In one of the first shots across the bows, SOLTEX/Spring COLA organiser Mike Jardine has complained that the BicycleBusiness show newspaper unfairly criticised his G-Mex Manchester show.
His faxed letter is printed here and below is the BikeBiz reply:
Picked up a copy of Tuesdays BicycleBusiness at the Cycle and Leisure Show and a quote from one of the exhibitors caught my eye.
Richard Staton of Ronhill alledgedly said: We were really busy on Sunday, especially compared to SOLTEX, which was dead.
For your information 1. Ronhill were exhibiting at SpringCOLA not SOLTEX and 2. most exhibitors, especially those within SOLTEX had a great show with a very high level of orders by value.
Perhaps you should have asked some of the other exhibitors at both shows, who did have an excellent SOLTEX?
It is inevitable that any exhibition publication will be selective in the quotes that it uses and equally inevitable that some exhibitors will have poor shows and others will do well. I can assure you that the view of Ronhill is not representative of SOLTEX exhibitors so it is a pity that the only reference to our show is so negative.
Carlton Reid replies:
The negative view expressed by Richard Staton was not the only one we had at the time. The journalist who wrote the piece was given a number of other similar quotes and she herself had been at SOLTEX/SpringCOLA for the duration of the show.
But its quality not quantity. If an exhibitor at any show influences the 50 key buyers they wanted to see, its irrelevent whether there were 10 000 visitors or just 500. I have it on good authority that SOLTEX/SpringCOLA attracted a very high quality audience but that visitor numbers appeared to be down from last year.
The BicycleBusiness show newspaper was produced independently of the organisers of the Cycle and Leisure show so we had no axe to grind with SOLTEX/SpringCOLA. We didnt go out of our way to knock SOLTEX/SpringCOLA, the show was dead comment was unprompted.
Clearly, if show organiser David Hyde gets his Al Fresco outdoor leisure show off the ground (hes got a mountain to climb), some exhibitors who would normally go to SOLTEX/SpringCOLA may be attracted to a bicycle-and-outdoors show.
Interesting times lie ahead.