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Visitors want quality over quantity

Vic Southern, Lockdecoders

Lockdecoders Ltd exhibited at the MLA 2021 show in Telford. We are not one of the industry giants, so we need good results from shows such as this as we spent all-in-all £10,000 to be there.

Once again, we found a pent-up demand in the economy and many visitors to our stand had significant money to spend and were face-to-face with suppliers for the first time in a while. The result was that we had a very good show – total sales being the second best achieved at an MLA show. That was despite the attendance being down a third measured against our previous outing, so we felt that those who did come were quality rather than quantity. Obviously, there were few overseas visitors.

Once again, the Miracle S10 was our star performer and it is interesting to note that whereas our online sales of Miracle key machines tend towards Miracle Edge auto locksmith machines, at a show it is the versatility and speed of the S10 which sells, as customers see how much they get for their money.

Also brisk were our wide range of auto remotes and we were rather oversold on the new D7 cable for the MiraClone as we demonstrated its speed and accuracy on Toyota G & H remotes.

We displayed a couple of our range of Magic engravers and laser engravers and made almost a hundred free pet tags “while you wait”. Increasing sales per footfall is vitally important for those with locksmith shops and we also find that several old friends had partners who were keen on setting up a home industry.

For the first time we also showed a few of our range of 3D printers and sold several PRUSA kit machines with interest in the rather swish range of Cubicon 3D printers which we will launch in a big way from February.

We had discussions with several of the other exhibitors who all agree that three days is too long, and that the Sunday attendance is so small that it is really time-wasting.   Other major locksmiths shows; such as Just Cars and ALOA in the USA, the MLAA in Australia and others are two day events, mostly Friday and Saturday. ELF has a day of formal conference making three in all.

Peter Southern has attended shows in those countries, Italy, France, Poland, Norway, South Africa, Turkey, Thailand, Spain and Israel and none were three days in duration. So, unless the MLA can find a way to invigorate Sunday attendance, we feel it would best to cut it.

We can’t close without a word of thanks to the MLA managers and staff who really went the extra mile to make this an outstanding show.