Exhibitors at last week’s Design Show have expressed mixed reactions to the event at the Business Design Centre, claiming it failed to reflect the current buoyancy of the industry.
Among the leading designers to express their disappointment was Blackburn’s managing director John Blackburn.
“It was a bit dull. The major flaw was the 2010 Design Challenge and its positioning. It wasn’t terribly clear and certain people didn’t distinguish it from the paid-for exhibits,” he maintains.
“One or two stands were interesting but the rest were hard to distinguish from each other. Clients are not really interested in going to design shows and you just get your peers wandering around. We won’t be having a stand next year.”
Another exhibitor describes the three-day event as “a bit disappointing. There were not enough big designers or quality people around.”
Elmwood managing director Jonathan Sands, a supporter of the show since its conception in 1996, adds: “It was a shame that it seemed to lack any real gravitas.”
Creative Action managing director Ian Silverstein was more positive about the show, though he had reservations. “In general, it was very good. The quality of client was very good, but there were not enough of them. The atmosphere lacked buzz for an industry that is supposed to be buzzing.”
Skidmore Turnbull creative director Treve Ripley agreed that there were “issues to be addressed”, but says the London consultancy “had a great time. There was lots of interest in our stand. The 2010 exhibits were interesting but didn’t add anything to the show”.
Centaur exhibition director Ron Cordiero, who organised the event, was unavailable for comment.