It was with some trepidation that the Carron Bathrooms team made their way to the NEC in Birmingham at the beginning of March, for the bi-annual KBB Exhibition. Our first visit as an exhibitor two years previously had come with the added challenge of “The Beast from the East”, although all turned out well and the show proved a real success for Carron.
Two years on, and with exhibitors cancelling due to the Coronavirus spreading from China, we were understandably concerned whether all our efforts would be in vain.
The organisers had worked hard to deal with the challenges presented by the virus, and although some exhibitors had called off at the last minute, we were delighted to see that the Bathrooms hall was relatively full, apart from the odd strategically placed “pop-up bar”!
Fortunately, our set build went well, with only a few minor last-minute panics, as is usual. Opening Sunday is a traditionally busy day with Independent Retailers, and we were delighted to welcome many friendly, familiar faces to our stand.
We weren’t the biggest stand in the hall, but our quirky, colourful space was certainly different. Visitors were attracted as much by our roomset “pods” as by our constant supply of Irn Bru and Tunnocks Teacakes!
There was a huge interest in the launch of our matt White acrylic, which we showed in the form of our popular Profile Duo model. Somehow the matt finish accentuated, even more, the elegant lines of this modern, sleek, narrow rimmed bath. The tactile qualities of the matt acrylic were evident, as visitors enthused over the warm, almost “soft” feeling of the new material.
Outwith our own little Carron bubble, each member of the team had time to enjoy a wander through the halls. The main impression was that colour is back in the bathroom! From all manner of neutral greys, beiges and black, to the more flamboyant powder pink, colour was everywhere.
There was a huge range of black and metallic taps, which will coordinate perfectly with our new black matt Integra handgrips. A colour trend that was seen not only in bathrooms and accessories but also in kitchens and bathrooms, too. We also got in on the act with our centrepiece Celsius Freestanding bath in the Pantone 2020 Colour of the Year “……… Blue”, which going by the number of photographs taken, was of huge interest.
As one of the few bathtub only exhibitors at the show, we were excited to launch the third issue of our Carron Bathrooms & Interiors magazine – The Wellness Issue. Bathing is becoming increasingly important as a form of relaxation and stress relief, and our spacious Clipper modern corner bath, fitted with a state of the art C-Lenda Whirlpool system proved a huge draw at the show.
Although the show, particularly the bathroom section, was perhaps smaller than we had expected due to the impact of the emerging Coronavirus scare, we definitely rate it as a success for Carron and the industry as a whole. There is no better way to reach the professionals who sell and fit our products than face to face, and KBB allows us to engage with, and most of all listen to, Carron customers at the front line.
At Carron, we are in no doubt the industry will bounce back and we are looking forward to exhibiting again in 2022.