With the sheer number of events that take place every year in the KBB calendar, it’s easy to stretch yourself too thin trying to attend every big exhibition that might be relevant for you or your brand.
Whether you’re scoping out the most relevant shows for your business to attend, or trying to get a sneak peek at what your competition is up to, we’ve curated a list of this year's top shows to mark on your calendar.
From surfaces and appliances to bathroom design and water management, these are the trade exhibitions taking place in 2020 – both here in the UK and abroad – that deserve your attention.
Surface design show
When: 11-13 February 2020
Where: Business Design Centre, London
With more than 180 businesses coming together to exhibit the latest in surfaces and materials, the Surface Design Show promises to provide a plethora of inspiration to architects and designers.
Last year’s show saw more than 5,000 professional and trade visitors attend to view the latest internal and external surfaces and architectural lighting. According to the organiser, 80% of the show’s visitors work in the A+D sector, with 66% noting that they attend the event to discover new trends and 63% suggesting that they attend the show to source new products.
The Surface Design Awards is held in conjunction with the show, taking place on the last day of the event. Categories include Sustainable Interior, Housing Interior and Light & Surface Interior.
This year will also see 30 presentations from 50 speakers across the architecture and design industry, plus 'Surface Spotlight Live' - an area of innovative and tactile materials around two themes 'Close to Home' and 'Materials Live.'
Exhibitors include kitchen worktop manufacturer Nerostein, timber and panel distributor James Latham, Italian porcelain floor and wall tile company Porcelain Tiles, Spanish tile manufacturer Tile of Spain, bespoke wood flooring firm Reeve Wood, natural wood veneer manufacturer Mundy Veneer and specialist tile manufacturer H&E Smith.
London Design Festival
When: 12-20 September 2020
Where: Locations across London
Now in its 18th year, London Design Festival aims to bring together professionals from all corners of the country to explore the city’s offering in design. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has praised the event, saying it “demonstrates the capital’s position as a powerhouse for the creative industries”.
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Showrooms across the city open their doors during the week, holding special events and exhibitions. In 2019, the festival welcomed an incredible and chart-topping 600,000 individual visitors from over 75 countries.
LDF is made up of dozens of trade shows and events split into several districts, including Marylebone, Shoreditch, Clerkenwell, Mayfair and Regent Street, with hundreds of companies taking part in the week-long celebration of design in the capital.
When: 4-9 September 2020
Where: Messe Berlin – Berlin ExpoCenter City, Germany
Last year, consumer electronics fair IFA had exactly 238,721 trade visitors and 1939 exhibitors, showcasing more digital lifestyle products in one place than any other show worldwide.
Visitors from more than 100 countries flock to Berlin to attend the annual event, which presents the latest technology in household appliances both large and small, lifestyle and wellness, smart home, heating and wearables.
At the event, visitors are able see a whole range of products and solutions related to one theme in a single hall or in several adjacent halls - in Hall 26, researchers, industry professionals, start-ups and retailers can meet to present innovation and technologies, share visions and ideas and drive new developments.
Hall 25 is dedicated to the latest innovations in Smart Home technology and last year, more than 70 international companies presented their innovative home solutions in a 13,000 square foot exhibition area.
The 2020 exhibitor list is yet to be confirmed, but last year saw the likes of Miele, Sharp Home Appliances, Samsung, Siemens, Gorenje, Swan, Beko and its owner Arcelik, Bosch, AEG, Amica and Candy Hoover – which was last year acquired by Haier Group – among the exhibitors who headed to showcase their products at IFA last September.
Sleep + Eat
When: 17-18 November 2020
Where: Olympia London
A firm fixture on the calendar for hospitality and hotel design, Sleep + Eat is the leading design and innovation event for the hospitality sector.
Organiser UBM describes the show as a “conceptual playground for the hoteliers, restaurateurs and designers behind Europe’s leading hospitality projects,” as it allows visitors to see hospitality design in all its forms, with an edited exhibition of concepts, products and trends from Europe’s leading brands.
The show holds an annual Sleep Sets challenge for designers, the theme of which differs every year. There's also a conference in which global leaders from across the sector share ideas and analysis about the sector - the 2020 programme is yet to be set but you can view the 2019 adgenda here.
A list of exhibitors for this year’s event hasn’t yet been released, but regular fixtures at the show usually include Perrin & Rowe, Roman, Roca, Vitra, Grohe – the show’s founder sponsor – and Laufen.
When: 1-4 March
Where: NEC, Birmingham
KBB Birmingham is Europe's leading kitchen, bedroom and bathroom design show. The dedicated KBB event sees around 15,000 retailers, designers, installers and developers gather under one roof every two years, with product launches from over 400 exhibitors - Blum, Trade Mouldings & Masterclass Kitchens included - plus the chance to view the latest in kbb design and innovation.
KBB's 2020 show will also see the Innovation Awards return to KBB Birmingham. At these awards, companies can put their inventions forward for consideration by an expert panel, and the 10 short-listed products will be displayed in a showcase at the event. According to the organisers, entries can range from products and components to manufacturing techniques that are breaking boundaries and sculpting the future of the market - there'll also be a People's Choice award that's announced on the third day.
This year, KBB Birmingham is also set to collaborate with The Used Kitchen Company, a platform for selling used and ex-display kitchens from showrooms to homeowners. TUKC will collaborate with the event organisers in order to encourage a more sustainable event and help exhibitors to sell their displays ahead of the show, so that waste is kept to a minimum.
The extensive kbb Birmingham exhibitor list includes names like Abode, Caesarstone, Blanco and Blum UK, plus many, many more.