Having celebrated its 21st anniversary last year,
the Plumbing & Heating Exhibition has established itself as the leading regional trade show for the industry

Providing installers with a platform to meet with numerous manufacturers and learn more about the latest products, the Plumbing & Heating Exhibition (PHEX) helps visitors stay up-to-date with the market without taking too much time away from the job.

While it has grown and evolved to meet the changing needs of the industry, the show remains a well-respected and essential event in the HVAC calendar, having maintained its ethos to ensure a practical and worthwhile day off the tools.

“The original idea was that installers could do the whole show in half a day,” said event organiser, Claire Tilbury. “Obviously it’s grown from there. Visitors wanted more than just an exhibition, so we introduced seminars and allowed manufacturers more room to demonstrate their products. As such, the show now takes a little longer to make your way round, but those who need to keep it short and sweet are still able to do so.”

PHEX now runs three shows throughout the year: PHEX Manchester at Old Trafford Stadium, PHEX Chelsea at Stamford Bridge Stadium and PHEX+ at Alexandra Palace, for those visitors whose business crosses into the commercial sector.

As well as allowing manufacturers to promote their products, the PHEX seminar programme gives industry bodies such as BEAMA and Gas Safe Register the chance to interact with the guys on the ground, explaining their role in the sector and how installers can get involved.

“As the official registration body for gas engineers, exhibiting at PHEX provides us with a fantastic opportunity to interact face-to-face with Gas Safe registered engineers and those looking to become registered,” said Rachel Boon from the Gas Safe Register.

“The feedback we gain is invaluable and data capture from the barcode scanners has proven very useful in the past. We have been exhibiting at PHEX for a number for years now and the shows are always well attended, at prestigious locations and very well organised.”

The success of the first show at Old Trafford in 1998 sparked the tradition of holding PHEX at different football stadiums, and the free tours still remain a popular pull! Entry to the show is free, and refreshments and lunch are provided alongside exclusive show offers and competitions.

The shows have received unrivalled support from the trade over the years, offering small and large businesses alike the opportunity to get in front of their customers on a level playing field.

“Stuart Turner has participated in PHEX events for many years now for the simple reason that they are always well organised and well attended,” said Sharon George, marketing co-ordinator at Stuart Turner. “Our sales people always return with positive feedback regarding the show and we will continue to include them in our plans for the future.”

From boiler and pipe manufacturers to tool and bathroom suppliers, PHEX works with over 105 exhibitors, all of whom have technical experts on hand to explain their offering and answer questions.

“For many years PHEX has been a regular fixture on the Loctite exhibition calendar,” said Colin Chapman, marketing manager at Henkel Loctite.

“It’s always lively, well attended and most importantly it gives us direct contact with end users, allowing them to discover the benefits of our products first hand.”

PHEX also partners with both national and independent merchants to provide free transport to each of its venues, allowing visitors to network with other installers in their area and build relationships with their local reps.

“As I work alone I rarely get the chance to talk with and about the areas of work I undertake with others, so this for me is a great opportunity for me to do so,” said Tom Partridge. “I also usually come to an exhibition with a current issue or question I would like answered, and find it the ideal place to ask advice.”

Paul Simmons agreed, saying he finds PHEX to be an interesting and useful event, that provides a beneficial way of comparing competing products as well as making and renewing contacts with a variety of complementary businesses.

“My visit has always had a positive effect on my work ethic - I come away with new ideas and information,” he added.
PHEX+ takes place from 18 to 19 May. For more information and to register for your free ticket, visit www.phexshow.co.uk.