Some product trends are already showing themselves, with tape and glue suppliers out in force, along with their namesake gorillas, ducks, frogs and monsters all lending themselves to types of tape on display at the shows.
The 2011 Totally Shows, which run on 6th, 7th and 8th February at the NEC alongside Spring Fair International, will play host to Frog Tape, a new brand of masking tape from new exhibitor Shurtape UK, which also owns Duck Tape; Jurasstic Tape from another new exhibitor AW Tools, a great range of glues and tapes from US brand Gorilla Glue and CornerTape, a new system designed for preparing, applying and finishing all types of sealant. The show will also see the UK launch of a brand new range of tapes, glues and sealants by one of the world's leading tool brands.
In addition, the British Hardware Federation Pavilion has filled up quickly.
The BHF suppliers taking part include wholesaler Castle Hardware and electrical and related products distributor CPC, both of whom are new to the shows. Jegs Electrical, King Cole, M Marcus, Oracstar and Salepoint have also taken stands on the BHF Pavilion.
Other recent exhibitor signings to the show include A Perry & Co, a hinges and hardware specialist; US tools company Gardner Bender which will be showing via UK distributor Right Equipment, Tecro Montedores, a Spanish company selling retail shelving, US company Redi-Shade, pioneers in paper peel and stick window shades and importer M-Ports which is showing no less than two leading US paint brands - Mythical Paint and UGL (United Gilsonite Laboratories) and the eco-friendly range of cleaners and stain removers by Krud Kutter.
Exhibitors returning to the show include Liberty Hardware, Hedgehog Gutter Brush, Chatsworth Computers with its Merlin Business Software for retailers, and True Utility which designs and manufactures high quality pocket tools including LED torches, multi-tools, knives and keyring accessories.
"There is a real sense of anticipation building around the shows now," says exhibition director James Murray. "We're three months out, the first wave of visitor registrations has come in ahead of last year and we're already fielding calls on how to enter new products for the show awards. Visitors and exhibitors alike seem really determined to make the show work hard for them which motivates our team too – we're looking forward to it."