Events, events, events!
Back in June we shared our experience from our first ever event at The Blenheim Palace Flower Show. Since then we've attended several more and have a very busy couple of months planned in the lead up to Christmas!
Below are some of our highlights, plus the odd lowlight, from the last few months.
Wallop Wheels & Wings (Stockbridge, Hampshire)
The week after The Blenheim Palace Flower Show we were at the Wallop Wheels & Wings event at The Army Flying Museum in Stockbridge. The weather was kind and the event was busy with everyone enjoying being back out again as lockdowns were starting to end. Being only our 2nd event we didn't know what to expect, but went with a car full of brownies that we thought would keep us well stocked all day...however by 3:30 we'd completely sold out with a few hours of the day still left! It was definitely a nice problem to have on the day, but we had a quick lesson to learn on how to ensure we had enough stock for future events!
Basingstoke Borough Basket Street Market
Love Basingstoke launched the Borough Basket Street Market in July with the aim of helping support local businesses getting back on their feet post-Covid. The market runs on the last Friday of each month and we've been at every one so far. The market has been a real success for us and we've really enjoyed having a regular pitch that allows us to meet local customers; it's been fantastic to see some returning month-after-month! The market is running a Christmas special for 2 days in December and we're looking forward to carrying on at the market into 2022.
Hartley Wintney Village Festival
We were at Hartley Wintney's Village Festival on the first Saturday of September and had a fantastic day! The weather was amazing and there were loads of great stalls that helped create a real buzz on the day in a lovely location on the village green. Being so local to us we saw a lot of familiar faces and were sold out by late afternoon (still not quite mastering the art of getting stock levels right!).
The Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials
Our biggest event so far was The Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, a 4 day event from Thursday to Sunday in mid-September. We were fortunate enough to have a prime location in the shopping village around lots of other amazing brands. Whilst the Thursday and Friday were relatively busy, the Saturday was like nothing we'd experienced before! There were over 15,000 people there on a glorious day and we were flat out almost as soon as the day opened! There were constant trips to and from the re-loading area to re-stock brownies and the day passed in an absolute blur! This has definitely been our favourite event to date and we can't wait to do it again next year!
The Gardens Show at Broadlands (Romsey, Hampshire)
We were really excited to be at The Gardens Show at Broadlands for their first year in October, but it turned out to be memorable for all the wrong reasons! Friday was quiet with people put off by the damp weather and being in the midst of the fuel crisis, but we still had high hopes for a couple of better days over the weekend... Unfortunately the weather gods really were against us this time leading to the event being washed out on both the Saturday and Sunday, the first cancellations in the organiser's history! It was a really disappointing few days for us after so much preparation, but we'd been very fortunate at all of our prior events and you can't win them all!
With the outdoor summer events now well behind us, things start to turn festive and move indoors in November. We're really excited at some of the events we have booked in and are still hoping to add a couple more to the diary before the end of the year.
The Country Living Fair, London
After the first weekend in November at the Berkshire Craft, Food & Gift Fair, we're off to London for a 5 day Christmas Fair from Wednesday 10th hosted by The Country Living Magazine. The event is at The Business Design Centre in Islington and there are loads of great brands exhibiting there as well as a live stage, cooking demos, craft workshops and more. Please keep an eye on our social media channels in the lead up to the event as we'll be giving away some complimentary and discounted tickets!
The Christmas Gift Fair, Ascot Racecourse
Over the final weekend of November we'll be at Ascot Racecourse for their Christmas Gift Fair for 4 days from Thursday 25th. It's always a pleasure to get the chance to trade at great venues and Ascot Racecourse is undoubtedly one of the best in the UK! We can't wait to get to this one!
Knebworth Christmas Fair, Knebworth House
We'll also be at another great venue, Knebworth House, for the last weekend of November. This will be our first experience of running 2 events in parallel over the same weekend, splitting ourselves between Ascot and Knebworth for an added challenge! As we head into 2022 we're hoping to be able to attend more and more events, so doubling-up is going to be a useful trial run for us and what better weekend to do it than in the busy lead up to Christmas!
As our business grew in 2020 we weren't thinking much beyond online sales, but that part of our business saw a real decline earlier this year and we had to think about other ways to grow our business again. Heading out to these events over the last few months has not only helped re-shape our business post-Covid, but it has very quickly become one of the most enjoyable parts of what we do! It's been great to be out in a face-to-face environment working alongside similar businesses and meeting with so many of our customers in person. We're completely sold on these events being a big part of what we do now and can't wait to experience a lot more of them over the coming years!
Find us at an upcoming event near you.