Friday, March 10, 2006


Well, that started well. It had been my intention to do a daily blog outlining the highlights of each day of the Ideal Home Show. Suffice to say it started Wednesday, it’s now Friday, and the plan was to include the actual last stages, which essentially was the point at which we had possession of all our ‘bits’ and loaded in the van to come to London. This was almost a week ago, and it has been 5am starts and midnight stops… shattered… ever since.

The Weekend - Sat 4 - Sun 5 March

Picked up the van Saturday Evening. All day Sunday filling it. I can’t believe at once stage I thought we’d get away with the Volvo, a roofrack and a trailer.


Emma arrived crack of dawn and after squeezing a few more items in we set off for London. We had figured that 3 hrs would get there in time for a nice 9 am arrival. Sadly the M4 delivered us there at 11am, throwing our schedule well and truly to the wind.

After a fevered unloading, stand construction and ‘dressing’ with items, we left at 3pm. Sadly the M4 worked its malevolent magic again and we did not get back to Ross until gone 6pm, which meant we had to fork out for an extra day’s rental. I really do not like motorways.

For me the day had just begun, as I swung back to PR/promo mode, catching up on emails and preparing materials to send off the next day.


Grabbed forty winks, and then back on getting signage sorted, etc. Plus sending off the newsletter, press releases. Another late day, but did hit the sack fairly early in anticipation of the ‘big’ day to follow.


Having had a nasty lesson Monday, and with the Green Catwalk event at 8.45am to get to Earls Court for, we were up at 5am. Well, we almost blew it… again. Despite the hour, the M4 was again a zoo. No guarantee a train would have been better, but we were 3 in number and carrying a load of last minute ‘stuff’, so the car was really our only option. Yet it was another horror story. I nearly lost it. But somehow we managed to run up the steps to be rushed to the Press show with about 5 minutes to spare.

And boy did we score. With Zoe Ball as MC, there was a select band of about 10 exhibitors who had a slot being exposed to the glare of the country’s press. Well, PJ did us proud, bouncing on stage and wowing the audience with her exuberant presentation. But the clincher was the Vac:Sac, with my design made gloriously real by Mel and Jim of innotec, who again managed to get our ‘star idea’ into the hands of our star First Lady with moments to spare.

Then it was a mad dash to the stand to do the final ‘dressing’ we’d intended to do before the show, but now had to do even with folk coming in. We were helped in this by several Junkketeers from various businesses already on the site, and by OLOV Pat.

Then… nothing. It went very quiet. The much vaunted Press pack did not appear, until thankfully a reporter and photographer from the Daily Mail appeared to interview me and take a lot of shots of PJ sporting the Vac:Sac. At least there is a chance of some major national coverage, though at time of writing none has transpired. Frankly I’m hoping for a mention in a Sunday supplement. Fingers crossed.

Sadly the rest of the day was a bit of a disappointment. And though we could obviously not predict the tastes and interests of the media, I was sorry for those who had turned up to support us in the hope of some coverage and saw little of anything that day. But at least they have stuff on the stand for the month and may get a sale or two

We also had a dubious taste of what is like to be on call, and on our feet, all day. It did not bode well for the next few weeks that I was exhausted and in a lot of back pain by day’s end.


Well, the day before was a long day, but at least it ended at 6pm. Today was until 10pm. Not much to say, other than a promising interview with a Radio station called Passion for the Planet. Sadly , the public audience was meagre (not just for us, but the show), even into the evening cheap zone.


I must say by now I was getting a bit dubious about the way things were going, as we’d gone from ‘Press Day is always slow’ to ‘Thursday’s can be quiet’ to ‘Just wait ‘til the weekend’.

Actually it was quite perky. So I was glad Emma was still with me. We had a call from BBC Hereford & Worcester, and carried out a phone interview, which was a nice boost. Then we were visited by Penney Poyzer, and her support was a welcome additional lift. Sadly she was taken poorly later on before her show, and had to be rushed away. She has weekly ‘masterclasses’ at the show, but is only 8 weeks off having a baby, so perhaps this was a bit too much for now. Selfishly I hope not as well for our sake, as she was most impressed with’s evolution and keen to help us using her influence. But for now we’ll just have to wish her a fully and speedy recovery.

Emma left mid-pm, so I was on sole duty. Depending on one’s view, it was a blessing that it was relatively quiet again, though I did have taste of just how tricky ‘manning’ a stand solus can be. Plus I rather suspect I will be buying the back massager from the stand over the way very soon.