Life of Riley have been exhibiting at Top Drawer (Kensington Olympia) for a number of years, but as a new member of the team it was my first experience of a trade show. I was starting off with little knowledge of selling and a pseudo- understanding of business from watching “The Apprentice”.
We were designated a 3m x 2m stand. This was going to be a challenge as we were planning to showcase over 70 products in the space. Fortunately we able to increase the size of the stand to 9.5m x 2m and so in theory we had plenty of space for all our product. However, knowing that the shape of the space had the potential to look like a long corridor, the new challenge was to make it feel like an environment and not just a line of products.
Planning started with addressing how we would present the new exciting products such as the Drinks Box. I was then tasked to work out the look and style of the stand. We decided upon Dulux’s Liberty Blue 1 for the walls, which we felt complimented the tan leather products. There was a slight panic when our stand was expanded to 9.5m x 2m that it might be blue overload however the dramatic colour made our stand look strong and smart. We even had a customer ask for the colour as they wanted to use it in future.
The layout of the stand evolved over the lead up to the show with the final confirmed plan being set the week before we had to set up. We were keen to highlight our main categories for the products; Storage, Drinks ware, Desk ware and Gifts for men and women. We sectioned different areas of our stand and themed them with accessories such as bell jars, plants and vintage clocks. I wanted to encourage the thought process of the traders into how to showcase the Life of Riley in their shop and hopefully encourage the excitement and potential that we see in our products.
During the show itself I was able to meet many of our loyal long-term customers and see the connection and rapport that the Life of Riley team have with their clients. It encouraged me to want to create those connections with future customers and we are very happy to welcome so many as a result of our time at Top Drawer.
Thanks to the patient nurturing of Sarah and the team, I was able to be a part of the best ever Top Drawer show Life of Riley has experienced so far.