With just days until the British Shooting Show 2022 at the NEC outside Birmingham, organisers are working at full tilt. They have been hard at it since September, when they concluded negotiations with the NEC.
“We have come out of a fraught 24 months,” says organiser John Allison. “We got through August and September 2021 and we thought – right – let’s press the button. Let’s go.
“The clock’s ticking now.”
He is pleased to report that he expects a full show. “Ticket sales are where we were back in 2020,” he says – and, as for exhibitors, “We have Hall 6, 7 and 8. We are full now.”
One new cost of visitors is car parking. it is now £12 (booked in advance) for car parking at the NEC, as well as the £25 ticket price (£15.50 for children aged 15 and under) for visitors to the British Shooting Show which, Allison admits, ”is a shame”.
He says: “We went back to the table [with the NEC management] in August and we said where are we with it? It was tough. In every industry, price increases were being recorded. We sat with the NEC… but one of the big problems for us was the car parking.
“We always footed the bill for the car parking at the British Shooting Show. However, with all the additional uplifts for us to be there, we had to hold up our hands and admit that we can’t do the car parking any more.”
Allison points out that £12 for parking divided by four people in a car is less than a Costa Coffee each. “There have been five or six phone calls from people asking us to explain it. Once we explain it, within minutes they book their tickets,” he says.
What’s Allison’s ambition for the British Shooting Show in 2022? “That we have managed to put something on for the shooting community in the UK – a really good spectacle,” he says. “And if you look at the drawings and floorplans, it’s there for them. I’d just like to think that, when people go away, they think: we’re back to some sort of normality.”