On 19th and 20th June, Stonehealth took to the road and headed towards the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre for the NAMM Tradex event. We spoke with Phil Potts, the National Executive Officer of NAMM, and our very own Phil Ellis to discover more about how the weekend panned out.
Stonehealth visit NAMM Tradex 2015
What is NAMM?
NAMM is the National Association of Memorial Masons. The organisation was founded in 1907, and is the only association for memorial masons in the UK. Phil Potts says that the organisation aims for “quality assurance in the memorial mason industry” and that they work closely with Historic England and other organisations in the industry to try and promote the best standard of cleaning. This includes reviewing environmental concerns, and finding the most effective ways of protecting the stone from damage.
What is the Tradex event about?
The NAMM Tradex events are free events for Retail Memorial Masons – which is free to visit for both NAMM members and non-members.
Although these trade shows have been taking place for a while, they have been run jointly with the National Funeral Exhibition in recent years. This year has solely been about Memorial Masons, and for companies within the industry to demonstrate new techniques and technologies in the masonry industry. Typical exhibitors include wholesalers, tool suppliers, and equipment suppliers.
Other perks of the exhibition include the seminars. All visitors were invited to attend a number of talks, which covered a range of topics associated with the memorial masonry industry.
Overall, Phil Potts said the show “exceeded all expectations” in regards to attendance, and the response from exhibitors and visitors.
How was the Stonehealth experience?
The NAMM Tradex was certainly eventful; we hosted a number of demonstrations with the DOFF system throughout the day, with the last one on Friday interesting a large crowd of visitors.
Phil Ellis, of Stonehealth, said there were three distinct groups of people there: those who owned a DOFF and are familiar with it; those who had heard of the DOFF, but never seen it; and those who had never encountered a DOFF, or had even heard of one. With the stand being based outside, our popularity depended on the weather somewhat, but thankfully it held out until just after we had left!
We were totally self-contained – with the DOFF being powered by the new Stonehealth diesel unit – apart from a clean water supply, which was provided by the organisers of the event. We were keen to use the diesel unit to demonstrate how our systems can be used in isolated areas – such as a cemetery or a field – without the need for a nearby electrical supply.
The interest generated by our stand was better than we expected, and the people who came to visit us appeared genuinely interested in what we had to offer and ended up sticking around. We were able to get across to those individuals that the traditional methods of cleaning stone tend to take the life and character away from it, whereas our systems are designed to clean and, most importantly, preserve the stone.
We look forward to returning and enlightening a new group of people!