Those of you that follow our Facebook or that dropped by our stall will know we've just come back from our first ever trade show! We attended The Guitar Show hosted at the New Bingley Hall in Birmingham, UK
Being our first show, we had no idea what to expect but by the end of the weekend can honestly say it was one of the best experiences we've had, both as a business and as people!
Friday 26thWe'd visited the show a couple of years previously and it was interesting to see how everything pans out "backstage" and how these things are held together. It really is a collaborative effort from both the fantastic management and fellow exhibitors.
Arriving a day before official opening we found our little plot amongst the other couple of hundred people, ferrying pallets stacked high with guitars, amps, effects and all manner of musical paraphernalia. It was truly a sight to behold and hats off to all the teams who were erecting mini guitar villages in the same time it took us to outfit our table!
Being show virgins we had no idea how big the tables we were given were going to be. Turned out to be a fair amount bigger than we had anticipated and took up 75% of the space in our stand! But after some moving about and testing we found a happy medium and started setting up!
It took a while to get everything sorted in a way that seemed logical but we got there in the end! Unfortunately we found we'd brought one too few guitar stands so planned to buy one first thing the following day!
With the provisional set up done we decided to pack the guitars away and head back to our hotel for the night. Roll on Saturday!
We arrived back at the stand at 9:00am and started setting up the guitars again, remembering we were down a guitar stand we quickly jogged over to the PMT stand and we procured a spare! Finally all set to greet the public!
The doors opened at 10:00am and people started filing in. Nerves were running pretty high at this point but after only about 20 minutes, and a few people stopping by, we entered into the flow a bit more.
We received so many awesome comments about our guitars it was pretty overwhelming! Big thanks to everyone who stopped by and gave their kind words and tried out the guitars!
We had been warned that being around a few thousand people all playing different songs at the same time can get a little tiring but we didn't really understand that until late in the day Saturday!
Every so often there was a designated "quiet time", (ironically indicated by air horns blowing), where the acoustic guitar groups could hear themselves play and it got to the point, on Sunday, where we and other exhibitors alike were cheering and applauding for these moments. Suffice to say earplugs were essential!
That's not to say it wasn't very cool to hear some really talented players throughout the day shredding the lives out of the guitars!
Things started winding down towards 4:00pm and we started to mingle a little with the other exhibitors. It was a real pleasure to meet other builders and we found them all to be very warm, friendly and supportive!
As 5:00pm chimed it was time to start packing down again and head back to the hotel for a well deserved beer! What an excellent day!
Rolling up to our stand at 9:00am again to set up. we were feeling a lot more confident and ready to face the day after having such a wonderful experience and great feedback on the previous day!
Thankfully Sunday didn't disappoint and as the doors opened we had another steady stream of welcome visitors, all leaving great comments and playing our guitars!
Our only regret was that we hadn't gotten around to making a left handed version of any of our builds but be sure that next year we'll have some along with us!
The weekend also saw the debut performance of our new member of staff, "Sid Stonewolf" who gallantly watched over our business cards and flyers while we were talking to visitors!
At 5:00pm, the end of the show was called and we all started packing up and saying our goodbyes. Although it had been a tiring weekend for all, we were all on a high and had thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of it!
Once again, thank you to everyone who stopped by and all other exhibitors, it was a great pleasure to meet you all and we look forward to seeing you next year!
Thanks again and if you want to leave any comments or questions feel free to do so! Otherwise you can email us or drop us a message on Facebook & Twitter
All the best!
Mike & Martin