The Design Show is more than a trade fair

I would take issue with a number of the opinions expressed by Bridgid McMullen and Martin Devlin (Letters, DW 28 November). Of exhibitors who completed a questionnaire, 93 per cent said they were very satisfied or satisfied that the Design Show had met their objectives and 87 per cent were happy with the quality of visitors (33 exhibitors completed the questionnaire out of a total of 75).

The Design Show was heavily marketed, which meant visitor numbers rose 32 per cent from 3280 last year to 4322. From the visitor data 65 per cent had client job titles, a proportion of clients to other designers and students that was remarkably constant with the 1996 event. Satisfaction with that event resulted in 70 per cent of exhibitors re-booking.

There was a mechanism for visitors to express their views and 205 visitors returned detailed questionnaires. This revealed, among other things, that 91 per cent of respondents felt the show had met their objectives and 88 per cent planned to return in 1998. All of this points to an event that was an outstanding success and far from one in danger of becoming “an average trade fair”.

Another point raised was that delegates grumbled about the quality of seminars. Yet the visitor survey revealed that 72 per cent of visitors rated the seminars they attended as good or excellent.

I am not saying that the Design Show is perfect or above criticism, but the facts suggest we are on the right lines.

McMullen and Devlin are correct in saying that there are few outlets for design to demonstrate its expertise. We are working to improve the show as one of the major ones and welcome any comments that work towards that.

Ron Cordeiro

Exhibition director

The Design Show

London W1V

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