‘Selling show’ fails to attract

Last week’s first European Designer show in Maastricht has come under fire from UK participants “disappointed” by low attendance figures. But the organiser vows to continue with a similar event in 1997, claiming that what the show lacked in visitor numbers it gained in quality.

Some 30 000 visitors were anticipated by organiser MECC for the show – claimed to be the first pan-European “selling” show for designers. But it only attracted 3500 visitors – two thirds of whom were major design buyers, says MECC spokesman Albert Koch.

UK exhibitor Adam Rawls of Adam Rawls Associates refutes this, saying the quality of visitors was “very low. On this performance, we wouldn’t go again”.

Rawls’ views are echoed by Maxine Horn of the British Design Initiative, which took an umbrella stand for several UK groups. “The organisers failed in attracting the business community,” she says.

Random Product Design was one of the few British exhibitors with good reports of the event. A spokeswoman says 40 key contacts were made with potential clients throughout Europe, with two each from the US and the Far East. Six of these are expected to yield work.

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