I thought I'd give you a short insight into how things went at Brand Licensing Europe 2012. The 3 day show finished last Thursday (on 18th Oct) and I was really delighted at the number of existing and prospective clients who visited my booth. This was one of the busiest shows I've ever attended and I felt the exhibition was a hive of activity.
I really enjoy getting ready for a trade show. It always takes a lot of hard work, but it's worth it in the end when you see the final result. When I arrived first thing in the morning I saw an empty stand with missing shelves, not enough lights and my wall panels shaking because a workman was constructing the stand adjacent to mine. It made me wonder if I was going to achieve the end result I had envisaged.
It never ceases to amaze me how everything always seems to come together for the start of a show. Here are a couple of photos of my booth after I'd finished setting up.
I always enjoy this particular show because it allows me to meet up with other artists and designers from all over the UK. The organisers hold an opening night party at the end of the first day and this gives me a great opportunity to catch up with everyone's news. This is fantastic because you never have any time during the show to chat to your fellow artists and friends. The party also provides a great opportunity to meet first time exhibitors. They are always excited after the first day and have lots of questions for you. It is such an enjoyable way to end day 1.
The industry has changed a lot since I first started exhibiting at Brand Licensing. I now find myself competing with a lot more agencies. Another group of competitors that have recently appeared on the scene are publishers and manufacturers who own art portfolios. To succeed as a stand-alone freelance artist these days you have to offer something unique that makes you stand out from the crowd. This is something I always hope to achieve.
Next year the show organisers are changing the layout and the Art & Design section is being moved upstairs. If you look at the red arrow on the photo below you'll see where my booth will be in 2013.