London’s Ideal Home Show is over for another year, during it’s 17 days Olympia hosted over 200,000 visitors. Room sets, show homes, gardens, new gadgets and design guides were just some of the attractions. New this year was the Eat and Drink Festival. Media 10 took over the former Ideal Home Exhibition from the Daily Mail in 2009. Manchester and Glasgow both house regional Ideal Home Shows.
The Daily Mail Years
The shows first appearance was in 1908 at Olympia. It was foreseen as a platform to sell newspaper advertising, little did the founders realise the influence it would have in later years.
The show became the showcase for innovation in the home. Street scenes, show homes and rooms were created showing off the latest fashions, trends, accessories and gadgets. During the 1930’s when London’s suburbs and home ownership rapidly grew, the show was a “must attend” for the new home owning masses.
After the war time show suspension and austerity, the show returned bigger than ever, reaching it’s peak in the late 1950’s when nearly 1.5 million attended. Video clips of old shows are still regularly seen. Vacuum Cleaners, toasters, teasmades and fitted kitchens all made their debut at the show.
After 100 years of running the show, The Daily Mail sold the rights to Media 10, it’s now back at it’s ancestral home, Olympia following the closure of Earls Court.
The Modern Era
Whilst the show doesn’t attract the crowds or the media attention of yesteryear, it’s still popular. It still provides an opportunity to see and touch the real thing, welcome change in our virtual online world.