For the last 3 years we have been using our ‘revolutionary’ cardboard furniture. It went down so well every year as it was quirky and different. It was decided that this year though, that it was getting a little tatty and that we should try something new.
We have been playing around with a base idea of creating a ‘library’ effect with some dark wood bookcases and it is all finally starting to take shape.
The bookcases were all delivered last week and have now all been put together. We have mocked them all up in a similar area at the barns and it is looking good.
Can’t wait to get there on Monday and get it all set up and ready to go.
Monday 11th March
Quick drive by the office to pick up the last few bits that we need on the stand and then its off to Olympia for a day of setting up the stand. Our Marketing Manager Julia, our Production controller Heather and I all have our Hi Viz’s on and off we go.
There is a lot of moving bookcases and unpacking all the boxes we packed just days before – top tip is to not pack the stanley knife. We locate the biscuits post haste and set to work. All the shelves need to be put in and it’s surprisingly hard, the books have to be arranged and finally we have to squeeze in 3 tables!
By 4pm we have it all looking pretty amazing.
Tuesday 12th March
Early start for me this morning, I need to get to Olympia first thing. This year, for the first time, we have decided to offer alcoholic drinks for afternoon meetings (hic!). So there I am, 2 wheelie suitcases filled up with Wine and Beer (and bottles of water) chinking and rattling as I walk along!
The stand looks resplendent this morning. Simon arrived just before me and has switched on all of the candles and lights. We did have an overnight casualty, one of our Limited Edition Collector’s versions of the Ringo Starr book has been knocked on the floor and is looking very dented and ripped and generally in a bad way, but a quick call to the office and a new one is on its way – so all is good.
I reckon everyone must have been standing at the entrance like race horses in a starting gate – for as soon as the ‘The book fair is officially open’ tannoy message went out, it felt as though it was heaving and it was pretty much non-stop for the whole day.
8 meetings for me today, on and off of the stand, giving me a chance to have a good look around and take in the atmosphere of the place. Great News – everyone seems to love the new stand. It certainly has the ‘WOW’ factor this year.
Wednesday 13th March
Another early start, and another full-on day of meetings for me this morning. It meant I didn’t get much chance to wander around today. Everyone is still loving the stand, although it does get very busy and loud at times, but it is really buzzing today, which it great.
Stars of the show for us are definitely the Fantastic Beasts Suitcase, the Porsche Calendar and the Tunnel Calamity. They are great examples of some of the amazing stuff we can do.
The other, more surprising star of the show appears to be the ‘white dummies’ bookcase. It really does seem to draw everyone in.
Thursday 14th March
Last day – traditionally the quiet day, where meetings are few and far between. For me, it gave me a chance to spend time with a couple of clients without the rush of having another meeting straight away.
Also got the chance for a wander around to make sure I had made contact with everyone I needed to.
4:30 and everyone starts packing up their stands, so we decide we can follow suit.
All the hard work for the week is over – its 6pm, the books are all in their boxes, the bookcases are bare and ready for the courier to come and collect – and we are done for another year.