Well we have returned from Spring Fair at the NEC in Birmingham and what a week it has been! We met lots of new faces, including visitors and fellow exhibitors, and thought we would share a little bit about our time at the fair and the work that goes into attending a trade show.
Preparation starts months in advance, photographing products, creating price lists, writing press releases and compiling press packs. We plan the stand layout, paint shelving, buy wallpaper and fill out lots of forms for the organizers. Not the most exciting jobs in the World but they have to be done nonetheless!
Several months before the fair we were also lucky enough to have our Cotton Embroidered Rabbit Napkins featured in the Little Black Book. This is the catalogue of exhibitors that will be present, and is sent out to all the registered visitors a few weeks before the fair opens. There are several trend taster pages throughout, just like the ‘Country Charm’ page on which we were included.
Once set up day rolls around, it is time to pack up the van with samples, furniture, tools and some lunch (it’s a long day) and make our way to the exhibition hall. Unloading can be a bit hectic at times, but with a sack truck and a strong helper we got everything we needed into our stand space and could commence wallpapering.
With all the samples in place, we could add a few finishing touches. These included our shortlisted Gift of the Year entry, and our inclusion in the Great British Trail sign, to inform visitors we are a British brand and everything we make is done so in the UK.
Unfortunately our little rabbit egg cosy didn’t make the final cut this year, but we had a great response from lots of visitors who recognized our entry. If you would like to know a little bit more about our entry into the Gift of the Year Awards, please take a look at our previous post.
The last job of the day was to delivery our press packs to the press office. It took 20 minutes to walk there and back from our stand, which gives you some idea of just how large the show is! There are 12 halls in total with lots of the visitors we spoke to spending several days at the show.
Visitors ranged from independent gift shop owners, buyers for large department stores, online retailers, agents, and those on research trips for potential new businesses to name but a few. The show was a great opportunity to create contacts, and chat to existing and potential new stockists. It is also a chance to network and learn from other exhibitors which is invaluable.
Well we hoped you enjoyed seeing a little of what goes into attending a trade show, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.