AUTUMN FAIR – NEC Birmingham
Having spent 2 very productive days at the Autumn Fair I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences with you all. Torrential rain greeted me on Tuesday morning as I made my way to the NEC but thankfully by the time I parked up it had stopped – to be left with high winds and massive puddles to negotiate. Those that met me on Tuesday may have noticed my red (not very practical for a trade show Amanda) high heels, not wanting to exhaust myself before getting there decided to wear flip flops to walk to the halls. As delighted as I was to bump into Toby Davies from Magmatic (Trunki) outside it was not what I would have chosen, some great plans for them going forward I look forward to seeing everything go to market and the business continue its growth.
The funniest sight during my first day at the show was meeting John Baulch complete with trolley dolly style pull along suitcase – after all the complaining he had done when we met at ToyFair and Spring Fair of such stupid things to bring to a trade show I had to exploit this mocking opportunity and am delighted to see it did not go unnoticed John!!!
The best news of all during the show was not the flying toys causing incidents (oops) or the other gossip of inter stand relations (that I could not possibly comment on) but the fact that retailers were there and we genuinely excited to see fantastic new products offered by toy/gift/gadget companies and initial reports were that they were buying too!!!
Tuesday evening was long, booze fuelled and fantastic – and not to be discussed further!
Wednesday morning saw some blue sky, no rain and different shoes, black this time and no less inappropriate than Tuesday’s red pair. There were many hangovers on Wednesday morning and by Wednesday afternoon I was craving natural light, I am sure that I was not alone in this and most of the people on the final day of the show were on their last legs – needing sleep, to sit down, eat some vegetables and go through a full detox programme.
I have met some fantastic people over the last few days and seen some brilliant new products, things that caught my eye include:
MagicChoc – amazing new, innovative product from Wendy Munt (Be Inspired Consulting) Distributed by The In thing – Adam loves his pack and so do I!!
Terry Turtle and all the products on the Bluw stand, fantastic toys and gadgets for children and grownups alike. There is nothing like giggling like a teenager with Jez Robinson!!
Brilliant new lines from Carta Mundi (UK) will lots of exciting new things set for the future (watch this space). Thanks for the Harry Potter cards, they’re for Adam honest!!!
The Green board Game company for their great games that really work for the whole family, and for Carol for being Carol and making me laugh endlessly!!
Sambro International for their vast range, and yes Andrew Taylor my feet are small but they will not fit into licensed footwear (Croc’s – NEVER). I would also like to thank Sambro for choosing the back of Hall 1 to exhibit – it’s a long way in heels you know!!!! Great to see the new boys settling in so well!
Thumbs Up UK Limited impressed me with the number of IPhone gadgets they had, I would like one of all of them, and delighted to hear James Mayling is settling so well and making a real impression as Sales Manager.
To all in the trade press – I look forward to you all helping me spend my money in 2012
Now back in the office I can report positivity in the trade for the next 12 month; yes I know ‘it’s tough out there’ I know ‘the retailers have huge expectations’. This is why we all love the trade – if it was easy everyone would be doing it! The toy industry is fantastic because of its people and long may that continue.
I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to meet me and for obvious reasons I cannot mention 95% of them but you know who you are and I look forward to working with you all going forward.
See you all at Toy Fair!