hirer who travelled from the southeast to attend was Colin Tall, Managing Director of Hire4Lower of Lambeth, with Branch Manager Paul Saunders. “I was surprised at how quickly we did the journey to Coventry, taking only two hours. As it was the end of the month, we did our invoicing on the Wednesday and drove up that evening, ready for the second day of the Show. The location was good, being so accessible from the M6. We met other hirers, saw new products, touched base with suppliers and discussed things in a meaningful way. For example, we spoke to Higher Concept Software about the computer program we have from them, and they showed us the answer on the computer on their stand.”

Stephen Dorricott, Managing Director of Astley Hire, based in Leigh, attended the Show and “came back with details on a lot of possible additions for the fleet. I met a lot of industry contacts at the event, and the seminar programme was very informative. The Show organisers incorporated a lot of thoughtful touches, such as complimentary coaches from local hotels to the Executive Hire Party for guests on the Wednesday evening, and the free breakfast offer for those arriving early.”

He adds that the Party proved to be an excellent combination of business and pleasure. “During the buffet I happened to sit next to Steve Williams from the exhibitor Biokil Crown, and he told me about the company’s new damp proof course injection system. I visited the stand the following day, booked a demonstration and we now have them in the fleet.”

For Matt Bloomer, a Director of Traction Equipment (Stafford) Ltd, “it is vital that hirers attend their industry’s dedicated exhibition. The early opening ensured we had a full day: we met a lot of people as we went round the hall, and having more time meant we could do all the stands justice. We placed a lot of orders with exhibitors, including GenSet, Hilti, Obart and Ingersoll-Rand, and I really enjoy doing business at this kind of event.”

Also placing orders were Peter Howes, Director of the Norfolk hirer Fakenham Tool Centre, and his son Paul, who is Plant Engineer. “We bought another Takeuchi mini excavator at the Show,” states Peter Howes. “We are increasing our tool hire fleet significantly, because our sales business faces increased competition from Internet based suppliers. The Show enabled us to see a lot of new tools and equipment in one day, and talk to the right people.”

Executive Hire NewsArchivesMarch 2007Executive Hire Show Review › "Tremendous platform"

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