The Baby Show is the UK's biggest pregnancy and parenting event series with three nationwide shows per year. Last year’s event at the NEC attracted over 21,000 visitors - and over half were pregnant!
The Baby Show takes place in Hall 5 of the NEC, totalling 14,200m2 of exhibition space. The event attracts a very unique audience which - by its nature - calls for greater than usual health and safety requirements.
Because of the high percentage of pregnant women, more space has to be allocated per person, which in turn impacts on the maximum capacity for fire regulations and overall visitor numbers. The temperature of the halls also needs maintained to keep visitors comfortable, while nutritional requirements are a key consideration - catering outlets must provide pregnancy-friendly options.
Although dwell time at The Baby Show is average for a consumer show, pregnant women (and their tired partners!) won’t necessarily choose to walk around all day with their heavy loads; exhibitions are tiring at the best of times!
The venue and organiser teams work closely to ensure the show is delivered in a safe and comfortable environment, adapting standard capacity figures to account for buggies and bumps.
Wider gangways are built into the show design, while increased seating is built in to the event set-up for regular breaks and to offset the time spent on feet, maximising face to face interaction, enjoyment and spend. The air conditioning remains cool at all times.
In fact, accessibility and minimising effort is key. Within the venue, everything is situated on the ground floor or accessible via ramps, including stands which are pushchair accessible and baby changing facilities and baby feeding areas which are built into the show floor. All in-hall toilets are converted to ladies toilets to minimise queuing, while male toilets are available outside the halls.
Externally, buses run on a frequent loop from all car parks to reduce waiting times and are adapted to be more user-friendly, while the “collect by car” option gives shoppers the opportunity to collect large or heavy items by car at the end of the day, rather than carrying them around the show.
“The 2013 event received a Net Promoter Score of + 46 which is one of the highest recorded within the UK for a consumer event, and is a combination of the venue team’s willingness to accommodate our every need, coupled with our joint expertise and well established working relationship,” says Melanie Hall, Show Manager for The Baby Show.
Did you know?
- Over half of the those who attended last year’s show were pregnant (54%) and 75% of the pregnant visitors were expecting their first child
- The purpose built baby changing area uses 6,000 – 8,000 nappies across the three-day event
- The event has seen a host of famous parents in attendance including Katie Price, Ray Quinn, Danielle Lloyd, Emma Willis and Myleene Klass