Surface Design Show, incorporating Light School, returned to London’s Business Design Centre last week (9-11 February) for its biggest and best show to date. It is one of only a few shows in the UK to focus on exterior and interior surfaces, and for the first time, over 150 exhibitors occupied both the ground floor and the entire gallery level.
Over 5600 professional visitors attended over the event, with the majority from the architecture, interior design and lighting world. The show had a fantastic atmosphere with the 5% increase in visitor numbers creating a lively buzz throughout the venue.
Since its inception in 2005, the show has become the destination for industry people to see, touch and explore the latest materials for the built environment. This year’s show did not disappoint with visitors describing it as ‘fantastic’, ‘inspiring’ and ‘informative’.
Exhibitor Anna Roochove from Scotscape Landscaping says: “We had more enquiries per hour at Surface Design Show than any other show we have participated in.”
Ab Rogers, creative director of Ab Rogers Design and 2016 Surface Design Awards Keynote Speaker comments: “Fantastic show, vibrant and alive, bespoke to the industry and clearly curated.”
The show had an emphasis on new products, with many exhibitors launching new collections. Product launches included Evan James Design, which incorporated light into its applicate wall coverings, Float Glass Design launching a new type of glass, and Pintark by LOCO Design showcasing new soft applications in stunning material combinations.
The standard of the exhibitors at this year’s show was hugely impressive. Solomon & Wu gained attention at its exhibition on the gallery level for its floor to ceiling Snow Wall Panel. Scotscape Landscaping exhibited a fragrant living wall, attracting visitors with its size and fresh scent. LED Linear, Finsa UK, Panel Piedra and Acoustic GRG Products also created impact with their impressive stands and innovative products.
Throughout the Show there was a packed programme of events. Over 40 presentations covered three different seminar areas – including the Main Stage, the CPD Hub and the School Room.
The Main Stage was the home of the headline acts with topics that appealed right across the design world. Talks from Houzz and the Live Debate hosted by New London Architecture, as well as the ever-popular PechaKucha Evening, excited and engaged the audience. The Highly anticipated Surface Design Awards also took place on the main stage with IPT Architects taking the honour of Surface Design Awards Supreme Winner for their Howe Farm project.
The School Room – sponsored by iGuzzini with Mondo*arc as its media partner – was part of Light School. The new area for 2016 was bigger to accommodate attendees, providing the perfect platform for talks from experts in their field, including David Atkinson and Sally Storey.
The CPD Hub sponsored by BCFA and BIID was a forum for professional development where visitors gained CPD Points by attending.
Future Thinking is Surface Design Show’s annual look at forward thinking surface trends and new for 2016 was Surface Spotlight Live curated by Sally Angharad. The two sector spotlights highlighted on this inspiring and tactile display were Health + Wellbeing (media partner Healthcare Design & Management Magazine) and Retail Design (sponsored by Concord).
Surface Design Show elected Maggie’s as this year’s chosen Charity Partner as Health + Wellbeing was a Surface Spotlight Live focus. Maggie’s provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends.
With 2016 proving to be such a success it is no wonder that many exhibitors have already signed up for the 2017 show.
Claudia Blair from Rug Maker comments: “Great show, with excellent promotion in the weeks leading up to and during the event. We have already booked for next year!”