Thousands flock to Homes and Lifestyle extravaganza

THE SECOND ETC Gardens, Homes and Lifestyle show took place at the Brighton Centre at the weekend (March 10-11).

The show was jointly organised by JP South Events and Johnston Press Events & Exhibitions – and sponsored by Brewers.

From a modest launch in 2011 that was badly affected by the hot Easter weather, the organisers have announced that the number of visitors doubled to nearly 8,000.

Many of those who visited the show were entertained by Joe Swift (presenter of BBC Gardener’s World and the Chelsea Flower Show), local Sussex man Oliver Heath (star of various BBC TV home based shows) and celebrity chefs Lesley Waters and Paul Da Costa Greaves.

The main hall of the show, which attracted more than 100 exhibitors from around the UK, was transformed with a number of companies deciding to construct their own purpose built displays and stands.

This included a pagoda, a Thai beach decked structure and large swimming pool amongst others, plus a show garden from Stone Cross Nurseries.

The Food Hall, a new innovation for 2012, was constantly busy on both days with many exhibitors running short of stock with bread, cakes, cheese and sausages in big demand.

Dianne Gill, events & sponsorship manager for JP South Events said, “The visitor numbers exceeded our expectations. We were constantly busy at the front of house.

“Lead sponsor, Brewers, were so impressed that they confirmed their plans to sponsor 2013 on the Sunday afternoon. Other exhibitors reported brisk business too.”

Mike Schwarz, from JP Events & Exhibitions, said, “This was a great example of two teams working together to deliver a great show.

“The Brighton Centre presents some challenges due to its small loading area and there are things we need to think about going forward and work on.

“But we are committed to the venue and this event. Plans for next year are already under way.”