An expo showcasing some of the KBB industry’s biggest names, organised by Hill’s Panel Products (HPP), one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers in the sector, has been universally applauded by exhibitors and visitors.

About 400 visitors from businesses large and small attended the day-long HPX event, which boasted a prestigious line-up of stands, showcasing the latest developments and products from fittings manufacturers Blum, chipboard manufacturers Kronospan and EGGER, Sensio lighting, Reginox sinks, the ArtiCAD visualisation platform and VIBO wireworks and storage solutions.

It was a perfect opportunity, too, for Oldham-based HPP, which makes and supplies board, doors, fittings and accessories for the fitted furniture market, to show off some of the latest developments of its own.

These included 100-plus new handles reflecting current and emerging trends for colours and tactile finishes, as well as nine new colours of SERICA super-matt PVC board to complement the super-matt doors added to the Avanti Opus off-the-shelf collection and the made-to-measure Aspire range.

The very first visitor through the door was Stephen Capel, a director of Sale-based Bluebell Fitted Furniture, whose verdict echoed those of many other visitors.

After spending almost two hours exploring everything HPX had to offer, he said: “I thought there would definitely two or three stands, such as EGGER and Kronospan, that would be worth coming for alone.

“But on every single stand, there’s been something that’s interesting, something that’s caught my eye – on the Sensio stand, in the Blum range. I’m going back full of ideas from every part of it. Considering the size – it’s not a huge exhibition – it’s really on-point.”

Dan Mounsey, HPP’s Marketing and Business Development Director, adds: “Our unrivalled and excellent relationships with more big-name suppliers than anyone else in the KBB industry is what makes us unique, and that was clear to see for everyone who came along.

“This was our first large-scale exhibition since the first HPX back in 2011, but we feel the industry and the marketplace is getting back to normal after all the turmoil of recent years, so it was the right time to bring all our major trading partners together.

“The feedback has been unanimously positive, and we’re already being asked when we are going to do it again.”

Commenting from the Blum stand showing off the eagerly awaited REVEGO pocket door system new to the UK, National Sales Manager Ben Muirhead spoke for the exhibitors when he said: “If you look at it from the number of people that are here and the number of exhibitors, the value per head is probably more beneficial than a big KBB trade show.”

For some visitors, HPX was a light bulb moment (literally) about HPP’s range of products. Andrew Sheppard, Sensio’s Merchandising Manager, said: “As a lighting component company, it is good to educate people that there is a lot more to HPP than just board. There’s been a lot of interest in Sensio and what we do.”

Education was also a factor for exhibitor Dave Mayer, Commercial Director at sink supplier Reginox. He said: “HPX has been brilliant. We’ve had people say we didn’t know (HPP) sell sinks, so we’ve been able to educate them and say they do, and these are the sinks they sell. That interaction has been good for us and it’s good for HPP.”