Posts written in March 2010
Just spent two busy days at MOVE IT meeting lots of customers, suppliers and friends both old and new. Our friends from Dance Teacher Web had come all the way from USA with a great offer as well as a promotion to attend their Conference and Expo in Las Vegas next summer. We will be exhibiting there and Wayne Sleep will be among a wonderful faculty. Here he is on their booth with me as well as the Dance Teacher Web organisers Angela and Steve Sirico.
Here we are in Las Vegas. It really is an amazingly larger than life city!
Elaine, our buyer, joined Ian and I at the show where we are once again attracting lots of attention as we give away diamanté tiaras to all visitors to our booth.
Here are two happy new customers who are thrilled with their new headdresses!
CONGRATULATIONS! Cláudia Francisco, Principal Escola De Dança Cláudia Francisco, PORTUGAL is the winner of the Bloch Boost Mesh Sneakers
IDS really is International and so it was no surprise that the winner came from overseas. Look out for the next competition or offer from IDS … you too could be a winner!
Sounds easy and straightforward … well join us behind-the-scenes to find out more on our journey to get the show on the road.
It all starts with Kate Ellis, our Showroom Manager, deciding which of the 3,500 IDS products to pack into 8 portable wardrobes and 3 steel trunks. It is a logistical nightmare to try and second guess what our customers might want to see at the Roadshow. “You’re lucky … I decided to pack that Pirate Costume at the last minute” I can overhear Kate saying to a customer. Well lit costumes always look the part so setting up the venue involves pre-planning before we unload the 7M long van including 100M plus of cables and spot lights that would keep most funfairs in business!
To get to our first venue, the van has already been driven over 600 miles on various motorways and A Roads. Like all performances the first impression you make when entering centre stage is all important … the IDS Roadshow is not different! We walk the route our first customer will make to see what makes the biggest impact on the eye when you enter the room! Most venues, but not all, are hotel conference rooms so we plan the room with the wardrobes on the left as you enter corresponding with the first costumes in the Diamond Book and each following wardrobe will have the next set of costumes in the catalogue so you can walk round the room with the Diamond Book in hand. Having a system helps both the customer and us as the questions soon start to be about sizes and fabrics rather than where do I find the Sunflower Tabard?
Aberdeen and the UKA Highland Gathering …. it’s a sobering thought but we always enjoy coming back here after attending the event for 8 or more years! We meet like long lost friends at the event … chatting at the drinks reception we sponsor. The following night is no respite either as the Scots certainly know how to keep you on your toes with their very own Scottish Ceilidh dancing till midnight.
The journey down to our next venue, Derby, took us to a roadside Premier Lodge outside Dundee before driving through the rain and mist to the delightful town of Kendal in the Lake District. We’re still wondering what this most picturesque of towns would look like had it not been for the freezing cold and wet conditions. You wouldn’t normally spend the evening at the hotel, another Premier Lodge, but the warmth away from the biting cold and wet weather seemed all too appealing. In the morning snow was forecast so we headed off asap for Derby. The only concession we gave ourselves was when we were passing the Peak District we could see a window of opportunity in the sky. We hung a left off the M6, much to the annoyance of our Sat Nav box, fondly named “Bessy”. She got the hump for miles until she finally got the message we were taking a new route to Derby.
At the highest point in the Peak District we did stop at the Cat & Fiddle Pub for a coffee and a snowball fight but Lola, the IDS travelling bear, soon said “that’s enough … let’s get the show on the road!” Menzies Mickleover Hotel on the outskirts of Derby beckoned. It usually takes about 4 hours to set up at a venue and 3+ hours to pack up and load the van ready for the next venue. Once again it was great to see our customers’ faces when they stepped into the conference room converted into an Aladdin’s Cave of costumes for a day of inspiration!
On the road again … Birmingham and the Elmhurst School for Dance here we come. The forecast was, once again, for snow at around 2-3pm so we decided to get our skates on and arrive early! We phoned Elmhurst as arrival and departures are all important especially with the van and its ramp that blocks several car spaces when in use. Opening the doors at Elmhurst was like music to our ears with 7 dance studios and a studio theatre to boot! Elmhurst had to be a real Jewel in the Crown with everyone eagerly awaiting the guided tour around what has to be one of the best ballet schools in the UK.
Desmond Kelly, Director of Elmhusrt, took a short break out of his busy schedule to come and talk to IDS customers and for a quick photocall! Thank you and BRAVO Elmhurst and hopefully ENCORE for another IDS event one day in the future!
It does take an enormous amount of work planning these sorts of events and Kate Ellis, assisted by Ami Martin, were stars twinkling brightly behind-the-scenes making sure that everything went to plan … BRAVO to a great IDS team event!
Ian and I are enjoying this beautiful beach all thanks to Elmhurst Ballet School Fundraising Gala! I won the raffle which was a week for two at the fabulous Seagate Hotel and Spa and we are enjoying this wonderful new hotel and the Florida sunshine. So it IS worth buying raffle tickets. Thankyou Elmhurst!
We are actually on our way to Las Vegas for the DRN show next weekend. Watch out for news of that next week.