Written by Chris Goodacre from Upsticks
Taking your business to a large exhibition for the first time isn’t easy, and I have to say that despite my boisterous videos on social media, truth be known I was very nervous. My stress levels weren’t helped when myself and James from LHD Car Buyer rocked up on a grey Thursday afternoon, drove to Hall 1 at the Birmingham NEC and I got my first glance at the venue. It was simply huge!
We got to work, unloading our promotional gear and found our stands. As we walked through, there were teams of people frantically building stands, cutting carpet, installing electrics and putting up stages – it was, for want of a better word, ‘hectic’.
Putting up our stand was an experience; an expandable 3m x 3m almost 3D structure, with panels of vinyl artwork backed by magnetic strips can be a bit of a challenge to set up for a newbie – we got there in the end though. Expertly designed by Tania from Tiny Fish and Jane from Upsticks, it was great to finally see it come to life.
Next up, the flyers had been delivered and looked very cool and professional – again, the team had done an amazing job.
On the stand next door was the Caravans in the Sun team, who we’ve worked with for a while now, but never met in person. They were really helpful and happy to instruct the “exhibition virgin” about what to expect and how to handle things, settling my nerves a little bit in the process – thanks guys!
I arrived early around 9.30 and set up my laptop, flyers and referral forms ready to collect those precious leads. We had gone for a bar stool and high table set up to speak to people as a way of keeping things a bit less formal and more friendly.
The show’s opening horn went off and within minutes people started to trickle past the stand. One person walked past, picked up a flyer and said “look, Upsticks, what a clever name”, which was a really proud moment for me, and the butterflies began to settle down.
After around 10 minutes, I had my first customers. They walked over and said “hey Chris, we’ve seen your videos, can we have a chat?”
And that was that, I was back-to-back with people until 4pm that afternoon. It was amazing and absolutely knackering too!. While the most popular service product by far was the Non lucrative visas, I was confident that we’ve got the four services we offer spot on. No more or less were needed.
You can download our product flyers using the links below.
The cavalry arrived! Jessica helps our clients at their appointments in Lanzarote (and is also a radio DJ on the island’s famous Monster Radio) and she came riding to my rescue.
I have to admit that I’d given her a pretty terrible brief about what to expect, mainly due to my total lack of experience with exhibitions, but as soon as the horn went off Jessica stepped up brilliantly and simply ‘owned it’. Jessica answered visitors’ initial questions, booked in meetings every 15 minutes and took the details for call backs, all with a laugh and a happy energy that just made everyone smile. Without a break or lunch, once again we were back-to-back until 5pm.
Meeting people who are at the very beginning of the relocation process has given me an invaluable insight into exactly how we can help, and to make sure we can give them the information they need, when they need it.
By Sunday, I was pretty confident that we had a great system in place, and we would get the most out of the day. Most said that Sunday wasn’t the busiest day, but we found that not to be the case. In fact, the Sunday people were slightly more advanced with their plans to move to Spain, and had a lot more knowledge surrounding the process. It was another successful day, and we finally wrapped up at 4pm. We had just an hour to take our stand down and pack away, after which we retired to the hotel for a well-earned rest and review of what had been an incredibly busy weekend. Seeing the Upsticks brand come to life at an exhibition was an exciting, inspiring experience, and it was invaluable to meet people face-to-face.
A Place in the Sun was a success. Check out our video report below: