World of Paving

A blog to follow the development of the inaugural World of Paving trade show that will take place at Coventry's Ricoh Arena in February 2010

Monday 11 January 2010

No free rides for Hard Landscaping Show

Due to the organisers of this event breaking the agreement made between us last winter and the fact that they haven't paid their debts for 9 months, this blog has been suspended.

No-one likes non-payers - they are the scourge of the trade. Times are hard enough without rogues ripping-off small traders.

being owed a sizeable wedge of money by the untrustworthy organisers, the Hard Landscaping Show website is still displaying my pavingexpert logo without permission. Neither this website nor myself can possibly vouchsafe or in any way recommend the event or the organisers.

For more information on how they have welshed on their agreement, see the news page on the main website.

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Friday 3 July 2009

Significant summer signings

"More Top Industry Names Sign-Up for World of Paving®" says the company behind the event.

"We’re delighted that the paving industry’s first ever dedicated exhibition is really starting to take off - the last two weeks have seen stands being taken by some well-known names, all of whom are keen to support the inaugural show."

Companies that have recently confirmed their participation, and blagged many of the best spots include:

ACO Technologies, leading manufacturers of linear drainage channels and long-time supporters of the pavingexpert website

SteinTec, one of the biggest names in pavement bedding and jointing mortars and a growing reputation for maintenance products

Natural Paving have led the industry in introducing Natural Stone Block Paving (NSBP) and will be displaying their range of high quality stone paving

Pavestone have booked prominent stand F14 to show their range of finest quality stone and concrete paving

Our source on the inside has told of several more nationally and internationally recognised names who are on the verge of signing-up for the event and even at this relatively early stage, it seems that the show will have no trouble in attracting both exhibitors and visitors come next February.

For information on stand pricing, and a booking form with terms and conditions click here - or call the organising team on 020 3086 9296 .

Click this link to download the latest floorplan in PDF format and see who's going to be where, including the location of the broom cupboard!

Monday 27 April 2009

What a venue!

Last Thursday morning, while I was on my way to a meeting for the modern apprenticeship program that's being developed for the hard-landscaping trade, I thought I'd have a nosey at that Ricoh Arena that's going to be the venue for the show next February.

I was supposed to be heading for Stoneleigh Park, which is on the other side of Coventry, but it was such a lovely morning, and I was full of the joys of spring due to becoming a grandfather for the first time that very morning, so I decided to set out a bit earlier than normal and allow enough time to complete a cross-town journey that would get me to the meeting in plenty of time.

I was really surprised at just how easy it is to get to the Ricoh Arena. It is, with no hint of exaggeration, just 2 minutes from the M6 motorway at Junction 3, and you really can't miss it.

View this map on
Bird's Eye view on
Get directions on

Admittedly it was 9:15am when I was there, so you wouldn't really expect it to be busy, but there are two ginormous car parks with security guards right outside the venue. I assume it's free parking as no-one asked me for any money, which is a great bonus if you're one of those unlucky enough to have to pay a king's ransom to park a bus-ride away from the building as is the case at certain other venues.

A good venue is half the battle for a successful event and I think the show organisers might just have worked a blinder here. Incredibly easy to get to; a doddle to park; and it looks damned impressive.

Roll on next February!

Tuesday 7 April 2009

Talking shop

The organisers are keen to promote the idea of holding 'Toolbox Talks' or short seminars on subjects that would be of interest to contractors. At other trade events, seminars and workshops are extremely popular with the suit-wearing classes, and there's no reason why they shouldn't appeal to those of us that get our hands dirty.

To get some idea of what might appeal, they've been following threads in The Brew Cabin (and other places) to see just what topics stimulate discussion. To date, they've identified a few subjects and have provided me with a 'long list'. They expect the list to grow over the next few months and then, as we draw closer to the event itself, to trim it down to a realistic shortlist before finalising a schedule and arranging suitable speakers/presenters to host each topic.

So far, they have:

  • Sealants for paving: the what, why and when
  • Using recycled materials: are they worth it?
  • Clay Pavers: don't be scared!
  • Drainage solutions and fall requirements for various surfaces
  • Sub-bases: materials, thicknesses and compaction
  • The Front Garden comedy legislation: has it been effective?

They are exceptionally open to suggestions for other topics, so if you have any ideas, let me know and I'll pass them on.

Saturday 4 April 2009

D'yer wanna be in my gang?

One of the ideas being discussed behind the scenes and in a number of other forums is the possibility and potential for creating a professional association for paving contractors. While many of the better contractors would welcome such an organisation to promote their values and speak for the whole installation industry, it's going to take a deal of organising to get block layers, flaggers, concreters, blacktoppers, streetmasons and general landscapers, to commit to support such an organisation.

I like the idea of using the event to initiate a discussion on the feasibility of such an organisation. Perhaps we can arrange an hour or so during the event to hold an open discussion forum to gauge support and to get a real sense of what contractors want. Those of us that post to message boards are a very small and select part of the wider trade. We need to overcome the traditional apathy amongst contractors and get those that don't post messages to the Brew Cabin and elsewhere, or don't use t'internet to further their business, to air their views in a free-for-all talking shop. Only then will we have a better idea of just what level of support there is for such a group.

Thursday 2 April 2009

Good response so far...

To date, the event organisers tell they’ve had a really positive response to the recent launch.

“We’ve already had some firm bookings and a good level of enquiries about the event from paving companies, equipment suppliers and associated products”, says Event Sales Manager, Paul Harwood.

Given that it’s not the best time in the economic cycle to launch a new trade event, and that our trade is suffering quite badly, it’s refreshing to hear that the event is attracting interest and is generally well-received. Paul reckons that he has a number of companies considering stand options and various positions within the hall itself, and seems confident that the recent improvement in the weather and the coming of Spring will see a steady increase in the number of confirmed bookings.

Sunday 15 March 2009

And we're off!

It was just before Christmas 2008 when I was first approached regarding a scheme to launch an all-new, dedicated trade event for the paving and hard-landscaping industry. There's rarely a week goes by without someone approaching me with some scheme or other, and 95% of them get nothing more than a polite hearing, but World of Paving appealed to me because the organisers were speaking the same language and shared a vision for a quality event for our trade. More commercially minded and fewer plant pots than Glee; more consumer friendly and design-aware than External Works/Street Design; less worthy and more open-minded than CityScape; and more relevant than Interbuild (which, to be honest, isn't that much of a challenge!)

So, I agreed to help, working with the steering committee, advising on agenda, suggesting exhibitors, recommending seminars and demonstration events...anything and everything to help the event become a success.

And that's why I agreed to set up a blog, a separate part of the pavingexpert website where I can keep everyone up-to-date with what's happening, and more importantly, where you, the potential exhibitors and visitors to the event can comment, suggest, cajole or just have pop at us when you think something is wrong.

It's estimated that there are 20,000 contractors involved in the paving and hard-landscaping trade in Britain alone, with maybe another 2,000 in Ireland. That's everyone from those rebuilding the streets of our town and city centres to the garden makeover gangs in their ubiquitous white vans. We have skills, we have passion, and we deserve our own 'bash' where we can celebrate our industry. World of Paving is for YOU!