Design Show Liverpool has come under fire for inadequate organisation which led to a last-minute venue change.
An irate exhibitor at last month’s show is demanding her money back, claiming that she was ‘misled and drawn into a totally disorganised event’.
The show is refusing to refund glassware designer Clare Henshaw’s £700 stand fee, as she had demanded in her letter of complaint to Design Initiative, which devised the exhibition, co-organising it with Momentous Events.
The venue was changed five weeks before the event opened, from the crypt of Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral to the new Contemporary Urban Centre.
Henshaw complains that exhibitors were not consulted on the change, which was made after their deposits had been collected. ‘I regard this as a breach of contract,’ she adds.
‘We didn’t consult the exhibitors, although consulted our funders and key sponsors,’ says DI development director Sarah Elderkin. ‘We were so excited about the new venue that it didn’t occur to us that people wouldn’t be positive about it. No exhibitor asked to withdraw, but if they had I see no reason why we shouldn’t have reimbursed them their deposits.’
Henshaw was disappointed by the standard of some of the exhibitors at the event, which she claims were drafted in following the venue change and may not have been subjected to a full selection process. DI denies that there were last-minute additional entries.