Just the FAQs – everything first-time visitors need to know about Sunday’s ETO Show

Posted: June 20, 2014

If you have never visited the ETO Show before please do come along this time. You will be very welcome. Here is everything you need to know about the event…

Q. What is the ETO Show?

A. It’s the UK’s only dedicated trade event for the pleasure products retail sector. All the UK’s major wholesalers will be exhibiting along with a wide variety of specialist suppliers from the UK and overseas. Expect to see everything from lingerie and costumes to sex toys sexual health products. The ETO Show is a strictly trade-only event and there is no charge for admittance.

Q. Where is it?

A. It’s held in The Pavilion, at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), a purpose-built exhibition complex in the Midlands at the heart of the UK motorway network.

Q. When is it?

A. The ETO Show takes place on Sunday 22nd and Monday 23rd of June 2014. The opening hours are 10.30am – 5.00pm on the Sunday and 10.30pm – 4.30pm on the Monday.

Q. Can I drive there?

A. Yes indeed. The NEC is easily accessible from the M6, M1, M40 and M42. The NEC is signposted on motorways and major roads and is marked on most good maps. If you need a map or more detailed directions please visit www.thenec.co.uk and click on ‘Visiting the NEC’. If you are using a satnav system enter the postcode B40 1NT. The entrance to the NEC is located on the roundabout you will encounter when you exit the M42 at Junction 6.

Q. Ah but can I park there?

A. Absolutely. The NEC has its own on-site car parking for 16,500 vehicles. The NEC does charge for this. Standard parking is £10 per day (£15 for mini buses though motorcycles are free). This includes a shuttle bus to the exhibition hall and back to the car park. Express parking, within walking distance of the venue, is £20 per day. There will be signposted directions for the ETO Show car park as you enter the NEC complex.

Q. What if I don’t want to drive?

A. Then let the train take the strain. The NEC is situated adjacent to Birmingham International Rail Station so you will be able to reach the venue without stepping outside. Depending on which station you departed from, you can travel directly by train to The NEC by alighting at Birmingham International. If your point of origin does not provide a service directly to Birmingham International you will need to travel to Birmingham New Street first and get a connecting train from there. For further information on travelling by train to Birmingham International Station, please contact National Rail enquiries on 08457 484950 or visit www.nationalrail.co.uk. Once you have arrived at Birmingham International Rail Station take the stairs or lift from any platform up to the station interchange. The entrance to the NEC is situated on the right hand side as you exit the station and is clearly signposted. Continue to walk along the covered walkway called the bridgelink where you can then follow signs for the Pavilion.

Q. Can I fly to the show?

A. You can. Birmingham International Airport (BHX) is very close to the NEC, which is extremely convenient for our foreign visitors and those on internal flights. Once you’ve grabbed your luggage it will take just minutes to get to the NEC from the airport. If you are on foot follow the signs to the Air-Rail Link which leaves the airport from the first floor of Terminal 1. Once you have stepped off the Air-Rail at Birmingham International Station continue straight ahead through the concourse onto The NEC bridgelink. The Air-Rail Link is a free, speedy and convenient way to travel between the Airport Passenger Terminals and Birmingham International Station and the NEC. Using a cable drawn system the Air-Rail Link has two trains, each with a maximum capacity of 27 passengers. The Air-Rail Link operates every two minutes between 0515 and 0200 and has a one-way travel time of 90 seconds. For more information visit www.birminghamairport.co.uk

Q. Is it worth me attending?

A. Yes, if you are involved in adult retail in any capacity, be it on the web, High Street or through party plan. This is the only event of its kind in the UK. If you write about adult goods or have a blog then it should be right up your street too.

Q. Do you expect me to give up my Sunday, my only bloody day off, to attend your show?

A. It’s your choice – you can come on the Monday if you prefer. We have found that retailers prefer to ‘give up’ a Sunday rather than a Monday though. Whichever day you ‘give up’, the benefits to attending – seeing every major industry supplier in one place – surely outweigh the sacrifice.

Q. Who will be there?

A. Every major wholesaler, including: ABS Holdings, Creative Conceptions, Darker Enterprises, Net 1on1, Planet Earth Wholesale, Scala Playhouse and Shots Media.

Suppliers of specialist product ranges and services, including: Bathmate, Cobeco Pharma, Cyrex/ElectraStim, Doxy Massager, Dragon Adult Entertainment, Dusedo, Erigo DVDs, E-Stim Systems, Fun factory, GayRado, Give Pleasure Products, Jozy, Kinky Monkey, Love Life Products, Mister B, Mystim, Natural Green Holdings, Naughty Originals, Nexus, Pasante, Rocks-Off, Rouge Garments and leading US brands Pipedream Products and Topco Sales.

Lingerie and clothing firms, including: Alterego, Baci Lingerie, Coquette/Blue Moon Lingerie, Kevco Wholesale and New Temptations.

There will also be a significant number of companies attending their first ever trade show in the UK, including: Bellyfashion, Blazon Surgical, Cara Sutra Collection, CL Diffusion, Dutch Faun, Empowered Products, Ibiza Erotic, Nalone, Nilion Trading, NuVirile, Orgasm Products, Scratchems, Svakom, Tessoro, The Raunchier Side, Viaxi and YESforLOV.

Q. I’m happy with my existing suppliers – why should I want any more?

A. Customers need a good reason to visit an adult store, whether it’s on the High Street or online, apart from competitive pricing and excellent customer service (which is a prerequisite for everybody these days) and the very best reason of all is to see something that they haven’t seen before. There will be companies at the ETO Show who are exhibiting at a trade event for the first time. Plus, all the established names know that trade shows are the best platforms to launch new lines because it gives them the opportunity to introduce them to a large number of their customers at the same time. Of course, even if you don’t attend a particular trade show, you will still get to hear about products launched by your suppliers because lines of communication are so slick these days, but you won’t be the first to stock them and, if supplies are limited, you might not get to stock them at all until the second production run, which could take months.

Q. How much does it cost to attend?

A. Nothing at all. All we ask is that your line of business is the adult industry. And, of course, a further benefit of attending events like the ETO Show is the chance to save money. Many exhibitors offer special show-only deals and promotions and additional discounts for orders placed on the stand. Those who buy in significant quantities can, and do, save significant amounts at the ETO Show.

Q. What’s this about a catwalk?

A. In recent years lingerie and clothing has become an essential ingredient in most adult stores’ product mix and there is no better way of evaluating the appeal of new styles than seeing them in their natural habitat, on an attractive body. There are three catwalk shows each day, lasting around 25 minutes each. They will feature runway, lights, music and a compere announcing which products are being showcased and where they are available from. A large screen will also display the company name and logo and stand number.

Q. Will I be able to take pictures?

A. You will. There are no restrictions regarding photography on the catwalk.

Q. OK, I want to come but I haven’t registered – can I just turn up on the day?

A. Yes you can, but please be aware that your details will need to be taken before you can get in. To maintain the trade-only status of the exhibition we ask all visitors to bring additional proof of trade status with them as random checks are made. A business card is traditional but a trade invoice from a recognised supplier or a letterhead or other form of business stationery is also acceptable.

Q. I am new to the industry – as in, in the process of setting up – so can I still come?

A. We try to be as open and welcoming as possible to new companies – after all, everyone was new at some point – but we cannot admit members of the public to the show. Even if you are so new that you haven’t even settled on a name you should still get business cards printed with your details on. It’s a tiny commitment and you risk being turned away without some proof of trade status. As an aside, without business cards you are also unlikely to be taken seriously by exhibitors.

Q. Can I bring my staff/partner?

A. You are most welcome to and it can only help your business if they are fully up to date with the latest products and developments in the marketplace. Colleagues, partners and staff are all welcome but you must all register separately as the badges are individually printed and named. Please note that the ETO Show is a licensed event and therefore no persons under the age of 18 can be admitted.

Q. Will I be able to eat/smoke/drink inside the venue?

A. There is a bar, coffee area and café/restaurant serving hot and cold food inside the Pavilion – all of which are owned and operated by the NEC. There is no smoking allowed anywhere inside the building but a smoking area is provided outside the main entrance.

Q. What if I want to stay over on the Saturday and/or Sunday?

A. There are many hotels within a mile or so of the NEC although the designated hotel for the 2014 ETO Show is the Crowne Plaza, which we understand is fully booked. There is however a special offer for the duration of the show at the Holiday Inn Express on the NEC site. The firm is offering rooms for £52 including breakfast (but not parking, which is £7 extra per vehicle per 24 hours) and the reservations number is 0121 782 3222 – please quote ETO when booking to secure the special rate. A list of other hotels close to the NEC can be found at www.thenec.co.uk

Q. What time does the bar shut on the Sunday?

A. Usually very late.

Q. Can I come to the Awards Dinner?

A. Absolutely, and we’d love to see you there. It is always a great night. If you’d like to be one of the first to discover who will be walking off with our coveted trophies this year then please contact jonathan@etoshow.com. Tickets are priced at £95 (+ VAT) each and this includes a champagne reception, three-course dinner with wine, and the presentation of the awards followed by dancing to live entertainment. The ETO Awards Dinner takes place on the evening of Sunday June 22nd at the Concourse Suite at the NEC. Transport to and from the Crowne Plaza will be provided.

Q. I’ve got another question…

A. If you need any additional information visit www.etoshow.com or email show organiser Jonathan Kirk via jonathan@etoshow.com