Wow! Has to be my first word. I really didn't know what to expect from this event. It was my first time and the thought of exhibiting at a trade event kind of scared me. Even the week before the event I kept telling myself that maybe I was out of my depth.
It all began with the Design Factory get together last year. Margaret Bunn came and talked to the group about BCTF. She is a very inspiring lady. I think because she spoke about her routes and how she had developed her business from being on the markets that it made me want to have a go. However, it was a few months later before I actually submitted my work and finally took the plunge.
Margaret rang me the day after I had submitted, giving me more encouragement and asking me whether I wanted to be in the Newcomers section or in the main arena. Initially, I was going to book in the Newcomers section,but there was only one space and I knew Samantha Robinson, a friend of mine also wanted a space in this area. Margaret came to the rescue and suggested that we shared a stand and the rest is history.
Margaret was so helpful throughout the process, whatever question you pitted her she always came back with a reply, even if some of the FAQ could be found in the exhibitors guide.
In the build up to the event, I had begun to use Twitter, and I found that not only did I enjoy it but there were a lot of other people using it going to BCTF. So, I started a convoy, trying to encourage people to connect. It worked far better than I imagined. A ll through the show I was meeting people on other stands who had seen my tweets. I had been told that BCTF was a friendly show, but this was amazing. Everyone was so helpful. One lady I met, Karen aka Mrs Blueberry made an excellent suggestion, that next year all the twitters wear or show a little bird either on their badge or somewhere on their stand.
BCTF again? Yes, most definitely. I have to say I was a bit taken aback at the response to my work. I took orders, I took requests for exhibitions, I talked to students, visitors and buyers with the same amount of respect. I went through plenty of business cards and post cards. The only negative that I could find is eating, there never seemed enough time.