An Unexpected Journey

An Unexpected Journey

Our stab in the dark with retail trade-shows...

'Stab in the dark' may I add was not the original sentiment we had upon coughing up a fair few sheets for this event. For the purpose of confidentiality I will not be naming said show as I sadly don't back our bank accounts in a heated court case. However, pivoting to severity, I must stress this was a curve of significant learning for board team of Wàzi UK. 

Caught off gaurd during the pre-christmas buzz, we committed a blunder worthy of those moments that you reflect on in hindsight and associate with the scape-goat that is 'trial and error'. Unaware of course, when the exciting opportunity slid across our metaphorical desks, we jumped at it as the sounds of Robin Williams' 'Carpe Diem' echoed in the background. 

We did indeed 'seize the day' and applied to exhibit in their January show. What was required next was to simply create a slick and professional exhibition stand that would catch both eyes and cheques. Skipping a forward a few scenes we found ourselves, in typical fashion, under the cosh with limited time left to arrange our pièce de résistance. And so a post Christmas chaotic scramble commenced, with some impressive interior desgin decisions. This kind of exhibition was different from any previous event we had been to. Being a wholesale event we wanted to show off the products in a minimalist fashion as opposed to laying all our products out on the table for a individual customer interaction. So we set about finding some plinths and mannequins to present our products, and come D-Day we were astonished at how pleased we were with the appearance of our exhibit considering our time frame (albeit a time frame entirely of our making).

The morning of, we rose with the sun, deleted some caffeine, and with optimistim and purpose strided into the labyrinth of small businesses layered in the large industrial warehouse. The night before the two of us had spent the best part of 3 hours assembling our exhibit, realising swiftly we had made an almost fatal blunder in not booking overhead lighting for our area. We had no choice but to take matters into our own hands, and miraculously a well oiled system soon emerged where portable construction lights were rigged to the beams above our exhibit, cables were fastened with correct safety precautions to the perimeter, and a healthy amount of folliage was tactically placed to cover the loose ends. Safe to say we thought about a career change in the moments that followed such a biblical construction. Nonetheless, crisis averted we slept soundly that night with little to fear, besides perhaps a thin bit of coloured tissue paper covering the lights that might potentially cause a repeat of 1666. 

So bolstered by our efforts the previous night, we arrived with confidence ready to sell ourselves and our fantastic products. Immediately however Don had spotted a potential rival, the entire manufacturing output of some sock warehouse had returned for their umpteenth year and were placed directly opposite our stand. It was certainly one of those David and Goliath moments, so with some sembelance of hope we pulled the knife out our back and stood to. 

Time slipped away, hours passed, we were desperate for an interaction. We began to worry whether the folliage was too camouflaging, or perhaps the positioning of the plinths. We attempted to rectify the situation in many ways to gain an audience, and were a little disheartened that so far it had caught neither eyes nor wallets. We soldiered on and did indeed end up conversing with a few folks who ranged from start up business owners in the spirit industry to journalists. All in all it was certainly a learning curve, and held greater significance in providing us with the insight of where our efforts need to be targeted in the future months than closing wholesale deals with external businesses. 

So without sounding too cliché we pulled up our socks and discussed our next steps...that would take us far away from the event on another unexpected journey.

Thanks for your time folks,

Team Wàzi UK

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