The last weekend of September marks a busy weekend at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre each year: This is when hundreds of North East and national retailers and exhibitors and thousands of visitors arrive to enjoy the Scottish Home Show – 3 days packed full of home improvement ideas from self build suppliers and contractors, interior designers and retailers and art dealers, as well as the best in local food and drink. Basically there is something for everyone.
This year I decided to join the fun with a stand for Eighty7 Design + Living in order to spread the word about the shop as well as to introduce the brand new colours of Eighty7, black and gold. Having just launched a new version of our website a few weeks ago, this was a perfect opportunity to show off the new branding!
I started off my SHS weekend on Thursday, when I brought along a fairly small selection of what we have on offer here at the shop, including Idealamps from Bang&Vejborg, the fabulous Biota lamp from Gejst, Moodboards from Roon & Rahn, the Diamond standing light from Globen and of course the ever popular wallets from Secrid. It took me three trips and most of the day to set up the stand!
By contrast, the wonderful Jo from www.nobookswereharmed.co.uk (check out those stunning handcrafted pieces of art made from books!) swooped in towards the end of the afternoon and like the pro she is set up within what seemed like minutes (well maybe a bit longer, but you get the gist!). Clear to see the difference between professional show exhibitors and a newbie like myself.
In saying that, I was pleased with how the stand looked in the end, and it was great to see the new black and gold colours up on the walls.
The show started off Friday at 10am – it’s a big show, with over 230 exhibitors, but it’s well laid out, being divided into Food&Drink, Art, Retail, Interiors, Gardening&Outdoors and Self-Build zones, so as an exhibitor and visitor alike you soon find your bearings and won’t get lost too often.
Eighty7 was just in-between Art and Food&Drink – frankly a dangerous place to be if you like pretty things as well as gin, cheese and not least brownies! I also had a nice view of the main stage, where Linda Barker, Tommy Walsh and Charlie Dimmock were in charge of the live demonstrations.
During quieter periods, such as when visitors were all gathered at the live cooking demonstration in the kitchen or watching the fun with the celebs on the stage, it was great to be surrounded by some really awesome fellow exhibitors – special mentions go out to before-mentioned Jo and her neighbour Kenny from Woods Brownie Co – the banter between these two was hilarious to watch and delightful to be included in, and those brownies are absolutely the best I’ve ever tasted – my eldest daughter agreed, and she has the sweetest tooth I’ve ever known!
The boys at The Chuckling Cheese Company equally made sure any dull moments didn’t stay dull for long (watch out for that laser!!) and it was great to meet Mike and the team from Inverurie Whisky Shop – I was absolutely delighted with my samples of Esker and Teasmith gins – both gorgeous; I’ll be visiting Inverurie very soon for a bottle or two!
It was also great to catch up with Shelagh Swanson, who had the most beautiful stand showing off some stunning pieces created specially for the show. Super exciting times for Shelagh just now, as she’s currently building her new studio right here in Aberdeen’s very own Footdee!
Anyway, I’m getting carried away reminiscing about all the great exhibitors!
It was a fantastic opportunity to meet so many lovely people, who seemed to be genuinely interested in knowing more about Eighty7 Design + Living. Independent retail is not the easiest of businesses to succeed in, especially in what has been a very challenging year in Aberdeen, so being able to put ourselves in front of an awful lot of people and hear some really great feedback regarding the shop, what we do and what we plan to do, was a unique and very exciting opportunity.
Maybe we’ll see you there next year – the date has just been announced over on www.scottishhomeshow.com