Sustainability key to Ideal Home Show success
The autumn permanent tsb Ideal Home Show is back this month at Dublin’s RDS Simmonscourt. This edition promises to be its best yet, says organiser Sean Lemass of SDL Exhibitions
The permanent tsb Ideal Home Show takes place Friday to Monday, October 25th to 28th, at the RDS Simmonscourt Dublin.
Hard to believe but the Ideal Home Show show first launched almost a quarter of a century ago in 1995, and now runs twice yearly in spring and autumn, with the next show taking place in Dublin's RDS Simmonscourt from October 25th to 28th.
The key to its enduring success is the organising team’s ongoing commitment to keeping it bang on trend, whether in relation to construction techniques, interior design or landscaping.
“We put a lot of work into monitoring and researching the market to make sure we keep the show ahead,” says Lemass.
The key theme this autumn is sustainability, which has gone from being a 'nice-to-have', to a 'need-to-have - and quickly'.
[Get your free and discounted Ideal Home Show tickets here]
“You only have to drive down any street in Dublin and see all the houses getting external insulation put on to know there’s a lot happening on the retrofit front,” he says.
Visitors to the show can find out about Government-backed retrofit supports at the SEAI stand. It’s the place to go to find out about passive homes, and Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) requirements too.
We encourage people to bring their photos and drawings, so they can get as much value out of it as possible
“What’s great about the show is that you get access to all this information as well as to the products, contractors and suppliers you need. We’ve always been very focused on the fact that visitors come to the show for advice. The presence of so many trade associations means they can get advice that is impartial,” he says.
Visitors can book 20-minute, one-to-one consultations at its Ask an Expert section, talking to architects and landscape gardeners to get ideas and scope out what’s possible in their own home. “We encourage people to bring their photos and drawings, so they can get as much value out of it as possible.”
One of the newest innovations this year is Drive Electric, a section devoted to electric cars and scooters, as well as peripherals such as home chargers.
“We have always featured car makers at the show. This year, both in line with our sustainability theme - and because we know our demographic is very much the target market for electric vehicles – we have decided to restrict it to electric vehicles only.”
SDL Exhibitions knows its audience well, not least because it runs exit surveys after each event. At the last show 38 per cent of visitors indicated a keen interest in sustainability.
Again, experts will be on hand to talk visitors through what’s available in terms of grant assistance for buyers of electric vehicles.
Of course very many of the estimated 30,000 visitors to the four-day event will be there to see its flagship initiative, the Ideal Homes Showhouse.
With fashion guru and now interior designer Helen McAlinden at the helm this time around, they won’t be disappointed. Her showhouse, which has sustainability woven into its very fabric, showcases furniture from Finline Furniture in Emo, Co Laois.
Another feature of the event is the RIAI Home Design Gallery. This will include plans and pictures of houses already completed by a number of architects, to generate ideas for visitors’ own projects.
If you’re in need of a breather – and with some 200 stalls to choose from, that’s likely – have a sit down in front of another new initiative this year, the RIAI 10-minute showreel, designed to provide information and inspiration in equal measure.
Make time to catch the seminars at the House and Home Interiors & Design Theatre, where talks cover topics such as colour confidence; interiors secrets from a TV stylist, and how to be your own Marie Kondo. There’s a beginner’s guide to building an art collection and a talk on how to make the most of your home design budget.
The Chefs Live Theatre will see chefs from Donnybrook Fair promote cookery classes which are designed to get the whole family cooking together.
Throughout the past quarter century the Ideal Homes Show has always provided a snapshot of the country and its construction activities. “When the recession came people couldn’t afford to move so we changed focus to extensions. Now, while extensions are still important, the move is towards high-end furniture and bespoke kitchens and bathrooms,” says Lemass.
“Obviously there is a Brexit worry but the economy is doing well and people are better off. What we always see in autumn is people coming to see what’s available, going home to do up their costings, and coming back in spring with their decisions made,” he says.
The real value is the opportunity it creates for one-to-one, person-to-person experience, with all the products right there
Having everyone you need to talk to for any home improvement project under the same roof is what keeps people coming back again and again.
“The real value the permanent tsb Ideal Homes Show offers is the opportunity it creates for one-to-one, person-to-person experience, with all the products right there in front of you,” says Lemass.
“It’s a great way to augment your internet research. Put it this way, no one wants to buy €20,000 windows on the internet. You want to meet the provider you’ll be dealing with. This is the place to start that relationship.”
The permanent tsb Ideal Home Show takes place Friday to Monday, October 25th to 28th, at the RDS Simmonscourt Dublin. Get your free and discounted Ideal Home Show tickets here.