REVIEW: The Glamping Show

It just keeps getting bigger; the 2017 event was a vibrant, fun and truly international affair.

2017 was the third year of the Glamping Show, and the three day event has become a truly international affair. With visitors flying in from as far afield as New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, the show has doubled in size since its inception in 2015.

Over 100 exhibitors showcased everything from structures to accessories and services, and despite the rain, well over 1,000 visitors attended the first day alone.

In addition to the increased size of the show, the organisers unveiled three new visitor innovations this year; Meet the Experts, Top and Tail Workshops, and Design and Styling Demonstrations.

Meet the Experts, sponsored by Success Matters, hosted 15 sector experts who conducted one-to-one meetings with visitors seeking insight into a particular business challenge. A range of topics was covered, from social media and marketing, through business planning and setting up a glamping site, to insurance and planning. Visitor feedback was exceptional with attendees reporting the meetings added significant value to their visit and injected another level to the show.

Also new to the Glamping Show this year were the top and tail workshops hosted by consultant Kate Morel, and aimed at new business owners who were looking to get the most out of their trip to the show. For the first hour of the show Kate helped 20 delegates to identify what their business objectives were and then set an itinerary for the day, providing a debrief session to consolidate learnings. Again, these workshops were very well received, giving delegates a real focus for their visit.

Saturday saw yet another new feature to the show when Nikkita Palmer Designs ran a series of design and styling demonstrations throughout the day. For those visitors who were looking to enhance or put the finishing touches to their glamping offering, Nikkita provided some exceptional insight into how to create stylish interior themes.

Seminars
The seminar programme, which presented a wide variety of topics that applied to both new and established glamping operators, was as popular as ever. The new floor layout made them much more accessible and they integrated well into the other show offerings.

TV presenter and ‘upcycler’ Max McMurdo, of Find it, Fix it, Flog it and Shed of the Year fame, was once again in attendance, presenting seminars over two days on upcycled design and how to make the most of small spaces. On walking around the show in between times he marvelled at how it had grown in breadth and diversity as well as size compared with what was on offer last year.

Max commented: “I got to the end of the first day at the Glamping Show and I was shattered. It’s twice as big as last year and nobody told me! I spoke to so many exhibitors and picked up leaflets on everything from solar panels and battery packs to yurts, tents and wooden structures. This show is awesome!”

Next year’s event will take place on the 20-22 September 2018. www.theglampingshow.com

OAB’s Top Picks

Firepits UK
Firepits UK presented its British made range of firepits and BBQ accessories. Manufactured from 3/5mm thick steel, these designs provide a sturdy, robust product, perfect for outdoor warmth and cooking. It also has a range of accessories including grills, popcorn pans and marshmallow forks. www.firepitsuk.co.uk

Coir Store
Coir Store imports 100% natural, eco-friendly coir matting direct from the manufacturer. Ideal for bell tents, yurts and tipis as well as for marquees, wedding aisles and lawn protection. Constructed from 100% unbleached, natural coir yarns, each mat is hemmed and machine stitched. It’s not called the Golden Fibre for nothing! www.coirstore.co.uk

SolaPod
We love the SolaPod from the Green Cabin Company. This neat little pod houses a double bed and bunk, and comes flat packed. It has excellent sustainability credentials,
featuring a green roof to virtually eliminate the need for drainage, solar panels for power and high levels of insulation for year round use. www.greencabincompany.co.uk

Etosha
This huge 10 berth tent from Boldscan is considered the largest single storey canvas lodge available in Europe with 90m2 internal living space. There are options for en-suite bathrooms and 3+ bedrooms sleeping six to 10. Available in muted colours or cool white, all tents are manufactured in Somerset. www.boldscan.co.uk

CLA
The OAB stand was opposite the CLA Theatre and we benefited from being in ear shot of all the seminars given by the expert team. The association really is a mine of knowledge regarding grants and funding, planning matters and management of land and property assets. Membership is well worth it in our opinion.
www.cla.org.uk

The Septic Tank Store
With many years’ experience, this UK based, family firm offers a wealth of knowledge in planning, supplying and installing sewage systems. It uses the latest eco friendly products where possible and has solutions for projects of all scales. We also love the new mascots, Pinkie and Stinkie! www.theseptictankstore.co.uk

Niche Brands