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23rd March 2012
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Welcome to the
Welcome to the third part of our review of KBB Birmingham 2012. We hope you get as excited about some of the new products described here as we did…
This Week's News
To say we were blown away by the CDA stand is something of an understatement. But would its striking red and black exterior lead to a disappointment once we were inside examining the goods? I'm delighted to say that it did not, for as well as lots of new products, there were even some exciting prototypes on display, which Marketing Manager Sally Stothard talked us through.
Now, where should I begin?
We arrived at the Blum stand just in time to see David Sanders, Sales & Marketing Director of Blum UK, presenting Luke Hathaway, from the Big Wood School in Nottingham, with the 2012 Blum Dynamic Space Award.
Luke won the Blum Award for being the pupil who gave the most consideration to Dynamic Space principles when undertaking a kitchen design project that was part of his coursework. The presentation was attended by Luke's fellow students and his course teacher David Gilkerson.
LDL Components, the nationwide distributor of premium fittings and accessories for the fitted furniture industry, launched a range of exciting new products exclusively for kitchen and bathroom retailers at the show, along with a new fully interactive website.
Anyone walking past the stand could not help but stop and stare!
The brand new Wesco range of household accessories for kitchens and bathrooms - only available in the UK through LDL - comes in a dazzling array of vibrant colours.
John and I both recall having learned an awful lot about the industry while being shown around the Geberit stand as newcomers by Sara Johnston at KBB Birmingham 2010, so it was lovely to catch up with her again when she joined her colleague Victoria Willis 'on the tour' this year. And once again there was lots to see...
Something we loved was the Touch-less Flush...
We hadn't met the team from Karonia before but luckily our very helpful PR contact Deborah Lord was on hand to do the honours and help talk us through what was on display - and again there was plenty to see.
Karonia extended the Mistral range of 25mm solid surface worktops with the launch of five smart new colours at the show. The original collection of 11 effects was launched at KBB 2010 and has gone from strength to strength as the versatility of this enhanced acrylic worksurface is fully appreciated.
The team at RAK had been rushed off its feet for the duration of the show and Debbie Fleming (on the left in our image, with a colleague) told us that it would be 'all hands on deck' after the event, to deal with the many quality enquiries received there.
Showing us around the rooms sets, she explained that RAK was using the show to launch a number of new products. These included RAK's Rimless WC range. Part of RAK's popular Compact bathroom collection, the range includes six rimless toilets featuring a small footprint and curved, contemporary design. In addition to standard formats for hygiene-conscious consumers, three extended projections are available for wheelchair users, in both back-to-wall and close-coupled formats.
"KBB 2012 has proved to be the most successful show we have ever done," exclaimed a delighted Leigh Martin, Managing Director of EQ Software, explaining that the provider of kbb business management software had what can only be described as "a frenzy of activity" on its stand for the four day exhibition, resulting in a record number of new customers and leads.
"We initially thought our stand would be over-manned for the show, but we needed more staff to cope with the demand and are now looking to increase its size the next time. The number of customers signing up at the show for software or eCommerce websites was considerably high along with new suppliers joining our Partner Programme, some of which were also exhibiting at the show," he explained. "Judging by the high number of quality lead
We first met Anne Lush (pictured below), our PR contact for Abode, at the last KBB Birmingham in 2010 so we were delighted that she was available to show us around Abode's stand this time around too - but that was after sitting on the stand's futuristic white sofas and drinking one of the best coffees we had enjoyed all week, while putting the world to rights!
The exhibits on the stand were too outstanding to ignore for long though, and soon Anne was showing us around and explaining the workings of each one and just why it had become part of the company's range.
The many visitors to the 20-20 Technologies were treated to individual demonstrations of how the company's design software can add value to a business, complement its existing expertise and offer customers the opportunity to experience their dream kitchen or bathroom, before it's even installed.
Managing Director Craig Rothwell told us that the stand had been "inundated with new business start-ups, keen to find out as much as possible about the industry and what's available to them to make their businesses as successful as possible."
And we thought we were supposed to be hovering on the brink of another recession...
After discussing the industry, and how successful the show was turning out to be, Blanco UK's lovely Mike Heath talked us through some of the Blanco offering and explained the attributes of the new Silgrani PuraDur II coloured sink material. "It's unsurpassed for its ease of care and durability, hygienic qualities and extensive colour range," he enthused.
"It has a tactile, silky-smooth surface that looks like natural stone and it is exceptionally easy to clean, since it repels water, preventing the build up of surface deposits and limescale.
Purchasers can claim the cashback by completing the form on the company's website and posting it back to the company, to arrive by 31st July, with the original till receipt or a printed copy of the order confirmation for internet purchases made between 2nd April and 29th June 2012 inclusive.
Sadly there wasn't anyone playing the white baby grand piano on the De Dietrich stand when we arrived but there was plenty for us to play with and we were soon engrossed in the exhibits.
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FIRA Project Manager, Sue Calver, presented the findings of a study into the real usage of kitchens at kbb 2012 on Monday.
The Bathroom Manufacturers Association and DIY retailer B&Q have announced following KBB Birmingham that they are to collaborate on a new piece of research into how the industry should communicate with consumers about saving water.
* Stronger expansion of new business supports rise in output
* Employment falls, but only marginally
* Business confidence reaches a nine-month high
February data signalled a solid rise in the UK construction sector output, extending the current sequence of growth to 14 months. The stronger expansion in activity was supported by a sharp rise in new work intakes. However, accelerated growth of both new business and output were insufficient to prevent a fall in employment. Meanwhile, a fourth successive improvement in confidence was indicated.