Back in May I exhibited at Pulse, at Olympia London, for the first time. I was in the Launchpad section and I had a big 3×2 meter booth to play with!
It was only my second ever trade show, I had exhibited at Top Drawer back in September 2014 in the ‘Spotted’ section where I had a little plinth to display my products on (see picture). I got a box made to sit on top of the plinth. It had four sides separate sides which all fitted together with bolts so it fitted in the car nicely and a little hidden compartment to store my catalogues and bag inside the box! It worked out pretty well but I was excited to have a much bigger space to play around with for Pulse!
So this time it felt more like a trade show with a huge space to fill with walls and your own floor! It took a few months of prep; lots of scribbles of potential set ups, hours of trawling through Pinterest in search for some inspiration, periods of panic where I thought how on earth I am going to fill a whole booth and display my jewellery, cards and prints… but it all eventually came together, thankfully! I got a lot of the display stuff from IKEA and Ebay and I made a lot of the wooden signage myself. I also made use of my local timber business to make me those mini shelves for my earrings and cards which didn’t cost hardly anything at all. I was totally in love with the grey diamond rug which was from Urban Outftters which isn’t on sale anymore but they have some amazing ones!
My parents drove down from Scotland to Alnwick where I live in order to help me out for the trade show (which was SUPER kind of them!). They stayed the night and we then squeezed all the boxes and bags into the car (it just about fit) and then we drove down early morning to set up. We had two days to set up which was real handy, so we arrived at Pulse on Friday 8th May at around 3pm, the venue was only open until 6pm that evening so we only had time to unload and get the self adhesive wooden flooring down. The next day we arrived early and started the proper set up, we had until 10pm that evening to set up. All in all it took us 12 hours to set up, my parents where a big help, I definitely couldn’t have done it alone!
And then a few finishing touches on the Sunday before the doors opened to the public, including some fresh flowers and sweeties, cleaning up the floor and straightening the catalogues and we where ready!
The first day was the busiest of the 3 days it was open, but overall it wasn’t a massively busy show compared to how busy Top Drawer was for me in September. I gathered it was because it was quite early on in the year, just after the financial tax year and so close to Summer. I had a gut feeling it wouldn’t be as good a show as Top Drawer, but I decided it was worth trying out at least once. Thankfully despite this fact, I did get a few orders from many lovely independent shops from all over the UK and an order from the department store, Fenwick! My products are sold in the Canterbury store which is really exciting!
It was lovely to meet some of my current stockists as well! Including Erica from Pippin, Elaine from Junction Arts, Sally from Mrs Robinson’s Store and Miles and Kate from Curiouser and Curiouser.
I had some great neighbours too, Anna from Anna Wiscombe and Paul from Uberstar…and the girls from Ark. During the quieter periods we would just blether away and share our stories, it was fab!
Overall, I am happy that I went to Pulse, but I don’t think I will go back anytime soon. I’ll be writing a post about my top trade show tips as well so keep an eye out for that where I will be going into more depth.
Have you ever been to Pulse? What has been your trade show experience?