The organisers at the time of going to press, two weeks after the event, were still being cagey about visitor numbers. And before the event it was difficult to get precise figures on exhibitor numbers, beyond the fact that "around 1,500 companies" were expected toshowcase their products, compared to 2012’s 1,549.

But while this reticence may or may not tell a story, the anecdotal evidence from visitors and exhibitors was that the show was quieter, and significantly so on the first day. The fact that there were wide open spaces on the far sides of both halls in ExCeL also indicated that fewer exhibitors had been brought together to make a smaller overall space buzzier. In fact, one trade expert had heard that overall exhibitor fees were down by a "significant sum".

As for visitor numbers, the general view was that overall they were down on last year’s 57,000 although a very busy second day, partly made up for poor turnout on the first.

All that said, however, timber products and build systems made a good showing at the event, with new stand theming and redesigned show messaging making them easier to find, albeit that the consensus was that there were a marginally fewer stands from the sector this time around.

Exhibitors had lined up new products especially for the event and also reported that visitors did cover their key target groups; architects, specifiers, contractors, and, increasingly, self-builders. Most also said that they’d be back, despite reported plans to raise stand prices, attributing a quieter show to the downturn, rather than Ecobuild passing its peak. One exhibitor did comment, however, that the event needed to remember its original environmental focus, as visitors were "there for the eco, not just the build".