Report from the SSA UK 2023 trade show in Birmingham

My name is Seth Palsgraaf and employed at Universal Storage Containers for a little over a year. Since last summer, I have been involved a lot in trade show preparations. Now I had the opportunity to go along to the SSA UK in Birmingham. In this article my experiences and the of course the fair itself.


On Sunday, May 14, we left in the late afternoon for Hook of Holland to catch the ferry to Harwich. All the exhibition material luckily fit in Martin’s car, so we were able to cross the border comfortably. The boat left a little before ten and the next morning the alarm went off at 5:30, English time.

After breakfast and all the formalities, we were able to hit the road to Birmingham, which was still just under three hours away. We arrived at our hotel in Birmingham around 10:30 a.m., where we got right to work on the demo container and building the booth.

Set up

The build-up ran smoothly. The Z-Box used as a demo container could be cleaned properly and we could connect the beamer in the container.
For the booth inside, we didn’t rent anything this year, but brought everything ourselves. We are working on getting all the scholarship materials mobile so we can bring all of this ourselves.

Using a 3D model, based on the size of the booth, we can see what will fit so we know exactly what to bring. In Birmingham, we had several banners, an LED back wall and a mobile trade show desk that allowed us to nicely dress up the booth.

The fair

The fair was a very educational experience. Each participant offers themselves in a different way, which in turn provides much inspiration for subsequent fellowships. The SSA UK was very well attended, with more than 600 registrations for two days. Everything went very well, there was a lot of traffic and especially a lot of interested people.

In England, the concept of outdoor storage is nothing new, so we didn’t have to explain that to anyone. The bulk of storage parks in England are filled with shipping containers, so it’s up to us to prove that the Z-Box is better in certain ways….

Demo container

Using the demo container, we could easily show the ventilation, insulation and the different compartments. The various models of the Z-Box in particular are quite unique to the UK storage industry. After all, with shipping containers it is difficult and expensive to put four different compartments in them, for example….

In addition, the door of a Z-Box is a lot easier to handle than that of a shipping container, so this could be easily tested. All in all, it was a successful fair where we certainly put Universal Storage Containers on the map.

Breaking down and back

At the end of the second day, we started cleaning up early. It all went very smoothly and fortunately everything fit back into the car. We arrived at the ferry in plenty of time and moored again early the next morning at the Hook of Holland harbor.

Now we need to evaluate everything and turn our experiences into improvements for our booth at the next trade shows.

Seth Palsgrave

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