NMBS Exhibition sees a record number of supplier and merchant interactions

 19 Apr 2024

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Over 15,000 interactions were made between the 280 exhibitors and 1,080 visitors at the NMBS Exhibition, which is the highest number in exhibition history.

Last year’s event saw similar numbers of visitors through the Coventry Building Society Arena doors, but these increased interaction figures show the continued importance that independent merchants are placing on their relationships with suppliers by coming to meet them face-to-face.

Chris Hayward, chief executive officer at NMBS, said: “This year we have launched a year-long campaign to promote the importance of independent builder’s merchants and the exhibition has helped reinforce the key role they play within the construction industry.

“It is shaping up to be another uncertain year, so it is vital to support businesses at this local level. Merchants and suppliers have been able to develop their professional relationships, so they can continue to remain competitive and produce even better customer service and efficiencies in all working practices.”

The NMBS Exhibition provides the opportunity for independent merchants to come together to take advantage of deals and network with suppliers. The 2024 exhibition saw a record 150 spot buy deals across the two days, as well as prize draws and giveaways.

Attendees were able to take part in a range of activities at suppliers stands, including getting a portrait from a caricature artist, being wowed by a magician, playing space invaders, Pac-Man and Whac-a-Mole, and even trying to throw ducks into a toilet.

Andy Fletcher, national account director for Saint-Gobain Interior Solutions, explained: “NMBS is brilliant because we get to see lots of people without having to drive the length and breadth of the country – it’s an efficient couple of days. It’s always a good event that is always well attended.”

James Bugden, sales development manager at Velux said: “The main benefit of attending the Exhibition is that this is the opportunity to see so many customers in one place. There is a real difference in the way NMBS members engage with you on the stand, merchants are always happy to interact with the NMBS suppliers, rather than just walking around. NMBS does a great job advertising the event and getting people to come, so we are never just standing here waiting for people to come to the stand.”

Wayne Angelo, head of sales at Sika commented: “The NMBS Exhibition allows us to drive sales and hit our target areas. The NMBS Exhibition allows us to chat with our customers and learn from them what they need in the industry and what they want from us.”

After the first day of the NMBS Exhibition, the organisation’s Gala Dinner took place, which was hosted by ring announcer Kody R Mommaerts, more commonly known as ‘Big Mo’, and included a surprise appearance from I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here runner-up and professional boxer, Tony Bellew. Tony took the audience on a journey of his life and career. His humbling, honest and humorous telling received a standing ovation, the first in Gala Dinner history.

On the night, £5,000 was raised for construction charity Crash and the Rainy Day Trust, which supports those who have worked in the home improvement and enhancement industry and are experiencing difficulties and apprentices entering the sector. Matt Clements from Stressline won an Apple iPad Pro at the donation prize draw at the end of the evening.

For more information about NMBS, or to become a supplier or member, visit:

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