This year’s National Bed Federation (NBF) Bed Show proved a hit on all counts, reports the federation’s director of special projects, Jessica Alexander …
There was an air of optimism about as exhibitors waited for the doors to the 13th NBF Bed Show to open on the morning of Tuesday 26th September.
And it proved to be well founded, as visitors flocked through the doors and the place was soon buzzing. With visitors over the two days of the show +20% up on last year, the Covid effect felt well and truly over.
The gift to the show of a helter-skelter from Hypnos, celebrating the start of their 120-year anniversary celebrations, added a novel and fun focal point, both reflecting and contributing to the generally good mood.
Justifiably known as the flagship event of the UK bed industry, the Bed Show 2023 lived up to its description, bringing together retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and just about anyone else connected to the sector under one roof, as it has done so successfully since it began back in 2010.
The exhibitors represent the creme de la creme of the industry, offering products from the value to the premium end of the market, delivered by companies of all sizes, from market leaders to niche players – and all, with the exception of a handful of guests, members of the NBF.
We also welcomed this year, for the first time, three mattress recyclers to the show – all approved members of the newly launched Register of Approved Mattress Recyclers (RAMR), and a welcome addition alongside the many stories of sustainable innovation being offered by both manufacturers and suppliers.
Here at the show, anniversaries are celebrated, new products and marketing support unveiled, new colleagues welcomed and old colleagues waved farewell to. Every year the standard of stands just gets better, as companies master the art of great presentation without spending a fortune on huge elaborate constructions.
And the buzz of busy halls was not merely accounted for by idle browsing – exhibitor after exhibitor reported that visitors to their stands were not just looking, but placing those all-important orders too. Which isn’t surprising, given the number and calibre of fabulous new products being unveiled all around. Any retailers who didn’t come missed out on an ideal opportunity to get a real overview of what’s happening in beds today.
As one visitor said: “You get everything you need in one trip here. It’s easy.” Another said: “We come every year to spot the latest trends – it’s a great place, great products, good suppliers.”
The two-day show was punctuated as always by the NBF’s Bed Industry Awards gala dinner, attended by over 450 guests. Results are eagerly awaited, celebrated and commented on by all. This year’s industry awards also attracted a record number of high-quality entries, once again posing the judges many a challenge – whether it was debating the merits of one superb product launch over another, or weighing up the achievements over the past year of admirably forward-looking and ever-improving companies in both retail and manufacturing.
Comedian and TV presenter Maisie Adam – definitely one to watch on the circuit in future – presented the awards, and went down very well with guests, who enjoyed her combination of wit and charm.
The Bed Show and awards continue to go from strength to strength. There’s always something new to see and experience. Save the date for 2024 – September 24-25th.
Find out more in November's issue.