Today has been the first day of my first-ever trade show and currently, I can only describe my feeling as numb. There were so many things that I wasn’t expecting happening it was hard to know what to think after a busy day and although I’m really exhausted, I wanted to jot down my thoughts on events so I don’t forget after another gruelling day tomorrow.
Sleeping in probably wasn’t the best of starts, but that was mostly due to having about 29 seconds sleep as I had so much whirling round my head that I didn’t drop off til after 5 and my alarm was snoozed through several times. A mad dash to get ready ensued, leaving no time for breakfast before I stopped in at my studio (right near the venue thankfully) to collect an extra sample and some stationery I’d forgotten. Then onto the venue to add the flowers for display and do some last minute adjustments.
The show opened at 9.30 and it took a LONG time for visitors to filter up to our outpost position at the draughtiest far end of the hall. Whilst we waited, the announcement was made of the “best in show” prizes and I was delighted that my friend and next-door stand neighbour Mhairi won the best jewellery product of the show – hurrah! Slightly gutted that my entry to the home and gift category didn’t rank at all, beaten by some “novelty” condoms (I shit ye not) and soap in a mofo-ing tin, but thems the breaks!
Undaunted, we began to chat up the visitors who showed interest (and in Mhairi’s case, the security guard to turn up the heating-brrr!) and started to meet some really good contacts and collect business cards and show off our wares. Sunday seems all about the smaller traders, independent boutique shops who will consider their purchases a lot more carefully. As it was, I took only a single order on the day, from a fantastic shop I already stock with (hello, Fiona!) which was great news but I know that all the hard work chatting and answering questions, etc will pay off in weeks and months to come.
By lunchtime, my feet were killing me and I almost had to get Lee to bring down some flat shoes from home, til I remembered seeing a SHOE VENDING MACHINE on the main concourse, so after investing £6 on some folding ballet pumps, I was feeling much more focussed on smiling and chatting. I somehow didn’t find time to eat anything except half a biscuit and a small bottle of water which is really, really wrong!
Everyone who stopped by from other stands told Mhairi and I that tomorrow and Tuesday are going to be the “big chequebook” days, so I guess it’s all change again tomorrow when the larger companies arrive. Today, it tailed off around 4.30, so the last hour we chatted amongst ourselves and submitted our details to chat to the production team of Dragons’ Den tomorrow – I’ve no idea what to say and not a burning desire to be on it, but there’s no harm in speaking to them!
Home for 6 and then straight into stitching up a new design, some dinner and a bath to soak my aching feet and back and then bed, ready to do it all over again. Standing on a concrete floor for 9 hours is something I’m really not used to, so I’m aching all over and generally exhausted. I’ve no energy to even answer emails but had to note all this down as tomorrow, I think my brain will have no space left for anything else.
Not even had a chance to think about my interview at work on Thursday…I suspect Wednesday night is cramming time.