At Bolst Global, we’ve been super busy these past few weeks – with a productive business trip at the end of September to the UAE and Kuwait, directly followed by the exhibition the 4th and the 5th of October at the Bread & Jam Fest in London. But all our efforts will definitely be worth it!
The fact is, behind an exhibition at a show like this there is so much more work than you would think of! We exhibited for the third time now at the B&J Fest, which is why we were already used to the format, but one of our goals for this year’s stand was to make it look super professional and friendly!
Two of our team worked regularly on the style of the stand and with all the decisions needing to be made, it took us nearly a month to find the perfect fit of details and stand decoration!We found in the end various items in stores – sometimes it is easier to just pop in the shops near-by and see what they have, instead of ransacking the whole online market! (Can definitely recommend TK MAXX and Home Sense.)
Victoria and Lucia from our team went earlier that week down to London, to see prospects and catch up with some of our current clients (as we always try to make the most of our time!)
I arrived Wednesday afternoon, directly going with my huge suitcase (in which I nearly fitted all of our stand materials) to the show location, to set up our new vintage style stand! An hour later and it was done! And we were really happy with the result, as it was the first time we saw the stand set up completely ourselves and we did not forget any detail!
Our top tips for planning your stand – regardless of whether this is domestic or international:
First of all: know the location and stand dimensions!
Think of a general idea for a style and start looking for different items and inspirations. Also create a spreadsheet which will include everything you need to think of! This can be: stand components (add in everything you might need and decide in the end what you will take), ancillary materials (add here any documents, presentations, business cards and definitely the stapler that everyone forgets at their first show!) and admin tasks (people you need to contact, payments, accommodation etc).
Especially when working in a team, have a column in the spreadsheet to demonstrate how much of a task is done and who is the responsible person for it! Arrangement and communication is key when working in a team in order to make the show successful!
Furthermore let yourself be inspired by the theme you choose and don’t be too fixated on finding exactly what you thought of, sometimes alternatives turn out even better than you think!
Wednesday evening, after setting up the stand, the Bolst Global Team went for a dinner to catch up about the events from the past few days and more importantly to prepare myself for the next two days at the show (as this was my first time being part of the Bolst Team at a trade show).
Over 800 tickets sold
With over 800 tickets sold and many interesting companies exhibiting, we expected two busy days with many new contacts and connections to be made. And we definitely can already say that these expectations were matched and exceeded! Additionally to our stand we prescheduled one-to-one export consultations sessions and delivered a presentation about “expensive mistakes to avoid when exporting internationally”, which made our schedule even more tight than simply exhibiting.
Day one of Bread & Jam Fest was definitely the busier day, not only because we had 10+ meetings prescheduled and we had our workshop, but also because visitors were keen to be the first ones to make contacts and to get to talk to others. So Thursday morning started really busy for us, with the three of us being constantly in chat with someone about their export opportunities! But to be honest, that is exactly what we were looking for, so we were really excited about how good our start in the show was! With Lucia and Victoria taking turns on our 1-2-1 sessions, we met some fantastic new brands with great products and ambitions. We definitely look forward on working with some of them on their international strategy and development in the future!
At 2PM of day one we had our workshop, which was well attended by many delegates!
As many of the brands visiting the show are fairly new in business, we wanted to adapt our presentation to them, by showing major mistakes when exporting and how much that can cost. Plus offer practical tip to avoid making these costly errors too! If you would like a copy of our workshop slides then please contact us to request them.
Day 2Day 2 started less busy. We already knew some visitors, as they attended the show the day before and it was also great to continue to connect with new people. During lunchtime the fair got busy again and after some post show drinks and team pictures, we started at packing our stand together at the end of the day.
But this of course was not the end of the show’s work for us! We had )(and still have) several follow-up mails, calls and discussions to send and proposals to prepare. We were extremely happy with the course of these two days at the show and definitely already look forward to next year’s Bread & Jam Fest 2019! We recommend all food and drink entrepreneurs looking for further inspiration, networking and learnings to attend next year’s show as it is a hot bed for all of of these and more!
Thanks for reading and for any export (or trade show) support we can provide you with then please get in touch, we’d be delighted to help! Keep in touch,