Trade shows have a certain aura of excitement and anticipation surrounding them. There’s a sense of community and camaraderie when businesses of all sizes come together to showcase their products, forge new connections, and, hopefully, generate leads. For us, Top Drawer presented a new opportunity.
A renowned and prestigious trade show, Top Drawer was a little different to the trade shows we usually frequent, bringing together innovators, artisans, and entrepreneurs from across the globe to showcase their products, setting the stage for new connections and business opportunities.
After weeks of preparation putting together mock displays in limited space, number crunching to create a wholesale price list, and learning an abundance of industry specific knowledge and terminology, our first time exhibiting at Top Drawer turned out to be an extraordinary success.
Not only did we generate several promising leads, but also expanded our network within the industry, increased our own experience, and, of course, had plentiful rich and engaging conversations about our special spot in the heart of the Lake District with interested buyers and exhibitors alike.
Taking Honister Green Slate outside of its natural habitat in Borrowdale Valley in The Lake District and into a new environment was a bold step, and one that paid off.
We were lucky getting a clear run of the six-hour drive to London, but it was only once we arrived that the real work began. Forwards and backwards we slogged from the van to our stand with boxes piled on top of one another, juggling vases, chess boards, statement pieces and slate artwork. Then tables and shelves to create a rustic backdrop that would make our slate stand out even more and, a personal low point for me, staggering around with a metal information board that seemingly obscured my vision in every direction but the floor.
If nothing else, I hope that other people got to enjoy the sight of me barely missing walls and other exhibitors stands as my small frame was lost to “Honister Slate Mine. Created by nature to last a lifetime.”
Still, the uniqueness and authenticity of our slate products caught the attention of visitors from all over the globe. Our slate products, heavy as they may be, stood out in the crowded venue.
In the midst of stationary stalls, paper products, and candles, Honister Slate made a statement, the industrial labyrinth of Olympia showcasing perfectly the deep green of the stone and the earthly hues of the patterns within.
After hours we made sure to immerse ourselves in the thick of the city, attending networking events, experiencing the best of London’s multi-cultural cuisine, and being sure to fit in a few shows for good measure.
It’s not often that we get to venture outside of Borrowdale Valley, but our first trip to Top Drawer turned out to be a slate-tastic adventure worth every second of heavy lifting, motorway driving, and bustling city life filled with triumphs and the warm hospitality of the trade show community, as we overcame challenges and found our feet.
We left London with a sense of accomplishment, knowing that we had effectively introduced our brand to a new, diverse audience and opened doors for future collaborations.
As we returned to our quiet haven in Borrowdale Valley, we carried back valuable experiences, newfound knowledge, and the assurance that we'll be back for more adventures in the world of trade shows.