Joolzery at Spring Fair in NEC Birmingham, Hall 19 - 20 Stand 20M02 on the 3rd - 7th February 2019
My second trade show of 2019, was Spring Fair in the NEC Birmingham, 3rd - 7th February 2019.
After my experience at previous trade fairs, I had 3 main objectives:
Get new orders for my collections
Find new customers to stock my collections, and
Find a Retail Agent, to sell my collections to retail outlets in galleries around the UK
For those of you who are not in the know, Spring Fair is one of, if not the biggest trade show in the UK, so it's fairly true to say that it can be quite easy to get lost in the crowd.
However with this particular tradeshow they have implemented a app, Product Match, which I liken to Tinder for tradeshows, in principle the app is supposed to allow exhibitors to find, contact and arrnage meetings with potential buyers attending Spring Fair.
So me being me, being a bit of a control freak, and to increase my chances of a positive outcome from my first objective, I was all over that app, and booked meetings with exhibitors that I thought would be a perfect match for my products and their outlets.
Even though I knew this, I had not really taken on board how mahossive this trade fair was, until I arrived at the venue.
It takes over all the halls of the NEC Birmingham complex, and as I was to find out, from Birmingham International Station to Hall 20, which was the hall that my little stand was in too 15 minutes to walk, and waiting for the shuttle bus, did not make the trek any quicker!
The other thinig I did not take into consideration was that I knew it was a 5 day event, but neglected to realise that Sun - Wed the show was opened from 9am to 6pm, so these where quite long days too!
At least on the last day thursday the show closed at 4pm.
So I arrive at the NEC on Saturday, after a very eventless drive on the M6 then the M42, there was a bit of congestion on the M6, which held me up for about 15 minutes, but after that it was fairly plain sailing.
Luckily I got there well within my alloted time and went to find my stand, it was not what I was expected, which seems to be a common thing when I book these trade shows, and everytime I have to make some adjustments:
As a newbie, I was given a stand in the Fashion First, which included a table and chair, along with some stickers, it was at this point, that I realised that I was close to the exit for the hall, which means that I am in the furthest part from the enterance to Hall 20.
So the process of unloading the car which took less than 45 minutes, 4 trips to the car, and I realised I did not need to bring my IKEA folding high chair with me:
Because the stand was not what I was expecting, on unloading and moving the car to the car park, ensuring I was not charged £50, I had to make some adjustments as to how I would set out my stand, that had an addition of a table that had a different dimensions to what I am used to working with.
And then my plan of turning this space into my stand, with the help of the stand builders, started to take shape, making effective use of the stand:
It took just under 3 hours, with some re-jiging but the stand, is complete and ready for the jewellery to be added first thing on Sunday morning before the show opened at 9am:
One the first day I meet my stand buddies of the fashion first section, which are mainly handmade jewellers, it's a strange section, a bit of no mans land, as we are at the back of a huge hall, with no real labelling, as to the fact that we are there.
And so the 5 days of selling to potential cutomers begins.........
On a positive note, although the fashion first section is right at the back of Hall 20, it is on the corridor to the Seminar, so you have some footfall, but there are many ways to navigate to get to this position, but as this is a numbers game, so in principle you should get people passing, well that's what I was told be the organisers.
The only real eventful thing of this event, was when I turned up on Tuesday morning to add the jwellery to my stand to this:
Apparently this can happen because of the dramatic change in temperatures over night.
This is where being nice to the shell builders can come in really handy, as although every thing goes through the organiser help desk, they put a triage system in place, so when time is at an essence you don't want your stand looking amateaurish, beacuse your main poster has fallen, and I was able to namb one of the guys to fix it before the show opened.
I was showcasing my collections based on the gemstones of the following properties:
Psychic Abilities and
I spoke to over 25 people over the 5 days, some were students and browsers, but for a show this big, I was expecting a lot more!
On thursday the show came to an end, and I was able to break down my stand within 30 minutes...
And that was my Spring Fair 2019 over
As to my objectives from this show, currently I was not able to complete any of them, which for a show this size, is truly disappointing.
But on a positive note, even though it was not on my original objectie list, after being let down by the company who was going to create my bespoke recyclable gift boxes for my jewellery, I was able to find 3 new potential UK packaging companies.
I will be writing an overview blog next month, w.r.t. my take on tradeshows.
PS If you would like a piece of jewellery deigned in a gemstone that I have not already created, contact me, and I will make one for you :) xxx