KBB returns to the NEC
KBB, the exhibition for the interiors market, was back live at the NEC, Birmingham, this week (6-9 March).
It did not have as many exhibitors as it had last time (in 2020, when it was one of the last live events before the country went into lockdown) and there did not appear to be as many visitors, although at least it meant we were all able to maintain social distancing (which wasn't even a thing in 2020) even if almost nobody was wearing a mask.
KBB had a new Partner this time in the Worktop Fabricators Federation (WFF), which had officially launched at KBB in 2020. The Directors of WFF were back on the Caesarstone stone with their General Secretary Chris Pateman.
There were not too many quartz companies at KBB this time - no Cosentino [Silestone/Dekton], for example, and CRL Stone [Ceralsio/CRL Quartz], which had intended to exhibit decided not to in the end. It was, perhaps, why the Caesarstone stand was one of busiest, with displays that included the new Pebbles collection and a preview of a porcelain collection due later this year (who'd have guessed?).
WFF was telling visitors about its new website, on which it has posted A Guide to Understanding Engineered & Natural Stone Surfaces to explain the different materials available for hard surface worktops and the differences between them. The aim is to help studios and showrooms and their customers understand the different products and make the right choice for their needs.
To help the studios and showrooms disseminate the information about the guide, WFF has produced a neat, A6-size point-of-sale vane. It will stand discreetly on in-store displays, with the mini-posters carrying a QR-code that links to the detailed surface guide on the WFF website, where customers can discover the difference between granite, quartz, quartzite, marble, ceramics & sintered, onyx, limestone, travertine and slate, with acrylic, glass, wood and laminate surfaces given a passing mention.
Infinity ceramic surfaces were on show from the new company Clay, which attended KBB for the first time in 2020 and has opened its showroom and warehouse in London in the interim.
Ca'Pietra and Quartzforms both had stands. There was even some actual natural stone, mostly on the floor of the Decor Cera stand, although the announcement on the stand was of the company's Decorcera Porcelain (see the pictures below). There might even have been some more natural stone, but Royale Stones, with showrooms in Lincoln and Watford, had an empty stand.
You can see who exhibited on the KBB website and in the online-only catalogue (ie there was no printed version available this time although KBB Review had a special exhibition issue freely available at the show). You can view the online catalogue at bit.ly/KBBcatalogue.
It is good to see the albeit smaller KBB back at the NEC. Hopefully it marks a return to a normal in which we will all be safe and that will not require any more lockdowns.