The best of trade events

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As s regular attendee of the IFA, Berlin since the 80s, beside the historical changes to Berlin as a city, I’ve noticed the highs and lows of the actual event. I have to admit that as an experienced ‘brown goods’ person, I was for the very first time roaming through the downstairs halls of the domestic appliance zones.

I was truly amazed at the massive buzz of people filling the halls, high quality displays and overall conviction that ‘upstairs’ (CE) was very much the poor relation of the consumer electronics industry. Don’t get me wrong, there were still some amazing displays of vision and sound, with OLED TVs dazzling the eyes and minds of many in the Samsung and LG halls.

However, ‘downstairs’ at Messe Berlin, the eyes, minds, plus taste buds were abundantly pleasured more so as freshly made nibbles and beverages enhanced the attraction of the kitchen displays of many leading brands, including BSH, Miele and Liebherr. As for the Samsung domestic appliance hall, those fortunate to have visited will know what I mean. Beside an array of well designed white goods displays, the waterfall demonstration designed to enhance its washing machine campaign, had to be seen to be believed. Words cannot describe the intermittent flows of water spelling out words and pictures; it was something I would love to see again. Okay, maybe not of the Bellagio standard, but a definite crowd puller. So, yes, I was definitely impressed with IFA this year, especially with ‘downstairs’ displays.

Meeting and bumping into many industry friends including Jeff Moody (Haier), Shaun Barrett (Barretts), Mark Hockey (Harman/JBL), Gordon Jones, Stephen Jones & Peter Gilks (Sirius), Andy Graham (Milestone AV / Sanus), Neil Drain (Midwich) and many more, also contributed to a very memorable event.

Strange as it may seem, it was also a pleasure to recollect my flight arriving late in Berlin. It meant that I and others surrounded by the yellow and blue plastic in the cabin were not subjected to the hideous and childish fanfare of music when landing, to announce another flight had arrived on time.

September was also another great month in the SIRIUS BG calendar with a VIP Golf Tournament, AGM, VIP Trade Show and Awards Dinner organised over a two day period. The support for these events from both Members and Preferred Suppliers was overwhelming.

Kicking off the two days of events, ten golf teams of four were sponsored by, GDHA, Haier, BCGXL, Hoover Candy, Smeg, Samsung, Indesit and Gorenje. Overall winner was Peter Forster-Dark from Gorenje. Well done to one and all!

Several important announcements were made to SIRIUS Members attending their AGM. Amongst these was the introduction of new suppliers in the new year, which will be officially announced to the rest of the trade at a later date. I can confirm, however, that the 2013 Sirius May conference, which is currently being finalised, will be held at a five-star plus venue outside Europe in a wow destination. Again, more news on this will be released at a later date.

With over a 96% turnout of Members, exhibitors at the VIP Trade Show were not disappointed to discuss imminent and future business with eager independents planning for the future. Talking of the future, the 2013 Conference is 22-26 May and the 2013 SIRIUS Golf, AGM, VIP Trade Show and Awards Dinner are already booked again at the Marriott Forest of Arden for 24/25 September.

At the 2012 Sirius Awards Dinner, the group Members chose their winners.  They were:

Best Manufacturer of the Year 2012 – Hoover Candy

Best Distributor of the Year 2012 – Portway Domestic

Best Member/Retailer of the Year 2012 – Borshch Electrical.

For the first time, this year there was an extra award for an individual. It went to

Best Supplier Representative of the Year 2012 – Simon Jones of Indesit.

All well deserved and congratulations to each and every Awards winner.

With a very busy September, October has also been a great month for many and in the next issue of IER, I will report how many independents have already expanded their stores and how many nearly completed expansions of their business.

Finally, make sure you book a place at the retra Annual Industry Conference held on 22-23 April 2013 at the Lancaster Hotel, London. Whether sponsored by a manufacturer or attending as an individual, I’m reliably informed this will be one of the best ever retra conferences held so far, and extremely beneficial to our business.

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