Self Build & Design 2019 - a show to visit for self builders

Tony Poole, Business Development Executive

It was a wet and windy day when we arrived at the Self Build & Design Show 2019 and  a long overdue recce to the East of England Arena and Events Centre, Peterborough and what a pleasant surprise it was – easy to find, well signposted and plenty of parking not far away from the show entrance.  So a good stress free start to the visit.

A nice welcome from the designated meeters and greeters with a show pack not too overloaded with literature so left plenty of room for picking up items.  The Show opened at 10.00am and the aisles were already filing up at 10.15.  In fact I spoke to one exhibitor and by 11 o’clock they had already taken 14 very good enquiries so it looked as if this was going to be a busy day for all the exhibitors.











Insulation solutions provider Kingspan was there along with other big brand names as such as Oakwrights, Bosch, Potton and kloeber as well as the NSBRC and Build Store, plus many others offering a range of products and services for enthusiastic self builders. Bookable Ask The Expert sessions were filing up early with visitors keen to have some of the expertise of a range of consultants and specialists covering Design, Construction, Planning, Finance, Architects and Passivhaus Design.

The majority of visitors to the show are aspiring self Builders doing their research and plot hunting although according to David Olver,  Account Manager, Self Build and Design many do come to the show with plans for their dream project.  The general consensus is that the quality of visitor and leads is excellent.  Exhibitors also include designers, project managers, with some of these groups also coming as visitors.










David said:  “Exhibitor numbers have grown steadily and it highlights the link between our Plotbrowser website and the quality of visitors attending.  Many visitors who have registered on Plotbrowser are mailed with information regarding the shows.  The Shows tend to attract the serious self builder rather than the renovator.  Although renovators do attend but the focus is much more on acquiring a Plot to see a project come to fruition.”

An interesting point that David made was the self build events tend to work best on a regional basis which results in customers/visitors being much more engaged in the self build and design process rather than some of the more generic large homebuilding shows. This probably explains why the Show had such a pleasant vibe with exhibitors understanding each other’s part in the self build process. This was an opportunity for self builders to talk the self build talk with exhibitors without fear of getting trapped!

A Government briefing paper, Self-Build and customer build housing (England) predicts the self-build market is expected to grow steadily by around 7-10% per annum to 2020.  This goes some way to explain the appetite self builders have for events such as the Self Build and Design Shows.  There is no doubt that self builders are totally committed to carrying out thorough research into the options available to them.

This was a very friendly focussed show with over 60 exhibitors in one hall it was easy to get a real feeling that the exhibitors were there to talk and advise rather than just sell which made it much more enjoyable. When it came to leaving it wasn’t just with a bag of literature but some professional advice from experts in their field.

Tips for getting the most out of your trade show visit:

  • Plan ahead and set show objectives
  • Pre-register
  • Give yourself enough time
  • Take advantage of everything that’s on offer
  • Be open to new ideas
  • Don’t expect to do a show too quickly
  • Keep an open mind don’t just focus on the businesses you set out to see
  • Don’t book too many meeting
  • Don’t be afraid of being cornered by an exhibitor
  • Don’t waste the information gather at the show

Read more: Source: Marketing Donut

Finally, in the words of Ross Stokes, Editor, Self Build & Design magazine “It is worth remembering that a quality well-built home is something that should not only serve you well, but future generations too”.

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