Friday, March 27

NEC Outdoors Show 2009 - Report #1

A Friday morning post live from the 2009 NEC Show............

This year the show is situated in one single hall rather than across halls as in the past. Despite having the same floor space as in 2008 the revised layout leads to a feeling of a more compact & friendlier feeling.

Gossip amongst the stands indicates that this year's visitor numbers are expected to be down on 2008. Sensibly some of the stands have finally recognised that there is more to a show than 'making an impact' and as a result I'm glad to report that there is a reasonable number of gear offers to be found. But you'll need to pick you way through the usual glittering options.

This morning's hot tips:
Search out Embers Merino (near the Trail & Alpkit stands) Merino products at special show offer prices. In my case a chance to snap up a full length long sleeve high neck offering for £45 rather than the £60-£70 I've being paying for certain well known brands normally found in the local branch of Cotswold Outdoor.

This one even has some degree of fashionability coming in a striking black and red material with a large (tasteful) motive on the back.

If it wears as good as it looks (and its would be a neat trick to bugger up the ability of a merino product) then this is a bargain. Recommended.

And whilst hunting out bargains, its traditional for me to use the show to buy replacement walking trousers, and somehow always from the same stand - Warwickshire Clothing. For me its become almost a standing joke.

'Two pairs of trousers please. No I don’t need to try them on. Yes I'll queue'

Every year this stand has a range of goods to buy, and people eager to snap them up. As the vendor told me "We come to sell, not to exhibit"

This year their stand is two to three times its size compared to 2008.

(yes the stand really stretches all that way)

Now there's a lesson to be found there. If only others in the outdoor industry care to listen.

Right, that'll do for know. Back to the fray.........

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