Friday, 20 March 2015

Day 2 at the NEC...

Hi there,
Thanks for stopping by in Blogland today.
Friday and day 2 at the NEC was an interesting day, I have to say.
Not the usual thronging crowds we have come to expect in Birmingham. 
Whilst it was great for the visitors, because they could get around with room to spare and watch all the demos they could handle, it was a trifle disconcerting for exhibitors. 
But it was nice to have time to spend with old friends and loyal customers.
And anyway, in the big scheme of things, what's a day at the NEC? 
Which collided with International happiness Day 
AND a celestial synchronizing of the sun and moon in the morning! 

We probably missed some vital sales first thing, 
because we were far too excited being happy and trying not to stare at the sun!
So we stared at a tiny little crescent shadow on a piece of card instead.
Here we have the partial eclipse die-hards, 


refusing to miss the mega event. 
Dave, true to form, had to look, even when told not to. 
To be brutally honest, it was a bit reminiscent of going to the Tate Modern.
You aren't remotely impressed, but everybody else is in raptures about 2 tin cans connected by a piece of string, so you wonder if you've missed a vital link, and don't like to admit it.


But there we are. At least I can say "we were there".

So tomorrow it's back to the NEC for day 3. I do hope there will be more visitors! It gives demonstrating a whole lot new meaning when there are people there to watch!

Good night.
Lots of love,
Barb xxxx

44 comments:

  1. Yesterday was such a wonderful day for me at the NEC. I loved all the demos, the new stand, the friendly chat. I can't imagine why there weren't more people today. Perhaps tomorrow and Sunday will be the busiest days. I have been playing with my new stamps today and have loved every minute. Have a good sleep tonight. Hopefully it will be better for you tomorrow. Gill x

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  2. Oh Barbara I hope you have a good day tomorrow! But don't worry....I'm coming on Sunday and bringing Brenda with me! And I know Amanda and Mark will be there as will Karen so it'll be good!
    And at least you had a chance to look at the eclipse! An historic event ....and didn't it go cold!
    Love and hugs to you! Xxx

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  3. I hope you have more visitors tomorrow but want you to know we enjoyed your demos today. It was lovely to see you all there. I brought my friend along who likes sewing but after watching your demo bought a few stamping bits and bobs and has asked me to get her started! So you have another new fan! As for the eclipse we drove up expecting to be plunged in darkness ........nothing happened! Thanks again for your inspiration. Xx

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  4. Hi Barbara
    Lovely to see you today and thank you for showing me how inks work over the new chalk acrylic paints. I was also surprised at how quiet it was. I think times are quite tough for a lot of people. I live close to Birmingham so it is an easy journey for me to get to the NEC. I was talking to ladies from Belfast who had flown over and the train I came on had come from Holyhead. The show is the highlight of the year for so many and it's so much better to shop " for real" rather than on line. it should be much busier tomorrow if past years are anything to go by. I have a project planned for tomorrow with some of your stencils, chalk paint and grunge paste. Hubby is at the rugby club and I have cleared the decks for action.
    Hugs from Chris x

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  5. Barbara I hope you have a busier day at the NEC tomorrow and we'll done on seeing the eclipse. It was far too cloudy here for us to see it but it did get darker for a short time although not as dramatically as I was expecting
    Jackie x

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  6. I hope you have a few more people tomorrow. I will be there Sunday to add to the numbers.

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  7. Haven't been to the NEC for a few years now as I'd rather spend the train fare on goodies and sometimes get a bit claustrophobic in the crowds! Might have been ok today ! Hope you see more people tomorrow xx

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  8. Hi Barb, sorry it wasn't such a good day at the show today. The time goes so much quicker when it's busy too!! I came to the NEC for the first time last year. It was Nigel May's birthday and I made him a card from my first ever gelli plate masterpiece! I loved the show and meeting you all in person it was a real boost to me and very inspirational. I struggle to walk that far now and, although my wonderful husband is ever willing to push me in the wheelchair, I did notice last year that so many stalls were so completely inaccessible for wheelchair users that I'm not sure I would be the same experience again. Still I hope tomorrow is a better day for you.
    Fingers crossed.
    Amanda Rose x

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  9. Hi Barbara I am sorry this was not busy for you today. I am sure it will be busy tomorrow. Down here in Southampton we saw nothing of the eclipse there was too much cloud. Have a great evening and a better day tomorrow. Hugs Jackie

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  10. I am sure all the workers will ascend on you tomorrow. Hopefully you will have a good weekend. I must admit I peaked too, was a bit cloudy so didn"t get much of a view. x

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  11. sorry it wasn't as busy as usual. yesterday it felt good for me as i could wander at my own pace instead of being carried. hope it picks up on the weekend.
    well i peaked too. i had to do it since it was repeated ad nauseum not to, hugs xx

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  12. Oh dear Barbara surely not all that bad?! As for the eclipse.....well at least you saw it - had you have been at home all you would have been aware of was a darkening of the clouds and it feeling like dusk!!!
    Am sure the weekend will bring you some great footfall and then you will have been glad of the rest today!!!
    Take care!
    Much love

    Kim xxx

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  13. Oh Barbara all that effort everyone has put in to make your stand wonderful must have been wonderful for the people who did come I crafted today with my clarity to make a retirement card and it turned out lovley so thank you for giving us clarity hope the rest of your days are busy or very productive big crafting hugs sheila xxx

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  14. Cor look at all that sun! We only had cloud that went from a light grey to a dark stormy looking grey back to a light grey again! The children did get excited by the images of the total eclipse on the Stargazing site. Really hope tomorrow is better for you, I'm sure it will as its the weekend. I expect all the visitors today couldn't believe their luck that they were able to see a demo without needing a step ladder! XX

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  15. Hope does mean going be rushed of you feet Saturday and Sunday it was a real spring day here door open windows for few hours. Lots love Joy xxx

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  16. I'm sure things will pick up over the weekend Barbara. Hugs xx

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  17. It's not like the NEC to be empty, well space to walk. Fingers crossed that tomorrow is a busier day.X

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  18. Hello Barb. I'd be there if I could but it's just that little bit too far away. We had such cloudy skies but suddenly the clouds parted and there was that little smile. Felt very special at the time. I expect you'll be rushed off your feet tomorrow and Sunday and long for the space and gentle pace of today. Hope so. xx Margaret Col.

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  19. Hi Barbara what a shame it was quiet today after all the hard work you and the team have put into the new stands. If I'd known you were short of people I would have jumped on a train to see you. I hope it picks up tomorrow and Sunday. Look at the sunshine you had and what an eclipse! As Jackie said it was gloomy here and went a little bit dark and very cold and the birds in the garden were all rathe confused !
    Hope you get a good nights rest. Take care. Love Diane xxx

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  20. There really is something special about natural and unusual occurrences, brings out the bonkers in the best of us. Well, that is, as long as your postie hasn't just delivered a parcel from Clarity! All thought of the eclipse and the wonders of nature went straight out the window! Far rather examine all the wee folk and imagine what i will be doing with them. LOL i drove down to cornwall and watched the last big eclipse in tintagel. How times change.

    i'm sure the footfall will increase over the weekend, it's good to have had a little time for some fun today. Pity you couldn't of done a few youtube Tuesdays, at least then the demos would feel a little more fun.

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  21. I'm sure things will pick up on for the weekend. I'd be there in a flash if I were able. Xx

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  22. Hello Barbara

    We came today and were surprised as to how quiet it was compared to usual. Not as many customers or stands. I feel the NEC are pricing out the smaller exhibitors and the cost of tickets, parking and journry are putting off a lot of the general public. Such a shame.

    I will be contacting the office as there were one or two things I wanted that you didn't have. You can't bring everything.

    Love
    Roz.x

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  23. Hello Barbara

    We came today and were surprised as to how quiet it was compared to usual. Not as many customers or stands. I feel the NEC are pricing out the smaller exhibitors and the cost of tickets, parking and journry are putting off a lot of the general public. Such a shame.

    I will be contacting the office as there were one or two things I wanted that you didn't have. You can't bring everything.

    Love
    Roz.x

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  24. Off to NEC on Sunday can't wait , but I will have to i suppose huh!
    Looking forward to demos, always inspiring thank you x

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  25. Well Barbara, be assured that you made at least one person very happy today: me! It was wonderful to have time to talk to you and Maria, as well as seeing you in action. A different measure of a successful day perhaps, but a great day for building relationships and bonding with our crafty family. But if it will make you feel better, here's to a very busy weekend! Xxx

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  26. I had a lovely but tiring day at NEC, rounded off by a lovely chat with the good lady herself on the fantastic new stand with great demos by both Barbara and Maria with new chalky paints. Came back much inspired, several pounds lighter and very excited by conversations with Barbara and Dave. Shame you can't film the demos there because it's the questions and your answers, live experiments and general banter that always makes me come back for more, despite the robbery they call the car parking fee and price of a sandwich. I thought the human traffic this year was in the sewing bit this year, perhaps because Sewing Bee just finished. Butterick/Vogue stand was selling the walkaway dress pattern from the show like hot cakes. Maybe the weekend will bring the crafters out in force, fingers crossed, 'coz the stand is fab, the new packaging stunning and distinctive and much lighter to carry so you can buy more, especially with the LOWER price point (what else can you say that about!) So for the top tips, the personal service you know where to go, you won't be disappointed! I had a great day and I hope it picks up tomorrow so the show is a great reward for all your and of course your team's hard work. Be in touch soon
    Karen

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  27. Barbara, I hope they all come in their throngs, and swarm around your stall to buy everything in sight. Never saw anything of the eclipse here, it was far too cloudy, and I definitely won't be around for the next one, as it's over 100 years away!

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  28. Sorry things were so quiet at the show today. I reckon they were all stuck in the massive queues on the M42, which became an extension of the NEC car parks. Total nightmare. I also think that the NEC is pricing everyone out, shoppers and exhibitors alike. A slight reduction in entry and car park prices would massively increase custom all round. I heard a number of exhibitors complaining along those lines. The Clarity stand is awesome. xxx

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  29. Well Barb, I'm surprised at you! I would have thought you would have taken the opportunity to create something reminiscent of the celestial event???? Perhaps something with bubbles and a brayer ha! I'm sure things will be better today. Enjoy the rest of the show. Xx

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  30. Good morning Barabra and the team, I hope today is busier for you. Those who attended yesterday must have considered themselves very lucky to see your demonstrations without having to jostle for position! Anne x

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  31. Hello Barb, sorry to hear it was a bit quiet yesterday. Perhaps it was just down to it being Friday. I am sure today and tomorrow will be a lot busier. Take care, looking forward to some more pics from the show. Bx

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  32. I don't go to the NEC or big shows because I can't cope with crowds. If only i'd known it sounds like yesterday would have been ok for me but I missed out :-( I know two people from work who are going to the NEC today and tomorrow - they've booked a hotel for tonight so they have extra time to go around. I hope they, and you, have a busy and productive weekend

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  33. Hi Barbara. You have been busy this week getting the fab new stand layout set up. I love the tv screen, it is so frustrating when you are at the back and can't see what is going on as a customer so good on you for sorting that out, thank you. I hope that you get some more customers today and tomorrow. The NEC are pricing themselves out of the market with ridiculous parking and entry fees, and I bet the stand prices are horrendous too! That is such a shame for you and the public. But maybe yesterday was quite due to the eclipse, we missed it as it was too cloudy, I'm with you on my feelings about it though : ) Well, I really hope you are at Ally Pally in April so I can see for myself the new layout, hope it's not as hot as it was at the autumn show last year though! Wishing you a great day of demos and sales, and getting to chat to everyone. Take care x

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  34. Very suprized about the amount of people I thought it would be wall to wall so many can't get there and would love to go hope today is better love June horrocks xxxx

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  35. Morning Barbara, fingers crossed it's busier for you all today. Kind regards Joanne K x

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  36. Morning Barbara,
    Sorry you were disappointed by the visitor numbers on Friday. I was there on Thursday and thought that the Hobbycraft hall was relatively quiet, but the Sewing one was heaving! But I generally spend more money when it's quiet as I can actually get close enough to see the goods - I have very little patience with all the pushing and shoving! So I came home with a decent stash of cardmaking items, and no fabric at all...

    I thought your new stand looked great, and you did too - despite what you were saying earlier in the week!
    Hope the weekend goes well.
    Ruth x

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  37. Shame it wasn't so busy for you yesterday, but it must have been great to have time and space to speak to people properly. I now live too far away from any of the big shows to get to them, but always found them very inspiring - now get all my inspiration from blogs and TV really! Hope the crowds pick up today... Susan x

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  38. Hi Barbara. Sorry to hear it wasn't a great day for customer footfall. It was the same in Glasgow. One hall split unevenly with more to do about patchwork than crafting. Cost up by 2.50 for entry. Lots of people wanting to spend but not finding the craft stalls to spend at. Was only about ten of them. I'm a fairly big spender at these shows (no craft shops in my Region) and I only managed about 30.00. A very disappointing day. Wish I was nearer so I could get my Clarity fix. Wishing you all a better day tomorrow. Hugs xx

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  39. Hi Barbara. Sorry to hear it wasn't a great day for customer footfall. It was the same in Glasgow. One hall split unevenly with more to do about patchwork than crafting. Cost up by 2.50 for entry. Lots of people wanting to spend but not finding the craft stalls to spend at. Was only about ten of them. I'm a fairly big spender at these shows (no craft shops in my Region) and I only managed about 30.00. A very disappointing day. Wish I was nearer so I could get my Clarity fix. Wishing you all a better day tomorrow. Hugs xx

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  40. Hi Barbara, I'm sorry that it was a lot quieter for you yesterday, after all the effort you have put into being there that must feel rather disheartening. I hope it was just because of the eclipse and that today and tomorrow are much busier. On the up side, being quieter meant time for you to rest and look after you ;-)

    I don't know what the eclipse was like here, I was still buried under my quilt!!! We weren't to look at it anyway, so what would be the point of making an effort just to experience it getting dark and the birds going silent, it's dark for far too long in a day already!!!! Now if it had been the aurora borealis.... It either wasn't much or Daisy was asleep too because she never came to me for reassurance as she does when there's something new or scaring her.

    Maybe you've just solved a long time mystery for me! You saying about people being in rapture about something and you not knowing why and not wanting to admit to not getting it /not liking it. Is that what happens, people see others raving about something so feel they have to too? Loads of times I've seen this, people raving about something while I'm watching on thinking why on earth are so many people making such a fuss of something that is not that good, or totally not even worth a mention. I get it that statistically, some folk will, everyone is different, but when it's loads of folk - a lot of them could be just pretending! Why? Well you've maybe solved one mystery for me but in doing so created another!!! Why would anyone want to pretend or not say they don't like something or whatever, just because others say they do, that doesn't make any sense to me? It's not like you are saying it to the person who created it, and no one is going to go to jail or anything for saying they don't like it or get it. Argh, I always get myself in some right tangles trying to suss out your world, and my head is already more than bursting at the seams at the moment!

    Hope your stand is full of happy customers snapping up all your products
    Love Brenda xx

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  41. I am so green with envy. I just saw your post of your booth and all I could think was do those ladies know how very very lucky they are to be able to just stand there and pick what ever they wanted off the boards? I watch all your videos and your daily blog and wish the products were available on a daily basis here in the US. I keep writing C&C asking for more of your stamps and stencils, but don't seem to ever see anything. Wish you would have an online place in America where we could get your old products and new. I figured it cost me about $50 to buy one stamp from the UK. Maybe your son could start an online business for you from Ca????? please :)

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  42. Hope it's busier for you at the Weekend Barbara it must be so disheartening for you all after all the work you put in. I agree though with the people that think the NEC is pricing itself out of the shows. When you think how expensive it is compared to Alexander Palace where you have free parking and much reduced entrance fees. It's well over £30 before you buy anything at the NEC. Then the fuel to get there. My hubby has to pay to come in just to sit, that's if he can find a seat & he's obviously not alone, but without him I couldn't get there. I always take some sandwiches and cold drinks, fruit etc to save some of the costs. I expect the stall holders fees are extortionate too. These days people are finding it harder to afford such luxuries. Sad though it is.xx

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  43. Hi Barb,
    I hope you have a spiffing weekend at the NEC! Eclipse, I'd rather watch the Bing Crosby version of "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court". Now they knew how to do an eclipse!!!!
    Maureen xx

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Thank you for your kind messages and I hope you get inspiration from my ramblings.

Barb x