We were invited to The Baby Show at the NEC Birmingham which has taken place over the past three days (Friday 17th – Sunday 19th 2019). The Baby Show takes place once a year at the Birmingham NEC and also at the London Olympia (which this year is taking place in October) and at ExCel London (which takes place in March next year). The show presents all the latest pushchairs, fashion, healthcare and advice that is available for new mums and families.
It is a great place to try out products, look at cars and car seats you may need, prior to buying. You can also buy most of the products onsite at a discounted special ’show price’ at the event. This means you might just be able to bag yourself essential bargains whilst you are there. But if you haven’t come to buy but have come to be informed you are also in the right place.
If you are visiting their London event and need a babysitter, do checkout MyKiddy Sitter London for their baby sitter services. There are specialists in various fields discussing different topics on the Live Stage and also stands that are around the event. So be sure to look at the program prior to heading to the event to see which people you would most like to see or interact with.
I went to the event pretty much as I may expect a soon to be mum to visit. I arrived at around 10.15am having got the train directly into the NEC. I found the Hall where the exhibition was taking place (there are always several exhibitions on at any one time to check which Hall is the correct space – otherwise you may risk entering a totally different event!). Once in the Hall, I started by getting my bearings. The space where the event is held is pretty big, I would suggest doing one row at a time from one side to the other if you are planning to spend all day there, however, if you only have a short time, just make sure you look at the program which gives you the exact location of the people hosting the stands. That way you can go directly and specifically to the people/products you are most interested in.
The first place I visited was the pushchair trial track. This was an area where you could take any of the pushchairs that were on sale at the event, and test them out on a track that had a step, a hilly area and an uneven surface for you to trial your buggy! This is a great idea, as from previous experience all buggies are very different and suit different people so you may think that you want a specific brand, however, you may then decide on a different one as it works better up and down steps and on the uneven surface. You were also able to test out folding them down to see how easy that was and how well they may fit into your car.
Once I had done with testing out the pushchairs I headed straight down the Live Stage as I was keen to hear who was speaking. I arrived just as the Daisy First Aid were on the stage. They were at the event promoting their first aid service where they provide a 2h first aid course for a fee, which covers a number of possible incidents you may come across at one time as a parent or carer of a child. However, on the day they were providing free advice, on the hour every hour, covering, choking, cerebral seizures, baby/child CPR, and more. This is just one of the examples of how the show doesn’t simply cover products and also covers vital information you may want as a new parent/grandparent etc.
Going back to the Live Stage, the stage started with this speaker, however, throughout each day there are different people presenting products or providing advice/information. You can find out what is on within the show guide or at the back of the stage there is a large poster with the list who is on at what time. I also managed to see a Fashion show on the stage, which not only showed baby clothing but also maternity wear, pushchairs and bags that you may want to use to store nappies and wipes. They also showed you how the products transitioned from being used for your baby to then being able to be used when you return to the office or your work environment.
The event that I personally found the most interesting was the talk by Clare Byam-Cook who is a breastfeeding expert. She discussed what to expect if you decide to make breastfeeding part of your journey as a new family. But this wasn’t the only expert-led discussion on the day, there was also a talk by a sleep expert and also pregnancy fitness experts and more. Most areas of what you might like to know are covered and once the speakers have left the stage in most instances they also have a stand where you can discuss their topics further in more details. Again your tour guide will be able to assist you with the location of their stands.
The event was easy to navigate through and wasn’t overcrowded, however, as wasn’t there over the weekend, so expect Saturday and Sunday to feel slightly busier. If you want a quieter walk around, go on a Friday. I found a few particularly interesting stands on the day. One stand that perhaps could be seen as controversial was the one that collected the umbilical cord blood and stored it for you should you need it for stem cell treatment in the future. They provided information on what they did and also had a show price discount if you decided this was something that interested you at the event.
The next place I thought was really cute, was a white noise teddy, by myHummy, these cute teddies that were super soft, had a small electronic heart inside that made the same kind of noise a baby may here in its mothers’ uterus. Click here to find out more. My next stop was bizzi growin where two lovely hosts showed me around their stand, they sold usually blankets and cushions to decorate your baby’s/child’s room.
What is also great about several of the stands it that they often provide you with a goody bag that has small testers of their products, some of the products I found particularly interesting were that of mama mio, their stand was promoting and selling creams that could be used in pregnancy to help prevent stretch marks and increase the elasticity in your body. They had some really good show deals and a really nice smelling product. Other stands like this also allowed you to try their products while you were there too, and most of the agents were knowledgeable and able to provide you with lots of info about their brand.
I also found an area that was dedicated to helping you relax, this was run by Massage The Senses and had several massage therapists on site all of whom are trained/qualified and were there to provide a pay as you go massage service, this was a great way to just unwind at the event. When being on your feet for the whole time could be tiring for an expectant mum!
I also found several brands of baby slings and carriers, including ones by Amawrap. There were also plenty of eco-friendly orientated products, including those by mumandyou or m & y, who informed me of their water-based biodegradable wipes and also nappies that were kinder on the environment than most other leading brands. This is something I am conscious of and was when my children were little, so being able to see a variety of products like this would have been important to me as a new mum.
You were also able to find things like clothing for both you and baby, a stand that I found lovely was that of Chamomile Baby, the baby grows were not only designed in the UK but also made here. Which adds to them being a slightly more sustainable product that clothing that is made in China or other far-reaching countries from where they are actually sold.
If premium products are your thing, then you could also view those too. They had brands such as Tommy Tippee, Nuby, Stokke (which are wooden high chairs) Bugaboo, Bumbo Maclaren Baby, Medela, Mamas and Papas, and more. They also had teething jewellery stands, personalised gifts, and much more. It really is the go-to place to buy a multitude of baby products all housed in one place. So if you don’t want to spend days going around lots of different places this could be the stress-free way to get everything you might need. And not only that if you buy large products at the event, there was a section called Emilys Blanket, where you could leave your large product, and then have it delivered to your car for free at the end of the event, meaning you didn’t have to carry it around with you all day.
Things to know and tips
- You need to prebook your tickets online and print them off, or go to the ticket desk with your e-ticket and have them print it for you.
- Parking – You do not need to pay for your parking ticket when you arrive, you can do it just as you leave. You can also pre-book your parking ticket online if you want. But most importantly, please remember to write down where you park your car as its a huge place and after a long day, you may not remember where you parked your car.
- Depending on where you park, you can either walk, take a private shuttle van for £1 or take the shuttle bus from the parking area to the Exhibition Centre. The busses are free and come every 10 minutes.
- You can also arrive very easily by train. The NEC is attached to Birmingham International Train Station. So if you don’t have a car or prefer not to drive this is a great alternative way to get to the event.
- You can buy food and refreshments at the event, however, feel free to bring your own snacks as there are plenty of places to sit and rest throughout the exhibition hall
- Have a look at what’s on prior to going to the event so you make sure you get to see key information you might not want to miss.
- Be sure to chat with people hosting the stands, they are trained for the event and know the products they are displaying well, so its the best time to get all the information you need to make the best decisions on what to buy for your new adventure.
When was the Baby Show?
The Baby Show was held from Friday, 17 May to Sunday 19 May 2019
Where was the Baby Show in Birmingham held?
The Baby Show will be held at The NEC in Birmingham. It is near junction 6 of the M42 motorway, and is adjacent to Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International railway station.
Tel: 0121 780 4141
What were the show’s opening times?
Friday 17th May: 09.30 – 5pm
Saturday 18th May: 09.30 – 5pm
Sunday 19th May: 09.30 – 5pm
How much did the tickets cost?
The ticket price was £14.70pp on Friday and £15.70pp for either the Saturday or Sunday, while on-the-door tickets cost £20pp.
About The Baby Show
Born in 2002, The Baby Show is the largest Baby, Pregnancy & Parenting Event, of its kind in the UK, an essential visit with everything for bump, baby and you. Taking place three times a year at ExCeL London, NEC Birmingham and Olympia London it attracts over 70,000 expectant and new parents, babies and grandparents every year.
The nation’s largest shopping destination for all things baby, you will also find the widest choice of pushchairs, prams, buggies and car seats all under one roof with over 200 brands to compare, try and buy. Product demonstrations will help you find the right products for your growing family. There’s a Live Stage with MadeForMums which hosts leading baby and parenting experts talking about topics including birth, sleep, weaning, breastfeeding, first aidand development, as well as celebrity chats and the latest collections can be seen on the catwalk. Make the most of your day out – learn life-saving baby first aid skills with Daisy First Aid, have a personal consultation or take part in an NCT class at the show. With family-friendly facilities, The Baby Show is a must-attend event for anyone with a baby on the way, or with a baby in tow. That’s why it’s been recommended by parents for 17 years.
About Clarion Events
Clarion Events organise more than 200 events each year across the globe, ranging from exhibitions, conferences and seated events. Well-known for identifying high-value, niche audiences in difficult-to-reach markets and building them into market-leading products, over 12,000 companies trust them with their custom each year, with more than 750,000 people attending their events.
Review by: Lex Ward
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* We were provided with press tickets in exchange for a review. All opinions are our own.