From the 15-17th May I exhibited at Pulse, a home and gift trade show in Olympia. It was a three day show with two days to set up so I spent 5 whole days at the exhibition centre in Olympia. I was in the “Launchpad” area designed for newbies with a cheaper package than normal and bigger space – this was great as it meant I could really showcase all of my designs. I spent ages designing my stand and felt I got my ‘look’ right. The first day was spent painting my stand and the second day hanging my shelves and wire rack to display my cards. My lovely husband was there to help me and after a long 7 hours we were finally show ready!
The next three days were spent standing in our space talking to our neighbours, buyers, designers and whoever stopped by our stand. It did feel pretty quiet, it was my first time exhibiting at Pulse so I couldn’t compare it to previous years but I wouldn’t say it was brimming with visitors. That said, I did take a lot of orders and met lots of lovely independent shop owners as well as some multiples so we had a really great show. I must say it is such a lovely industry to work in, almost everyone you meet is so friendly and helpful and a joy to work with. Everyone’s stands looked really great and the whole show had a lovely feel over all, plus the building itself is pretty impressive!
Our stand was near the “shop talk” area where they curated various talks from people in the business including Sally Bendelow from Not on The High Street and Liz Sylvester from Liberty so they were really interesting and inspiring to listen to.
Before we knew it the three days were up and we were taking down the show, we painted our walls back to white and packed everything back in the van to drive home. Living in London is a real bonus to doing London shows-there’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed when you’re knackered! Would I do Pulse again? I’m not sure… the Launchpad area is moving upstairs next year and I worry about the footfall as it really wasn’t that busy downstairs so how many of those buyers are going to make the trip upstairs? I did have a great show and Pulse did a lot of marketing around the show to give it a real buzz, I’m interested to compare it to Top Drawer which I’ll be doing in January 2017. I’d like to try some other the trade fairs also and financially I can’t do more than 2-3 a year so I may choose Spring Fair or Harrogate instead next year. I feel like I want to try them all before I can make a fair judgement! Although having said that, every show is different and you really don’t know who is going to walk past your stand. Exhibiting at Pulse has given me confidence in my business and a boost to think about what direction to go in next.