THE MBS EXHIBITION AT THE RHS HALLS, LONDON
May 25 to 30, 2011
Spring chickens we are not, so the prospect of a six day show brought us apprehensions about the quantity of stock we should take and whether it would fit in our vanette. We had a disaster with the accommodation for our previous trip to London and prayed that it would not be repeated. Well, the stock fitted into the van – just – and the unloading and setting up went without a hitch.
We found our bed and breakfast accommodation in East Putney and were greeted with true warmth by the charming Sara. After ensconcing ourselves we set out to look for food and found Sara’s recommendation, LA VERA ITALIA near East Putney station. I would imagine that this is the type of establishment you would find in a small town in Italy; no frills and fancies but honest and wholesome “locals” food. The menu offered a fair selection and the food was good, so we ate here every night. I had intended to leave a fair tip after our last dinner – the food and service were excellent – but was taken aback when the manager turned the tables and discounted our bill.
The footfall – conjures up all sorts of images – was good for all six days and the punters were as varied as the weather. It is difficult for us to remember all the people we meet but we will certainly have left an impression on them. A mother and daughter were interested in our blood sugar level reducing product and the mother, who was diabetic, confessed that she did not check her blood sugar level as she was terrified of pricking her finger for a blood sample. Marjorie tried to impress the importance of monitoring, and the woman sobbed in Marjorie’s arms as she promised to be brave.
I offer dowsing tuition to those wishing to learn: a man paid for a pendulum but struggled to get a response from it so I asked Marjorie to refund his money, which he refused to accept saying that it was worth what he had learned, even though he could not use the pendulum. Surprisingly – more so to him – he was able to use the ‘L’ rods and went away a happy man.
The exhibition was certainly a success for us, and we will do it again next year.
THE BEAUTY SHOW and THE HOLISTIC SHOW
at the N.E.C. May 14, 2011
Our previous trip to the NEC was by train, which goes right into the centre so you do not have a perspective of the size, but we had to drive this time and were able to see how vast the setup is. Idiot proof signage made it easy to find our unloading bay, and it seemed sensible to locate our stand before lugging our stock in. The commercial displays, as we entered the hall, were jaw dropping which prompted Marjorie to say, “We’re with the big boys now”.
We threaded our way through to the adjoining hall and lost our sense of inferiority as we saw stands like we see at normal exhibitions, and found our stand. Marjorie, still recovering from shingles, wanted to but could not help unload the van. My homemade flatbed trolley was invaluable and I was able to bring in all our stock in two trips, and I offered it to our adjacent first time exhibitor who was totally unprepared. We saw familiar faces scurrying along to set up their own stands, and it started to feel like home. It seems that I had forgotten to order a table and chairs so, while everyone was running hither and thither, I acquired a table and a chair. A plywood sheet I had in the van was transformed into a table on which I displayed dowsing tools.
Our Travelodge was an ex Innkeepers Lodge so there was a Toby Carvery on site, eliminating our where-to-eat dilemma. No complaints about the food, wine or price but the service was poor. The fact that we did not have to drive to a restaurant was an added bonus.
The exhibition is a trade show for those in the beauty and allied businesses – fake tans abounded – and is not open to the public, but one can apply for an invitation. The “holistic” (for want of a better name) hall had more warmth and had smaller stands. I was excited but Marjorie’s glass was half empty as we waited for the off, and we soon saw people streaming in. I had expected visitors to attend to their trade business and then dribble in just to see what else was around, but I was wrong as it did not take long for us to make our first sale.
Marjorie manned the front of the stand and I was going to handle the overflow on my improvised table. To my surprise many people showed interest in dowsing and I feared I may run out of dowsing tools. I always have a feeling of achievement when I teach people to dowse. Often, I have to tell people who say that they can dowse that they are doing it incorrectly, and quite often some cannot get a response from any of the tools. I have found that blocked chakras stop people from being able to dowse and suggest that they have Reiki.
A couple came to my side of the stand as the woman wanted to buy a pendulum; the man – his badge indicated he was a podiatrist – said that he had a pair of rods and seemed disinterested until I showed him a bobber, which totally fascinated him and kept him glued to our stand. His patient partner watched as I taught and attempted to teach people to dowse, advising Reiki. Many returned saying that the CHILL OUT zone – with all sorts of healers – was too busy they could not get treatment. The patient partner informed me that the man was very good at Reiki, so I asked if he could help and he willingly helped two sisters who were able to dowse after his healing. This is but one example of the wonderful people we met and I have no doubt we have made a lot of new friends.
The second day of the exhibition was for staff working in the beauty and allied trades and for students in the business, so it was a looking rather than a buying day. These are our future customers.
Rather than drive home after the exhibition we spent the night in B’ham and stopped off in Cardiff on our way home, and treated ourselves to a mouthwatering Kerala thali at Chai (Mint & Mustard).
Our next exhibition is the 6 day even in London and we are getting our stock ready.
Into the breach again!
Part of the fun (sic) in venturing into the unknown is the anticipation and the questions that will soon be answered:
- Have we made the right decision about exhibiting here
- Have we calculated (guessed) the right quantity of stock to take. We ran out of stock at our first G-Mex exhibition, and had to take orders
- What have we left behind
- Will we have a safe journey there. No blowouts, please.
- Will the unloading be easy without scrambling
- Considering that Marjorie is temporarily one handed will it greatly hinder our seting up
- Will we have decent neighbours
- Have I chosen the right stand
- Will the energy at our stand be positive. Can it be a coincidence that there is always a positive energy line running through our stand at all exhibitions?
- Will there be a good footfall
- Will we do trade deals
- Will the exhibition be profitable for us
- Will our accommodation be alright
- Will we find decent eating places
- Will there be scramble at dismantling time
- Will we have a safe trip home
Baring very few exceptions we generally do not have any regrets, as we always make new friends.
Every now and again we venture into new pastures, sometimes because we feel that we need exposure in that area or because we have heard of a show from our colleagues on the circuit.
One such show is the six day Mind, Body and Spirit show held at the RHS halls in London and Asim Shad, of Salty Lamps, said that if we did just one show a year this should be the one.
Most exhibitions run for two or three days and we felt that three days was the most we could handle, both from point of stamina and the quantity of stock we can fit in our Nissan Vanette. Six days! Fools rush in….., and how about the stock? We solved the stock problem by having our courier deliver our “excess baggage” to us at the venue.
Marjorie and I sailed through the six days with energy to spare, and put this down to our intake of Neem and Bitter Melon capsules. We had a profitable exhibition and were relieved that we sold so much stock, and were able to fit the rest in our van. It would have been embarrassing if we had “excess baggage” on the return trip. BTW, I was proud of the wooden heavy duty flatbed trolley I built for this exhibition.
Crystals, jewellery, Tibetan goods, books, cosmetics make up the bulk of trade stands at our exhibitions and we are considered unique, and this makes us welcome by organisers. Add to that the fact that we are considered veterans of the circuit makes us a target for event organisers, and this is how we were invited to exhibit at the NEC early in May. I have not been able to get any intelligence on the type of show this is going to be, so we do not know what to expect and are being phlegmatic. My feeling is that we will do well.
To be continued after the exhibition.