Preparations for the next January Furniture Show begin almost as soon as the last one ends, says Tom Hughes, director at world-class furniture supplier Kesterport, which will again show from Hall 1 at the forthcoming edition of the NEC event (January 20–23, 2020).
Privately-owned and run, Kesterport has its headquarters, showrooms and 30,000sqft distribution centre at Chertsey, Surrey and is now "42 years young," says Mr Hughes. The company’s ethos and core vision have remained unchanged throughout that period, he adds.
"We are design led, value orientated and service driven. Our objective is to seek out new trends, materials, means of production and combine them with contemporary designs to bring our customers the very best the world has to offer."
This combination of attributes has enabled Kesterport to build a wide-ranging customer base spanning both the retail and contract sectors, ranging from groups and independents through to interiors designers, architects and commercial end users.
"Whilst our client base and their general requirements vary greatly — all are looking for well executed design, best value and a product that will give many years of good service," says Mr Hughes.
Which makes the January Furniture Show, with its broad church of visitors encompassing the key decision makers across the furniture spectrum, such a key draw.
"The strength and depth is unrivalled," says Mr Hughes of the Birmingham exhibition.
"The ability to see both new and old under one roof over the course of the week makes the January Furniture Show a firm fixture in our calendar."
While first and foremost it is about orders, he adds that exhibiting at the show brings many other benefits, such as exposing the brand “to people within sectors of the industry we might not get to meet in our everyday, but whom our offer has a relevance to."
Its importance means preparations begin "up to 12 months before," he says.
"Initial designs are developed with rapid prototyping to ensure we stay at the forefront of current trends. From here we look at every construction detail, literally the nuts and bolts and amend as required; until we are satisfied it can meet the highest quality standards whilst maintaining a competitive price point.
"By the time the final item arrives on the stand it may well have gone through a number of iterations, but we can be confident it is ready for market."
And that final item might just be the next big thing to hit the industry. As Mr Hughes says: “Come and see it on the Kesterport stand in January!”