It takes about an hour to get to Farnborough from here; no major journey, and in getting there, I have to drive past the end of my Mum's road, which is a bonus visit, doncha think? For her or for me - you decide. Because it's relatively close, I don't really feel I'm putting myself out too much to go, which is just as well, because I wouldn't want to have had a longer journey, or taken a day off work to pay £9.50 and be ready to leave in 3 hours (including coffee). It's not an attributable fault - the number of stands was probably the same as last year, indeed a lot of retailers were in the same stand positions which is probably helpful. It fills about half the massive marquee type structure, was warm and dry and the light was very good on this lovely bright shiny day. I think actually, a lot of the reason is that there were very few demonstrations. I KNOW that there aren't many of us that need to be shown or told 'how to' exactly, but there's a magic in seeing the product in use that draws you to it...just like product loaded samples, they sure help me to buy stuff! I mean, how many of us were glued to QVC this week, just to watch? There was a stand with an end aisle 'wall' of packets of unmounted stamps - absolutely loads of 'em. No samples. No inspiration, no wow factor. And there was a stand with some potentially gorgeous kits and the samples were tatty. (Not terrible, the work was sound, but they'd been over handled, probably at a couple of previous shows) and it lets the product down. For two reasons; first because we're all looking for inspiration and as I've just said, samples really help to sell. But second....and I am totally prepared to be wrong about this -in fact reassure me - it's a bit cynical isn't it, to load up your stand with product and not include any samples or a demonstrator churning out samples. Does it smack of 'oh well, they'll buy it anyway'? Again, don't shoot me down too fast, I'm an ex craft shop owner; I know the retailers are in it for a living and a profit has to be made. But not having a passion for your product - or finding someone who does to make stuff for you - means that you ain't promoting it right, and I ain't buying it.
I didn't leave empty handed though:one sheet of American Crafts paper (to be cut up and Diamond Glazed into epoxy style buttons), one Maya Road album (no plans), one tin of clear buttons, (I have a plan for them, sort of) two rubber stamps (come on, you knew I would) and an iron on transfer (yes, there's a teeny bit of a plan). Not exactly a haul! Was I strong or was there nothing much.....the Prima papers were gorgeous, but the prices were a bit silly for me, when I consider how much stash I have to use. So that's it. Tomorrow will be very very busy, no doubt. Here's a tip. Use the words 'Excuse Me' and set a good example; I was a bit embarrassed by the amount of shoving in the aisles. If you're behind someone, they will not know that you need them to move unless you ask! And this message goes particularly to anyone who feels they're old enough not to have to worry about their manners. Wrong!
Whatever you plan, have a fab weekend. Personally I'm going mourn the end of the Winter Olympics and have to get used to not seeing so much of Graham Bell on the tv. Oh those laughter filled crinkly eyes! Oh that grown up Hary Potter type naive appearance. So like Mr D!