When Cabinet Maker attended the Autumn Long Point Show, it was the day the High Court was due to rule on whether or not the Government had acted illegally on the Brexit-related (or not) proroguing of Parliament.
A grey day of uncertainty, with rain lashing down, people in Long Eaton were dashing about, brollies and coats in action on an Autumnal day.
But, stepping inside the premises of those taking part in Long Point, and the focus was firmly on doing business.
A tell-tale sign of how busy it was came in the car park at Harrington Mills — there was hardly a space left. Furthermore, as you made your way around the various showrooms, meetings were being held. Paperwork was out. Deals and further meetings were being set up. Conversations were taking place.
The welcoming reception was a place to collect a map and set about on a tour of several of the businesses.
Long Point, organised by The Long Eaton Guild, is an opportunity to work together as a community of furniture-related businesses (some in competition with each other) to promote the area’s unrivalled expertise in furniture making.
From talking to different businesses, this ethos was evident. People in the industry are rightly proud of what the area has achieved, and plans to continue to achieve.
But businesses were there also to do business and build relationships with existing customers and potential new ones, and to showcase their products.
So, how did they get on?
Gascoigne Designs had their best ever Long Point Exhibition. David Gascoigne told Cabinet Maker: “It really was the best for Gascoigne Designs, and amazingly we have continued the interest over the following weeks to gain many more additional orders — and hopefully I’m not finished at this point.
“I’m still awaiting several orders but significantly they could be two of the largest single orders taken. Whilst I know they are after Long Point, they are orders with their interest placed during the show.”
And he added: “The exhibition has provided so much and I hope to continue the success into January on the back of what we have already achieved. The interest has been amazing and I am confident of this continuing into the January Furniture Show.
“We continue to work extensively to achieve and this appears to have been noticed. I’m really excited and looking forward to a rewarding 2020, where I feel we can potentially double our turnover, analysing over several areas of the business.”
It was also a special Long Point for Hunter Knight, formerly The David Knight Collection.
The company told Cabinet Maker: “This Long Point was a very special show for us as we used it to launch our change of name and formally welcome Ben Hunter, who has joined us as a new director.
“We are very excited for the next phase of our development as a company.
“To this end, we showed some new, bespoke pieces, which generated a large amount of interest from our visitors, and we look forward to developing some new projects arising from this.”
And they added: “A successful show was rounded off by one of our existing customers winning the (Long Point prize)stay at the Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.”
Award-winning bedroom manufacturer Wiemann also reported a successful few days at the Autumn Long Point exhibition.
Wiemann’s permanent showroom on the first floor had a display of its collections, ranging from entry level to top-quality VIP and semi-solid wood.
Simon Hewitt, managing director of Wiemann’s UK agent, Litmus Furniture, reported: “We had an excellent Autumn Long Point. The show was very busy with a great number of interested buyers.
“We had a number of enquiries for both our Loft and Berlin (slider) ranges in on-trend pebble grey. Monaco also proved to be a popular option for many retailers.”
Iain James Furniture showcased several new pieces of Rosewood, including a striking new Credenza with Ebony inlays at this year’s event, alongside well-established Burr Walnut collections.
Passionate about bringing their creative vision to life, G Plan was delighted to exhibit at Long Point, in tandem with their Baslow show this year.
Continuing their design innovation, three new models each offer the perfect blend of style and function. The contemporary lines of Seattle are complemented by contrast top-stitched leather and USB charging options, while the indulgent comfort of Hatton offers a unique combination of power footrest with a choice of cushion or pillow-back.
Complementing the range, the stylish Flint accent chair is available in a wide range of beautiful fabrics and an optional swivel base, with power footrest for the ultimate in relaxation.
Westbridge Furniture Designs said Long Point is “always a great opportunity to spend a little extra time with customers, reviewing new and existing models in the beautiful surroundings of Harrington Mill.”
Westbridge told us: “This year we had great success with the new Solace model, a voluptuous, grand scale corner group. A Long Point special fabric and price teamed with incredible comfort made it hard to resist. It’s all about vibrant colours and the multi-coloured swatch doesn’t disappoint.
“We are now gearing up for a fantastic NEC show with some exciting new launches, and our order book is still open for pre-Christmas orders, so it’s all go go go at Westbridge.”
Andrew Mitchell, of Artistic Upholstery, and also chairman of The Long Eaton Guild, commented: “Visitors to Long Point was brisk, with many exhibitors reporting exceptional orders. As expected, the exhibition attracted high-end buyers from across the UK, and plans are in place to extend the range on offer at future events.”
He also said that he was pleased to announce that Parker Knoll, Collins and Hayes, and Siren Furniture had now joined the guild as Associate Members.
At the dinner for the event, the winner of the Long Point prize (for overnight accommodation and dinner at Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons Hotel and Restaurant) was Sue Calvert, of Calverts Furniture, of Taunton and Penzance.
The lucky dip was drawn by Maggie Throup MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group.