Alice Moore reports on the Glamping Show, where the weather put structures to the test.
The exhibitors at the three day Glamping Show in September welcomed the inclement weather with gusto as it meant they could really showcase how well their structures stood up to Britain’s variable climate.
“The weather we have had these last few days has suited us enormously,” said Universal Glamping’s Rex Dovey. “The high winds and rain, especially on the first day, showed just how strong our structures are and we were also able to showcase our new innovative heating system, which warmed up many visitors.”
Much like the sector it represents, the show is evolving and welcomed thousands of visitors from all corners of the UK and overseas over three days. Attendees had the opportunity to experience a wide variety of glamping structures and investigate accessories and services to the industry including planning, financing and insurance.
The show stepped up on delivering knowledge with the introduction of a number of short intensive courses educating visitors on specific areas of running glamping sites. This was in addition to the popular seminar programme and one to one ‘Meet the Experts’ opportunities.
Chris Pike of social media management company HeyBurt was one of the specialists that took part in these sessions. “We were busy from the moment the doors opened on both Thursday and Friday. I talked to a huge range of people, from those who have barely even thought about their potential glamping site to those who are well established business owners. It was great to see such a diverse group of visitors attending the show.”
Jess Holliday, of Yurts For Life, has seen a huge shift in the last three years in how knowledgeable visitors have become. “What we have noticed is there has been a massive evolution in the glamping market in recent years,” she said. “In the three years we have been exhibiting we have seen visitors, who were just at the planning stages of their business in year one, returning to the show knowing exactly what they want and with so much more knowledge about the industry.”
After four successful years of the Glamping Show, organisers Swan Events wanted to give something back. Teaming up with Kerry Roy of off-grid glampsite Camp Kátur, they have launched GlampAid, a new industry charity that will help those made homeless by conflict and disaster by fundraising and donating surplus stock from glamping suppliers. Long-time supporter of the Glamping Show, TV presenter, author and upcycler, Max McMurdo, has been welcomed as its ambassador.
SAVE THE DATE: Next year’s Glamping Show will be on 19-21 September at the NAEC, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.
OAB’S TOP PICKS
The Saniflo roadshow van was present for the second successive year, showcasing the range of pumps and macerators designed to help site owners install extra facilities even if mains drainage isn’t an option. The team also presented the Kinedo self contained cubicle range, renowned for its quick and easy installation – as used by pod manufacturers Universal Glamping and Modular Leisure Buildings in their glamping structures. www.saniflo.co.uk / www.kinedo.co.uk
Portable Power Technology
As fans of the Portable Power Technology powerpacks for powering/charging all manner of things, we were keen to check out the larger ‘whole glampsite’ off-grid power solutions on offer. A one-stop-shop for these systems, these guys know their maths when it comes to solar panels, batteries and inverters. Just tell them what you need to power and they’ll put everything together.
Ask about the SIES fully integrated system too. It makes creating off-grid or solar hybrid systems easy and allows for monitoring via a tablet or PC; you can check the power collected/used, voltages of batteries and troubleshoot problems. www.portablepowertech.com
Bond showcased a fully equipped safari tent as a fitting tribute to 30 years of designing and manufacturing marquees and glamping structures in its Gloucestershire factory. Its safari tents are unique in the UK, constructed around a hidden box section steel frame for extra rigidity that has recently passed wind loading tests by structural engineers. It also offers a fully bespoke service for anything unique. Happy Birthday Bond! www.bondfabrications.co.uk
You couldn’t miss the new Glamping Barrel from CampPlus – one of the few structures inside the main hall. Hooked up to one of the company’s en-suite units, demonstrating their adaptability, the round profile gives a generosity of space, with a raised super king bed and plenty of storage (or a child’s den area) below, lots of seating and a large table.
We are delighted to hear that a deal has been done to supply two barrels to a site in Cornwall providing accommodation for the homeless in the off season. www.campplus.co.uk
We love contemporary design, and the new pod from Anthropods certainly ticks that box. The brainchild of Rik Currie, a Chartered Industrial Designer specialising in transport, these carriage shaped structures are available in 7.2m or 5.3m lengths and feature adjustable legs that can be altered to accommodate uneven ground. The pods can be relocated easily using integral lifting rings and a fork/tractor combination, and only need four 600mm concrete pads to sit on. Look out for a treehouse version coming soon. www.anthropods.co.uk
The Tipi & Bell Tent Hire Company / The Bell Tent Shop
If you need bell tents (any shape/size) or tipis, these guys do it all. From single units for hire or sale up to event glamping for 2,000 – as seen at Kendal Calling, Global Gathering and Countryfile Live. Customers include wedding and corporate event venues, festival organisers and, yes, the Royal Family. Set up 10 years ago in Warwickshire, the company has a stock of 500 tents for hire and a team of seven creating pop-up glampsites nationwide. It expanded into sales in 2015 opening The Bell Tent Shop – check out the ranges at www.thetipihirecompany.co.uk / www.thebelltentshop.co.uk
Riviera Hot Tubs
Known for its beautiful wooden hot tubs, BISHTA member Riviera designs and installs a range of tubs with operating systems to support both domestic and commercial use. Available as standard in five to seven foot in diameters (to seat up to eight), bespoke designs include larger and oval tubs. Riviera also offers advice on siting and is able to provide plans for recessed tubs. 2018 saw the company introduce the Riviera Holiday acrylic range. Finished in Western red cedar, these tubs have been designed to be ultra economical and perfect for the rental market. www.riviera-hottubs.co.uk