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RHS London shows to relocate to RHS Gardens to growth audiences

From 2019 three of the current five London Shows, held in the Royal Horticultural Halls, will relocate to RHS Gardens to attract larger audiences, be enjoyed by more people and deliver greater results for nurseries and exhibitors.

The move follows the RHS continuing to look at how to increase the success and popularity of its London Shows since it last reviewed them in 2016.

All five of the London Shows currently attract only 12,000 visitors in total throughout the year, on average 2,400 visitors per show. In contrast individual RHS Flower Shows at our RHS Gardens attract over 45,000 people at Wisley, 26,000 at Hyde Hall, nearly 14,000 at Harlow Carr and in its first year Rosemoor Flower Show attracted over 9,000 visitors.

Sue Biggs, RHS director general says: “We have tried to increase the success of these shows in London, but we cannot avoid the reality that the five shows in the last year were only visited by 12,000 visitors, at a cost of £400,000 to the RHS’ charitable funds.

“We have held Shows in London at the Lawrence and Lindley Halls in Vincent Square since 1904, and enjoyed over a century of success bringing horticulture to the heart of London. However, times have changed – today exhibitors have to contend with the high costs of emission, congestion and parking charges as well as ever increasing hotel prices. On top of this the London Shows only attract a fraction of the visitors that similar events in our RHS Gardens do – in its first year Rosemoor Flower Show had nearly four times as many visitors as the average London Show.

“After careful consideration, we have decided to move the majority of these shows to our RHS Gardens, where we are confident they will attract a larger audience, inspiring more people to grow, and enabling our great British nurseries to continue to flourish.”

For 2019, the RHS will put on one major show in the London Lindley and Lawrence Halls. The RHS London Spring Launch Show in 8 – 10 April 2019, will launch the RHS Shows season and support Britain’s nurseries to promote a wider range of plants.

The event will incorporate the spectacular Orchid Show, the display and selling of spring bulbs and plants, and will have a focus on house plants and container gardening. There will also be expert plantsmen and grower talks, as well as designers giving a preview of what’s coming in the show season ahead.

Other shows will relocate as follows in 2019:

  1. The Early Spring Show will move to RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex
  2. The Orchid Show will be incorporated into The RHS Spring Launch Show
  3. The venue of The Botanical Art Show is not yet confirmed.  The RHS is committed to continuing the Show and is currently exploring the best options.
  4. The Autumn Show will move to Hyde Hall
  5. Elements of the The Urban Show, which will not be directly replaced, will be incorporated in other shows and the RHS is looking at other ways to continue to show plants and gardening in central London.

For 2020, once the RHS new events building is open at Wisley, one or more of the shows may move from Hyde Hall to Wisley.

The shows that relocate at Hyde Hall and Wisley will be free for RHS Members.

Sue finishes: “We are sorry that some members will be disappointed at this decision, but we hope they understand that these shows are no longer sustainable for either the RHS or our dedicated exhibitors. We are extremely grateful for their long standing support and hope they will continue to support our charitable work and enjoy the many other benefits that being an RHS member brings.”

RHS membership offers free access to four RHS Gardens, early access to major Flower Shows, the monthly Garden Magazine; free gardening advice; access to over 200 partner gardens at different times throughout the year and supports the charitable work of the RHS.

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