The Forecourt Show 2019 is hailed a brilliant success

Visitors and exhibitors alike were full of praise for this year’s Forecourt Show, which took place earlier this month at the Birmingham NEC.

The Show, which is the UK’s biggest trade-only event dedicated to the forecourt and fuel market, attracted a huge range of visitors who are serious about fuel retailing – from supermarket groups including Morrisons and Sainsbury’s to Top 50 Indie forecourts such as Sewell on the go, as well as many single-site operators.

Ben Meech, technical manager at Sainsbury’s, for example, visited The Forecourt Show for the networking opportunities it offered and also to attend the Fuelling the Future panel session. The session, hosted by motoring journalist Quentin Willson, was jam-packed, with standing room only at the back!

The PRA’s chairman, Brian Madderson, set the scene for the retail fuel market and alternatively fuelled vehicles, saying that there was too much emphasis on electric vehicles (EVs) and not enough on other alternatives.

Next, Dave Newton COO of BP Chargemaster and Michelle Machesney, business development director of EV Solutions, both stressed the need for forecourts to adopt higher kW chargers to ensure they were relevant, meaning that they plan for the future and provide fast fuelling for the new breed of EVs that are being launched.

Clare Scawthorn, petroleum manager from the London Fire Brigade, pushed home the point of safety on the forecourts while Charles Purkess, business development manager of ITM, made the case for hydrogen saying that countries such as China are driving forward with hydrogen so the UK really needs to consider it as a viable alternative fuel or risk being left behind.

The session was followed by a lively Q&A discussion and then a networking lunch.

Elsewhere at the Show, visitors made good use of the fact that the oil companies were out in force, using the opportunity to view their new offerings such as BP’s Chargemaster offer, BP’s Wild Bean self-serve Café concept and Gulf’s new brand imagery and loyalty card.

Sue Clements, strategic account manager at BP, said: “It's the first time BP has been at The Forecourt Show in a decade so we were really busy. It was exciting to speak to existing customers as well as prospective new ones. A lot of visitors were keen to talk about electric vehicle charging and our team were busy advising them on how to prepare for that on their sites.”

Richard Billington, retail director at Certas Energy, said: “Where better for Gulf Retail to launch a revitalised forecourt image and brand new loyalty promotion than The Forecourt Show?

The quality and quantity of dealers visiting our stand over the three days proves, once again, the value of this event for the forecourt retailing community.”

The Forecourt Show 2021 will take place at the Birmingham NEC from 12 – 14 April.