I'd been excited by and dreading the S O S in fairly equal amounts, to single-handedly set up, man and break down a stand at one of these shows is pretty good going as it is hard work. But as the blurb promises, there is something quite lovely about the Spirit shows, there is a general feeling on bonhomie and everyone is lovely, the exhibitors, the visitors and everyone at the exhibition centre, it is like a virtuous circle of 'niceness' that puts a bit of faith back into anyone concerned about the demise of the human condition.
I took these pics early one morning when everyone was setting up, there were visitors, although by about 2.30 most afternoons, it did look like this again, and we just spent the afternoon browsing other stands, we left one person in charge of our run of stands and went shopping!
It was a lovely thing to do once, but the numbers were pretty low so I don't think that it would be viable to do again. I did a quick pros and cons analysis, for anyone who is thinking about selling product or launching a kitchen sink company, this show is often an early port of call so it might be useful...
Great fun, lovely people, fairly stress free, no concerns about theft overnight or from shoppers.
Fantastic venue with loads of natural light, when the sun came out, it was almost like being outside.
Easy access in West London (Olympia), good parking (fairly cheap at £35 for the whole day)
The people that visited DID have money to spend and if the price was right and they like it, WOULD buy it.
There just weren't enough people, on days one to three, I probably only saw about 800 people in total, although there were plenty on the Saturday (but they weren't quite so quick to spend, even if they liked something)
I was fairly late in and didn't have a great spot, (I thought that the champagne bar sounded fab!) but it was right by where they did the talks about champagne, chocolate, pilates, flower arranging etc, v. interesting and beautifully done, but it did seem to put 'shoppers' off coming on the the stands, although the 'day trippers' did stand around watching the talks and some of them came on the stand to shop on the last day when we were practically giving everything away in order to not have to pack it up!
Another position problem was that people saw our stuff early and if they liked something and wanted to come back for it, we were about as far away from the exit as it was possible to be, so many who had intended to come back, just couldn't be bothered.
There were lots of lovely stands, these are just a few that I snapped in one row...
It's a great place to launch a 'brand' and probably makes more sense than paying for advertising..
Some really beautiful handmade things..
All in all, I was really glad to have done it, it was sociable and busy and I met some great people, it was a larger version of the cricket sale. I don't think that I am ready to do this scale of event, and will focus on smaller ones until I have a bit more money to throw at the situation! But it has given me loads of ideas that I can't wait to put into action soon....