Visitors flocked to the International Forecourt & Fuel Equipment (IFFE) show at the Birmingham NEC last month.

Running alongside the Convenience Retailing Show (CRS), the three-day event gave retailers the chance to find out more about the latest launches and innovations in the market.

Visitor figures were up 20% on the previous year across both CRS and IFFE. Event director Matthew Butler said: "IFFE 2009 was tremendous. We had quality exhibitors, many of whom were launching new pieces of kit or new services for the industry. In addition, feedback from visitors was excellent - many said they visit this important show every year and it never disappoints."

Exhibitors were also pleased with the show, with many rebooking for the 2010 event. This year’s IFFE was strong in terms of oil company presence with BP, GB Oils, Gulf, Harvest Energy, Murco, Pace and Power all exhibiting.

Gulf Retail attracted plenty of attention with its sponsored Aston Martin Racing DBR9, which had been shipped over after winning the GT1 class at Le Mans - still sporting mud from the race track! Gulf Retail director Keith Jewers said: "IFFE 2009 was a complete success for us. Our aim was to expose the brand to as many people as possible and we achieved that. We had lots of interest and we received many quality leads."

BP’s improved dealer offer received a warm welcome. Peter Molloy, BP UK fuels manager, said: "We were delighted so many of our dealers visited us at IFFE, with some coming from as far as Northern Ireland to have a Wild Bean coffee on the stand. "

Oonagh Gilfillan, general manager at Power, said it was the first time the oil company had exhibited at the show. She added: "It was quite a big step for Power, especially in the current climate but we had a very positive experience."

The car wash companies, including Istobal and Ryko, were out in force. WashTec launched five products, including a car wash and jet wash. Managing director Michael Harris said: "The atmosphere in the halls allowed us all to forget the external difficulties for a few days." Wilcomatic launched two machines, the entry level rollover Centus, and premium Quantus. Meanwhile, Karcher launched its CB Flex car wash, which can be custom-built.

The Car Wash Association (CWA), formerly known as the Car Wash Campaign Group, held a lively open meeting, while Argus Media did a presentation on biofuels. Meanwhile, Gilbarco Veeder-Root, Scheidt & Bachmann and Tokheim were among the pump manufacturers exhibiting. Dresser Wayne launched the Global Star V and the Fusion Universal Site Controller.

? IFFE 2010 is at Birmingham NEC from March 21-24 2010. It will run alongside the Convenience Retailing Show, Baking Industry Exhibition, Food & Drink Expo and Foodex.


=== CRS Highlights ===

? Country Choice displayed its new Bake & Bite Café and Boston’s coffee and American-style donut concept as well as additions to its product ranges.

? Exhibitors included Allied Bakeries, Imperial Tobacco, PepsiCo, Unilever and Warburtons.

? The new Cafe+@CRS area incorporated the Cafe+ Live events, including discussions by PepsiCo, Subway and Brakes on food-to-go.

? The Take More, Make More area, hosted the ACS Heart of the Community - Retailer Forum, and a JTI discussion on the tobacco market.