Visiting Stitching Shows
|Stitching and craft shows are a fantastic way to spend a day, stock up on your essentials and see all of the new products that your favourite companies have to offer.|
We exhibit at 3 shows per year, at Alexandra Palace in London, Olympia (also in London) and the NEC in Birmingham. If you've never been to a stitching show, I can recommend any of these 3 shows as they are amazing! They're much bigger than you might expect - Alexandra Palace is, I think I'm right in saying, the biggest show of its kind in Europe and anyone who has been to the NEC will know that each hall is enormous, full of your favourite craft and stitching companies eager to show you their wares and show off their new bits and pieces. Having done these shows now for almost 5 years, I feel qualified to give you the bext advice I can on visiting. Advice on exhibiting would be a different matter - my one piece of advice there would be to make room on your stand for a chair!
First of all, make sure you plan your journey in advance. Ally Pally (that's what we 'in the know' call Alexandra Palace!) is in London, as is Olympia. The traffic in both areas can be horrendous, so if you can, take public transport for all, or at least the last part, of your journey. Investigate if a bus trip to the show is running from your local area and let someone else worry about the driving and the parking - they're used to it!
Secondly, have a look at the website for the company running the show you're interested in before you go. They will have a list of companies who are exhibiting on there, so you can work out where you might look for the essentials you want, although be ready to consider other companies as prices can be lower, making it worth your while shopping around a little.
Thirdly, make a list of everything you NEED to buy. Then you can relax, take your time and look at the lovely new products on offer, without worrying that you might forget about those essentials.
Now on to your actual arrival at the show. For the first half hour or so, try not to buy anything. Have a look round the whole show, quite quickly, making a mental note of the location of the stands you'd like to go back to. Buying a show catalogue can really help here, but you can manage without if your budget won't stretch to it. Also make a mental note of the location of the toilets and where you might each lunch - they'll be much busier later on.
OK, so you've had a quick scout round and you know where you need to go to buy the bits on your list. Now spend an hour or two browsing the new designs you like the look of, or maybe the new companies you've not seen before. Make sure you take a catalogue if they have one, it will remind you of them later on. The, if you can, go for lunch early. Trust me, an early lunch will save you a great deal of time later. Bring sandwiches if you're that way inclined, but the food at the shows is usually pretty good and not too expensive, plus you might be more likely to get a seat if you buy food.
After lunch, pop round to get all of your essentials then spend your last hour or so at our stand, buying all of the lovely kits, charts, accessories and aperture cards we have on offer....! OK, maybe not just our stand, but visit all of your favourites again before you leave, just to make sure you haven't missed anything. You'd be surprised how some staff will recognise you and be happy to have a chat with a returning customer, even if they're just returning from earlier in the day! Don't be shy about chatting with staff, they won't force you to buy something and sometimes just enjoy a chat after just standing and smiling at people all day.
Finally, don't miss your bus and try to avoid the rush hour if you can. Have a great time! Visit http://www.twistedthread.com/ or http://www.ichf.co.uk/events_calendar.php for more details.
Stop press! If you are attending the show, come and see us and mention that you're a newsletter reader for a special free gift.
The Stitchtastic stand, complete with stitcher!
Different show, more stitching!
|I'm afraid next month's newsletter will have to venture into the territory we call Christmas....I know, it can't be that time already, I'm afraid it is!|
See you then!
Questions or comments? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 114 2353958
Until next time