Everything you ever wanted to know about the BTS Exhibition but were afraid to ask!

By Ray and Angela Hale

At this time of  year I receive a deluge of e-mails and calls from members regarding the BTS Exhibition. This year has been no exception and with the BTS Exhibition moving to the superb Warwick Exhibition Centre, I have decided to post up a Frequently Asked Questions page on the site. Hopefully this should tell you everything you need to know.  If I have missed anything please feel free to contact me. Remember that unlike Halpoplema lividum, I do not bite! (Well not always).

Q. What is the BTS Exhibition?

A. The BTS Exhibition is an event like no other in the world.  It is a chance for spider lovers everywhere to meet, buy, sell and generally talk about spiders with like-minded people.  Last year we housed around 50,000 tarantulas under one roof and had over 2000 visitors to the event.  This year we expect there to be more traders than ever as we have increased our floorspace to 2200sqm. We expect at least 100 traders.

Q. When is the BTS Exhibition?

A. The exhibition is held in May and this year the date is Sunday 19th May 2019.

Q. Where is the BTS Exhibition held?

A. The 2019 exhibition will held at The Warwick Events Centre. The single hall is situated on the ground floor with excellent disabled access.

Q. How do I get there?

A. Directions are given on the BTS Website.  They can also be found under “How to get there” on the main page of this site.  If you are coming by plane, train or automobile you will not get lost.

Q. Is there parking?

A. There is ample parking with space for over 2000 cars. Car parking is FREE

Q. Do I have to pre-book tickets to visit the BTS Exhibition?

A. No. The Exhibition is open to everyone, but be prepared to queue if you arrive early.  The Warwick Events Centre has a 200 seat Restaurant on site.  This year we will be issuing wrist bands at the door.

Q. Do I have to be a member to get in?

A. Of course we would like you to join the BTS but the Exhibition is open to all.  We welcome the public.  Everyone is welcome.

Q. What time does it open to visitors?

A. The exhibition opens at 11.00am and closes at 4.00pm.

Q. How much does it cost to get in?

A. This is variable. The 2019 prices are £5.00 for adults and £4.00 for children up to 12. Under 5s are free.  A parent or guardian must  accompany children.  The official poster should be checked for any changes.  The BTS holds the right to make any changes to the entrance fee without prior notification if circumstances dictate. We  reserve the right to refuse admission. Members of the BTS get a  20% discount on the entry fee on presenting a current BTS membership card.

Q. Can I buy spiders at the BTS Exhibition?

A. Yes, there are over 80 exhibitors at the exhibition.  All of which are experienced tarantula enthusiasts.  They will be selling spiders but will be happy to give advice and help to the novice.  The BTS does not allow the sale of animals to children.  The handling of tarantulas at the event is strictly forbidden.  Not everyone loves them as we do.

Q. Can I sell spiders at the BTS Exhibition?

A. To sell spiders or to exhibit you MUST pre-book space.  This can be done by contacting the BTS directly for details, or visit “Trade at the BTS Exhibition” link.  Nobody will be allowed to trade or exhibit at the event without my permission.  This rule will be strictly applied.

Q. Will there be reptile for sale?

A. No. The BTS Exhibition is an invert event for invertebrates only. We love reptiles of course but we feel that the BTS Exhibition should be for those who love insects and spiders even more.

Q. I have heard about the BTS Spider Competitions.  What is it all about?

A. You have the chance to win a fantastic trophy for displaying your spider at the exhibition.  You must be a subscribing BTS member to enter.  Each year we have a number of categories in which you can enter your spider.  Bring it along on the day and enter it.

The categories are:

  • Best Brachypelma species
  • Best New World terrestrial
  • Best New World arboreal
  • Best African
  • Best Asian terrestrial
  • Best Asian arboreal
  • Best scorpion
  • Best artwork (poorly supported in recent years.  Lets see some decent entries this year)
  • Best photography
  • Best children’s artwork

Full rules and regulations can be obtained by e-mailing me direct.

Q. Are there refreshments available?

A. There is a 200 seat restaurant on site including a coffee bar.

Q. Can I join the BTS at the exhibition?

A. Yes please, we would love you to join the BTS.  Please visit the BTS Trade Stand and ask for details.

Q. What else is there for me to see and do?

A. Lots.  There is free competition open to all BTS Members where you can exhibit your prize spiders and win unique trophies.  There is a chance to meet other members and  talk to the experts.  We really are a friendly lot so don’t be shy.  Any  committee member will be more than pleased to offer assistance.

Q. I’m afraid of spiders. Will people be handling tarantulas at the BTS Exhibition?

A. No. The BTS has a strict non-handling policy.  Anyone seen handling tarantulas at the Exhibition will be confronted and removed if necessary.  We are very aware that some visitors are afraid and we aim to educate, not scare.

Q. Why do you not organise two exhibitions a year?

A. It’s a thought but the BTS Exhibition takes Angela and myself twelve months to organise. The exhibition is an annual event and hosting two would detract from the original idea.

So there it is.  I hope we have answered all of your concerns.  If not then e-mail us at rayhale@thebts.co.uk or post it up on the BTS Facebook Site and we will try to help you out.

Please visit the BTS Exhibition and enjoy the day.

Ray and Angela Hale

April 2019