Life is short. Break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile. We're not quantified; there's no chart of desire. When the roaring flames of your heart have burned down to embers, may you find that you have married your best friend. [Steven Tyler]

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Wow! What a Show - Part Two

Danger! Long Blog.........
WARNING! This entry is photo heavy........

So, as promised - here is 'Percival Ponsonby Smyth' in all his glory and doesn't he suit his name?
Friday 15th: Van Loading Day! Lesley's husband David came in to help Adrian load the van.... we had a lovely new one with a tail lift which made loading the furniture for the stand a whole lot easier. Everything went in very neatly and without too many hick-ups.

Percival was finished early in the afternoon and was placed on a large board and carefully wrapped in copious amounts of bubble wrap and cling film and was loaded into the back of the van. Glenda and Adrian set off late afternoon and headed down to Birmingham to be ready to unload early Saturday morning. Apparently, he behaved beautifully throughout the journey and he arrived still in one piece!

Saturday 16th: The rest of the team rendezvoused at 0800 hours. We were taking two vehicles so Judith accompanied Lesley and Emma kept me company. It was a very cold, frosty but bright morning and the traffic was light. We were off and the drive was good all the way.

By the time we arrived at the NEC, the van had been unloaded (courtesy of Mike and Mike, the burly assistants hired to help set up the stand). We all set about unpacking the art work and making the stand look astonishing. It was sooooo cold. With it being an Exhibition Centre, most of the outside walls are actually huge access doors which roll up to allow the lorries to unload and they were open all day, brrrrrrrr.

The wonderful Helen (Chilton) arrived mid afternoon to help out. Helen is a fabulously talented stamp designer, artist and member of our design team and was going to be with us on the stand throughout the show. We're a big team this year but with Glenda teaching and demonstrating every day, we need all hands on deck!

We finished setting up about 6p.m. and left to check-in to the hotel. By the time we got to our rooms there was just time to drop of the luggage, slap on some lipstick and we were off again. This time to one of our favourite restaurant called the Tea Room, a really good Chinese not too far from the hotel. It was a fab meal as usual and then back to the hotel for an earlyish night. We have a very early start in the morning (0530 for me) and an incredibly long day!

Ok! So here we go with all the photos from the show. Starting with, of course...... the inimitable 'Percival'. Doesn't he look haughty?

Here's a close up of his feathers.... all those lovely luscious Artylicious papers mixed with splendid peacock feathers, sequins, glitter and Glimmer Mists - Yumm!
Here we all are..... raring to go before the show opens (I daren't show you photos of how we looked at the end of the day after 11 hours on the stand). Here is Lesley who is taking care of 'Meet and Greet, and Emma who is brill with sales.

Adrian's looking very pleased with himself after setting up all the IT side of the stand.... it all works too! Yey!!.....

......and Judith is ready and waiting for the onslaught. Don't worry Judith, it's not that bad really!
The product viewing area......

Unmounted Stamps, and don't those new 'all-colour' inserts look fab?

Even the wood mounted stamps have new coloured index. They really drew a lot of attention and there were far more orders for mounted than usual.

Here's Glenda and Helen looking pleased with themselves. And so they should! Just to the left of Glenda, sitting on the shelf you can see the most incredible 'doll' which was made for Glenda by Helen. I didn't get a close up of the doll, but I'm sure that Glenda will post a photograph of her on her blog - what a fantastic doll!

This year, we mounted the cards onto hand painted and colour co-ordinated canvasses. You can see them on top of the display stands.
Uhmmm! Me thinks I've seen this somewhere before?
It's going well....... don't you just love Glenda's pinny? Very colour co-ordinated.
All our uniforms match, we found them in America when we were there in September for the Memory Trends Trade Show in Las Vegas. Lots of people commented on how great we all looked and how 'classy' the stand was.
At the end of the day..... inputting orders and checking the paperwork.
And a final word from Percival..... the lord and master of all he serveys.
The show closes at 16.30 on Tuesday when tear-down starts. Our Mr Shifters arrive to load the van while we pack away all the art work. It's still very, very cold outside. In fact, there has been freezing fog for most of the day and when I ring home before leaving the NEC, I'm told that the visibility at home is really poor and temperatures are down to -4. Ooooh that's cold.
Our drive north is not too bad but we do drive through some heavy snow showers that last only a couple of minutes and vanish as quickly as they appeared. The further north we go the worse the visibility becomes but we all arrive home safely - although nowhere near as quickly as I normally manage to do the 200 mile drive home. So that's it for another year....... well, in the UK anyway. Who knows where the next one might be?
All in all, the show seemed a lot quieter (foot-fall wise) than it normally is but having said that it was a remarkably successful show for us. We met some lovely people, had some very exciting things happen (can't share at the moment, it's early days) did some very good business with lots of orders and we ALL enjoyed ourselves immensely. Wish I could say the same about my feet!
I just had to share these photos with you. This is the morning after getting home from the show. Taken on the lane leading from home when setting off for work, the sun was shining and it was just so beautiful I had to stop and capture the scene. You can still see a little of the fog lingering in the trees.
Boy! What a frost. It was so heavy that it looked more like snow - I don't like the cold but when it looks this spectacular I'll put up with it.


Lynn W said...

Oooooh Wow wow wow!!! How I wish I could have been there! Paddy said the stand looked amazing and kept telling me how wonderful Percival was! You are just soooooo very lucky to have a job like that Lynn - do you need someone to carry your bags next year? :)

Lynn x

deb said...

Percival is stunning!!!!!

and how fantastic did your stand look, brilliant photos :o)

Lavender Rose said...

Percival is just amazing, what a fabulous piece of artwork WOW!!!!

acrylik said...

All hail Percy!! Lovely write up, Lynn, I really enjoyed reading about all your adventures. I do miss doing the shows!


Anonymous said...

OMG! OMG! OMG! It all (but especially Percy) looked fantastic and as you were told by others, an overall really 'classy' impression. I left a comment on Glenda's blog about the very chic outfits you were all wearing and I'm sure no-one who visited the stand is going to forget Elusive Images in a hurry.

I have to say I know what Lynn w means but luck has nothing to do with you having such a wonderful job; it's all down to your amazing talent.

Love the 'frosty' photos.

Lesley GG197 XX