Hydroscand UK Exhibition Road Show
June has been a busy month for the southern regions, as our branches in Cornwall and Southampton exhibited in back to back shows. This saw our Managing Director, Suzanne Day; the National Sales Manager, Rush Sagoo and myself, The Marketing Assistant attending all 3 days at both shows.
There was some headaches as the two shows were of a completely different calibre, the Royal Cornwall Show being Cornwall’s biggest agriculture show and our pitch was on grass, which is perfect for the gazebo we have, and Seawork International in Southampton being the main event for ship builders coming from all over the world, however this was on concrete, but more about that later.
The guys from Cornwall are now veterans of the Royal Cornwall Show, so they knew what they needed and how to have it on show. We had a fairly large stand, so Lee Davis and Matt Steele, the branch manager and depot assistant from our Bodmin branch had plenty of room to spread out and get everything on display.
The show got off to a good start, with Rush having a blast from the past as he got into is stride selling Pneumatic tools again, as the hours and days went on we started to notice that people were coming to the Hydroscand stand to see Rush as he worked his magic in getting customers to part with their hard earned cash, it really is a sight that you have to see to believe… let me tell you, I am now the proud owner of 2 impact wrenches and a tyre inflator, and I only asked him for the list price :S. All joking aside, it wasn’t all about the tools, so we decided to rejig a few things after the first day to put greater focus on to the Hydraulics and Hydroscand machines. Ben Curnow, Branch Manager of Plymouth joined us on the Saturday and it was a great opportunity to ensure all visitors knew of our branch in Plymouth, as we had a lot of interest from the area over the first two days.
The real fun started at the end of the last day at the Royal Cornwall Show, when we had to break everything down, getting as much as possible in to one van to be transported to the Seawork International Show.
Everything that wasn’t needed or didn’t fit was taken back to the Bodmin branch, as we tried to work out what stock would work for the completely different show that was ahead of us. It was now up to Suzanne to make the 3 and a half hour trip in a fully loaded van over to Southampton as we had to set up for Seawork’s the next day. This journey was not without its dramas however - Cornish country roads, hills that the van struggled up, low fuel, hidden fuel caps, strange men, bugs and girly screams and arriving in Southampton at 1am meant it had been a long day.
Anybody that has exhibited at a trade show will know that 3 days on the stand is harder than it sounds, lots of standing, lots of talking and lots of setting up and packing away (although I must admit at the Cornwall show, Lee & Matt did most of the setting up, thanks guys J). So after leaving Cornwall on the Saturday night knowing we had to build up another show the very next day was quite daunting, especially when we knew it was going to be windy and we had no way of anchoring our 6m x 3m gazebo to the ground. We did consider the option of using the gazebo as a raft and selling tickets for trips around the docks when it inevitably blew into the water. Suzanne did manage to get us out of that mess though, as she used her charm to sweet talk the event organisers to get us a couple of 2 tonne concrete blocks that we could use to tie the gazebo to, they were a bit of an eye sore but along with bags of sand and the nearside front wheel of the van the gazebo was solid, so all plans for trips around the docks went out of the window.
Gareth Williams, Branch Manager in Southampton and Graham Robinson, branch Assistant took over from Lee & Matt to provide the technical knowledge and spent all three days engaged with customers and of course selling like mad.
As I mentioned earlier Seawork International is a completely different show when compared to the Royal Cornwall. The weather forecast was bleak at best for each day, and being outside we knew that would harm us, luckily apart from the wind the great British weather held out just until we finished breaking down on Thursday, when a very ugly storm rolled in, it was like all the rain that was forecast for the other days gathered itself into one brutal storm. But luckily we were already on the road by the time it actually hit.
All in all though, we had 2 great shows. We got to catch up with some existing customers and more importantly we got the chance to talk to some very promising new leads, as well as building that all important brand awareness. Thank you to the guys from Bodmin & Southampton for providing your all-important knowledge and thank you to everybody that came out to see us at each show. We are now going to start gearing up for the Anglesey Agricultural Show in August so be sure to look out for us there!