UK – On January 23-24, 2013, the 7th edition of the Trade Only National Show (TONS) took place. According to the Organisers, Trade Only, nearly 3,000 visitors came to Coventry, where 346 exhibitors filled the Jaguar Hall as well as Halls 3 and 5 of the Ricoh Arena. In addition to numerous UK specialists and import companies, suppliers from several other European countries were also represented, among others from Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and France. Many textile brands, but also other big names and products were exhibited by the respective British representatives. An auditorium in Hall 5 was used at hourly intervals on both days for Power Sessions i.e. addressing company and customising issues, as well as for podium discussions on industry themes and for fashion shows organised by the exhibiting textile companies. Most of the sessions were well-attended. The professionalism of the industry had already been a major topic on the eve of the trade show: For the first time ever, the British distributor and supplier association, the BPMA (British Promotional Merchandise Association), also the cooperation partner of the TONS, organised a “BPMA Education Day“ on January 22, which was also held in the Ricoh Arena.
Following tradition, the BPMA Awards Dinner were held on the evening of the first exhibition day, featuring this year’s BPMA Award ceremony. Among others the Suppliers (Liquid Lens and Senator) and the Distributors of the Year (Outstanding Branding, LSI and Brand Addition) were distinguished, as well as Event Director Nigel Bailey being voted “Personality of the Year“. The next TONS will be held on January 22 and 23, 2014 at the Ricoh Arena.
A detailed report will follow in the next issue of eppi magazine (February 13, 2013).