Show lands its 14th consecutive year of growth at Ricoh Arena

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One of the first trade shows to grace Coventry’s Ricoh Arena has celebrated its 14th consecutive year of growth at the venue – and has signed up for a further two years.

The National Painting and Decorating Show has exhibited at Ricoh Arena’s Ericsson Indoor Arena since its opening year of exhibitions in 2006 – and has stayed put ever since – growing its exhibitor and visitor attendance by around 10 per cent each year.

Event organiser, Terry Dullaway, told Event Industry News: “The event began life as an offshoot of the decorating industry’s principal trade magazine, Professional Painter and Decorator. Staged initially at Edgbaston Cricket Ground (1995) with only 30 shell scheme exhibitors, it relocated to Donington Park, then Sandown Racecourse and in 2007 to Ricoh Arena where this year it hosted 110 participants and occupied almost all of the available 6,000 square metres.

“The number of visitors has grown from 500 to 3,500 in that period. Still a small show by most standards, it is nevertheless a national niche event that is fully representative of the UK’s painting and decorating sector.”

The show also attracts more than 100 exhibitors from all over the world, including America and Europe.

Dullaway added: “Ricoh Arena is our dream venue as it’s allowed us to grow at a steady and sensible pace.

“As a growing show, what you don’t want is a big rise in exhibitors but a small increase in visitors – you want them to grow in tandem to create a busy and varied show – and that’s why we have stayed put for as long as we have done.

“Maintaining a sensible balance between the volume of exhibitors and attendees to ensure that both are happy is the goal of all organisers. Over the years we have managed to achieve a small but steady growth in both areas, maintaining a dynamic that ensures value for money for exhibitors and a worthwhile day off site for professional attendees.

“We are signed up for another two years at Ricoh Arena, and judging by the event feedback we’ve had, we are all set for more growth in the future.”

Caroline Lissaman, head of event management at Ricoh Arena, added: “This show is a feather in the venue’s cap as it demonstrates Ricoh Arena as an events incubator that helps events to develop and grow over a long period, in addition to the larger conferences, exhibitions and live entertainment that it hosts.

“Our ability to customise 6,000 square metres of indoor event space, combined with our central UK location and on-site amenities makes us stand out from the crowd for trade events such as The National Painting and Decorating Show.

“Hosting a show for 14 years is no mean feat. We’re proud to have helped The National Painting and Decorating Show to occupy all of the Ericsson Indoor Arena – and there is further potential for us to grow the show even further in Coventry.”

Molly Hookings
Author: Molly Hookings

Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: