Good weather and a new location helped make this year’s SOLEX outdoor furniture and barbecue exhibition one of the strongest yet. Pleased with the decision to relocate from Telford International Centre to the Birmingham NEC, the event’s organiser, Phil Gibbs, pointed out “a continued buzz throughout the exhibition”, and said that “the general consensus of opinion has been one of great satisfaction.”

Although the event covered more ground – 14,600 sqm compared to the previous 9300 sqm – the hall 5 location proved a surprisingly intimate setting, at a reportedly lower cost to exhibitors.

“This is not a profit-making show,” says Phil. “It generates income for the Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association (LOFA) members and for special initiatives, including the Made Aware campaign and EUTR research.”

The Enterprise Zone, a subsidised area for companies new to the show, saw several exhibitors commit to full participation for the next edition, which will take place from 7-9th July 2014. “We’ve also taken on board some constructive comments on how we can make the exhibition even better next year,” concludes Phil.