Organiser defends Belfast Motor Show

Published Monday, 28 July 2014
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The organiser of the Belfast Motor Show has defended the event after complaints it was not worth the entrance fee.

The event, billed as the first motor show in Northern Ireland for 12 years and showcasing the best motoring action, took place at the King's Hall over the weekend.

Organisers said around 5,000 people attended with a number dissatisfied with their experience.

Scores of people have complained to UTV describing the event as a "joke" saying they were able to make it around the whole show in a matter of minutes.

Another said his time would have been better spent walking around the car dealerships in the nearby Boucher Road.

I don't know that we did get it completely wrong.

Organiser Kerry Mann

Organiser Kerry Mann told the Frank Mitchell Phone-in on U105 mistakes were made in branding the event.

She said: "While there have been a lot of complaints, there has also be a lot of positives about the event.

"Families told us they thoroughly enjoyed the event and were looking forward to future events.

"We are looking at the comments and will obviously take them on board for the future."

She said to say the motor show was returning after a 12 year absence was "possibly misleading".

"We have to now look at the event as a team and we have to see what we can do to rectify and build on the event," she continued.

"This was the first year of the event and every event has teething problems to begin with and it is something we have to consider and we have to take on board everyone's comments.

"Had we called it something like 'Motoring Fest', people may have understood it would have been something different to the old motor show.

"We always said it was going to be everything motoring and it was going to encourage families to come along and there would be plenty for them to do."

There were a lot of great businesses who put a lot of hard work and effort into their stands and demonstrations.

Organiser Kerry Mann

Asked if it would return Kerry Mann said there was a demand and they would consider bringing the show back next year.

Kerry, who is known for organising successful bridal events, added: "Originally we said 'it's back', referring to the motor show that took place before.

"But we changed that because we realised it was a different event.

"I don't run events to make money, I run them because I love events.

"I have been organising events for five years and I am not in it to make a lot of money.

"We feel as a company there was the entertainment on to justify the entry fee.

"Possibly we need to look at adding more to entertainment at next year's event."

Following the show, complaints swamped the official Facebook page.

The organiser said the page was taken down after threatening and abusive comments were made which have been reported to the police.

She also said they were looking into the matter of refunds for those dissatisfied customers, but said there was no policy in place.

A PSNI spokesman said they were aware of comments made on social media and have given "appropriate advice".

He added: "At this stage, this is a civil matter."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
in comber wrote (184 days ago):
bob in Belfast, what are you on?you had a fantastic day, you mean ten minutes?
Kevin graham in Belfast wrote (185 days ago):
Would someone please give me details on how i can get in contact with KERRY MANN in order for me to get my money back, as a previous contributor said no doubt she will just disappear into the long grass and not re-appear until the next event. Ps can someone tell me what happened to all themoney?
Fin in BELFAST wrote (186 days ago):
I purchased my ticket on Groupon, Went to the show and laughed it was so pathetic. Contacted Groupon after having no success or reply from the orginizers and got a full refund within 2 hours....well done Groupon
charlie carson in belfast wrote (186 days ago):
went to the so called motor show on sunday with my wife , left the car at home for fear of having parking difficulties when i got parks were empty thought the show was cancelled. paid £20 entrance and was told by a young lady that there were not many cars there, thought she was joking until we got inside. no brand new cars on display,two de'loreans, two Noble super cars which you had to pay £5 to have your photo taken sitting in them. among the various stands on show were CUP CAKES, TAYTO CRISPS, LADIES MAKE UP, SOLAR PANELS, GOLFING, BICYCLES, FACE PAINTING FOR we had no coats with us and there was torrential rain fo a few hours, we were trapped in the place for three and a half hours, mind we had seen all in just 20 mins.Tota and utter take on,i could have walked along Boucher Road and saw as many new cars as i wanted for free.
William in Dublin wrote (186 days ago):
Myself and my friend travelled up from Dublin for this event after it was advertised down South online. We paid for trains, hotel, taxis, food expenses to attend being avid motor enthusiasts. The organisers should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. I honestly thought there was another large building which I had missed. When I complained I was told 'sorry it will be better next year' Where was all the motor industry from Northern Ireland. Where was the new models and forthcoming models on display. The stalls were mostly only tat. I have no idea who this woman is who organised the show, but she should be issuing a blanket refund for every person who went through the styles. I will be taking this up with trading standards and also urge everyone else to do the same.
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