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BETA International ended its first year at the NAEC, Stoneleigh on a high with organisers saying they were ‘delighted at the smooth running of the inaugural event and excellent trade carried out over the three days at the much-applauded new venue’.
Hundreds of new products – many unveiled for the first time – took the limelight, enjoying a centre-stage position and providing a powerful attraction for retailers keen to source new stock and gather ideas and inspiration.
On the Thursday evening, the after-show drinks proved hugely popular, with industry colleagues and friends gathered to celebrate a first day of business with the show’s organising team over glasses of bubbly.
Many of the brightest and best were highlighted in the Shires Equestrian New Product Gallery, which once again drew plenty of visitors to take a look.
The NAF-sponsored Gin & Fizz Bar was the place to catch up with colleagues and business associates while main sponsor Neue Schule had a busy stand throughout the show.
The consensus among exhibitors was that visitors were serious buyers who wanted to do business and be educated about products across the sectors.
Jan Foster, of Grub’s Boots, said: “We had a very good show; everyone who came to talk to us were quality enquiries and it was great to see so many old friends after so long. The industry needs BETA International and it is important to support it.”
Lisa LeMieux, of LeMieux, added: “We were busy all the time and to be back after so long
was just brilliant. BETA International provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase our new products and collections and winning the Innovation Award and enjoying the drinks party were the icing on the cake.”
At Shaws Equestrian, Monty Stuart-Monteith said: “The first day was excellent, very, very busy, and we had a steady stream throughout. The show really has exceeded our expectations.”
Safraz Mian, of main sponsor Neue Schule, said: “We have had a really wonderful couple of days and it is really important we had a start point for the event. It is wonderful to be the first show back and we are hoping it will be the springboard for businesses for the future and we are already looking forward to the show next year.”
Chairman of Shires Equestrian Malcolm Ainge added: “The first day was extremely busy, busier than in other years and the venue is excellent. I have not heard one complaint and it really suits the trade.”
And Linda Porter ,of NAF, said: “Without doubt the venue is an excellent choice and we are looking forward to next year when the show will become an established date in the calendar.”
Retailers were also very much in favour of the new venue and delighted to get the show on the road again.
James Macgregor, of Stockley Outdoor and Equestrian, said: “It has been very worthwhile coming to BETA International. We have generated a lot of leads and prospects that we can develop.”
Liam Payne, of LP Equestrian, near Wolverhampton, said: “I always come to BETA International and the location of Stoneleigh is superb. There is so much to look at and as ever we have made new contacts and relationships that we can build on.”
And Georgina Chapman, of Rimell Saddlers, in Shipston in Stour, added: “I have been here all three days and it has been great to see so many people. The layout is very spacious and it is good to see major brands as well as the smaller ones just starting out in the industry.”
This year the Seminar Theatre played host to a series of interesting talks and lectures covering a range of topics from advances in saddle fitting, to go-to bitting techniques, social media advances, safety equipment updates, riding helmet and body protector measuring, worming advice, caring for the veteran horse and retail merchandising.
Show organiser Claire Thomas said: “BETA International 2021 was a great success at the new venue and we were delighted to get such positive feedback from both exhibitors and visitors.
“We are very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead to develop Stoneleigh further and will be unveiling our future plans very soon.”