I’ve had a long association with the Ideal Home Show both as a home interest journalist and as a PR professional with clients exhibiting. In its heyday, the exhibition was a legend and in the early 90s, when I was editor of Perfect Home (then owned by DMG), we even had our own stand. I’m not alone in believing that, in the face of competition from other shows, the influence of this old timer had declined and with it the quality of the stands and overall attraction of the event.
I attended this year’s show with a friend as a true visitor and was very pleased to see that, under its new ownership of Media 10, it had regained much of its sparkle. The village of houses was back, the central pond with ‘gin palace’ boat had made a reappearance, and the well-loved gadget marketplace on the first floor was reinstated. There were some nice new touches, too, including the celebrity chef theatre and the Home of the Future. Unique Automation’s bathomatic was a feature of this, as was their bathovision and they’ll be seen again as this element of the show is recreated at Grand Designs Live in May.