With the seventh annual NBF Bed Show delivering another successful year, Cabinet Maker takes a look into what 2016 had to offer.

Aerial view 5

Firmly established as the UK’s biggest bed exhibition, the National Bed Federation’s (NBF) annual Bed Show returned for a seventh year last month and Cabinet Maker was on hand to witness just why the event continues to just get bigger and better.

In a nutshell –or shall I say micro-pocket, to sum the latest instalment of the NBF Bed Show into three words, the most relevant would have to be variety, innovation and design. Strolling through the stands Cabinet Maker found an array of refreshing product launches alongside new technologies transforming the beds and mattress market as we know it – oh, and of course former cricketer Phil Tufnell was caught making the most out of Sealy’s World of Sport campaign as he posed for photos with flocking guests.

Taking place from 20-21 September 2016 at the Telford International Centre, organisers hailed its seventh year as another successful event, which featured over 80 brands and saw a 10% increase in visitor numbers on last year, cementing its rightful tag of ‘bigger and better’.

From its debut staging, the NBF Bed Show has grown to enormous heights of significance within the bed industry and attendance by retailers within the sector is now essential. The Bed Show is the place to be for everything and everyone to do with beds, with an unprecedented gathering of UK British bed manufacturers and suppliers all under one roof.

And the roof was bursting with a variety of products on display, whether it was tweaks to existing ranges, new launches or new collaborations, the Bed Show delivered. Most notably as the Cabinet Maker team weaved in between guests from stand to stand, the introduction of rolled to boxed mattresses seemed to be a prominent spectacle that caused visitors to halt their tracks and take further notice, including Airsprung’s new Hush model as well as Silentnight who unveiled its Studio concept.

Keeping with the latter, Silentnight, which continues to celebrate its 70th year, announced a strategic partnership with British Wool for its new Rest Assured British Wool range.

Delving deeper into the show, Cabinet Maker identified how the use of technology with certain exhibitors gave an insight to not only how products were manufactured, but to how the industry is evolving to show consumers what it takes to produce a quality product. The use of videos incorporating bed-making techniques were an interesting watch and gave a real ‘behind the scenes’ feel.

With an 80-strong exhibitor list, including brands such as Mammoth, Breasley, Furmanac, Duvalay, Sweet Dreams, Carpenter, Kaymed, Shire Beds and the Steinhoff Group to name but a few, the general consensus of the 2016 show saw a positive light shine over the two-day event, which remains a key date in each exhibitor’s diary, signifying the importance of its staging.

Even the Brexit cloud couldn’t dampen spirits as most exhibitors expressed a ‘get on with it’ attitude despite growing uncertainty surrounding the economy as currency fluctuations continue to impact raw material prices. A hot topic of recent times, and one that will continue to dominate moving forward no doubt.

“Just gets bigger and better.”

One brand in particular that had cause for celebration was Kaymed, who won the ‘Bed Manufacturer of the Year 2016/17’ at the NBF Bed Show Gala Dinner and awards ceremony, which took place in the evening of the first day and was hosted by comedian Marcus Brigstocke. Kaymed, along with all the other award winners on the night, were delighted with the accolade who went one better than last year after receiving the runners up prize in 2015.

As the Bed Show began to wind down for another year, Cabinet Maker quizzed exhibitors on their thoughts of the 2016 event and got an overwhelming reaction of positivity. Nick Booth, marketing director for Silentnight, said: “We have had a fantastic response to the show. The new Rest Assured British Wool collection was extremely well received and has been selected by a large number of independent retailers,” whereas Shakeel Baig, of Bodyease, added: “The Bed Show gets better every year and is the perfect platform to set in motion the trends and innovations of the bedding industry.”

Visitors were in strong voice too, with Jerry Cheshire of Surrey Beds commenting: “I must commend the NBF for organising yet another outstanding show. It’s a ‘must attend’ for anyone associated with the UK bed industry. I’m already looking forward to the 2017 show.”

Speaking of 2017, the NBF have already announced the dates for next year’s event, which is scheduled to take place on 19-20 September 2017. Exhibitors even toyed with the idea of proposing an extension to the format of the show by one day, as Cabinet Maker found that 60% of respondents agreed to a three day show. Perhaps something to sleep on?

Organiser and NBF executive director, Jessica Alexander hailed the 2016 Bed Show as a ‘fantastic’ edition and announced that the organisation celebrated its 100 member milestone, before concluding: “It continues to be a NBF member only show, which means visitors can be confident that all the companies they see are reputable businesses, complying with the NBF’s Code of Practice.”

See you in September!