I took my kids to the Ideal Home Show at the weekend to Olympia in London.
It’s the first time I’ve been to a show in two years and it felt really exciting. Speakers were blasting music out so you could hear it when you arrived at the train station. And of course – the entrance was very selfie friendly.
Once inside, Olympia has the feel of the Great Exhibition with an enormous curved glass roof. Sunlight was streaming down on the conkers, a series of five or six large spheres, set in large area of landscaping, with the obligatory queue snaking around the entrance.
It felt joyful.
I watched from afar as the demonstrator selling Berghoff pans started her patter, amassing a crowd and turned my attention to the architectural offers. At first it seemed a little overwhelming. But on closer inspection the stalls filled a third of one of the halls. Most were familiar names, mainly glazing systems, kitchens and fibreglass roofing. I had a couple of conversations talking about lead times, and how to get technical information. It was so good to talk to people in real life again!
It was clear that there was a limited amount of businesses there and there really hasn’t been much innovation in the last few years. (Although I did spot a Tesla Battery hung on the wall, with a QR code)
But with the crowds of clients going to visit the show, the mood was optimistic. And when my kids joined up with me (I’d sent them on an adventure to cross London without me!) we inspected the other parts of the show.
My favourite product was the Oklin GG02 composting machine, which turns food waste into compost in 24 hours. With an RRP of £1908 Inc VAT, It might not make it into my kitchen, but I’ll be watching the product to see if the prices come down.
My kids were fascinated by the amount of mops on sale, and have since renamed the show the Ideal Mop Show. Inventor Roddy Laretive enthralled us all with his crazy inventions such as the Defensive Shoe that triggers a pink fluorescent spray dye when the heels are top together like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, to spray potential attackers!
I’m looking forward to see what my colleague, London Architect Shuahra Rahman makes of the show next week!