I have been coming to the Exclusively Housewares (now just Exclusively) show for many years. First with Tefal, then DKB and lastly with GreenPan. You may think I like being in the industry, but I have yet to decide !
2019 was the first time I attended the show as part of the BHETA team (two weeks into the job), but still not fully aware of the organization behind the show. 2020 came and went without the show happening because of the dreaded COVID.
Then as 2020 came to an end, plans were beginning to form for the 2021 show. Then we moved to the August dates. Yes, it wasn’t perfect for all….but when is anything ever perfect?! And who has the luxury of choice this year?!!
So here we were with plans done, marketing done, invites sent, trends forecasted, influencers informed, magazines scheduled. Had we forgotten anything?
I got on the train from Bedford on Monday the 23rd, both excited and nervous. Numerous dresses and “flat pumps” packed. Days of the heels are long gone.
London was back to its normal busy self and as the taxi pulled up in front of the Business Design Centre I felt happy. I couldn’t wait to get inside.
Even before I got through the doors I was met by familiar faces; do we smile, elbow tap, fist pump, shake hands or, god forbid, hug? We all laughed and smiled and did whatever we were all comfortable with at that moment.
Inside there was the normal organised chaos of unbuilt stands, boxes of products strewn in the aisles and casually dressed sales & marketing people. People missing cups, hooks, products and other bits in that last few hours of preparation. Oh, then there were too many tables and chairs/stools, not enough lighting, too much lighting, no passes, need more passes, when does the show open and close.
However, I know from experience that first thing on Tuesday morning it will be as if the trade show fairy has come and fixed everything for everyone. Didn’t you know about her?
The BHETA stand was expertly put together by the team.
The Trend Hub was beautifully created by team Scarlet Opus – how cool were those displays!
My lounge may be going into a Neo Luxe transformation – well I have the green sofa, just need the black wall and perhaps a gold bowl!? Richard ensured that all the suppliers taking part in the Brand-showcase were ready for the press, influencers, bloggers and anyone who can help with the sales and PR of their products.
Day one of the show was busy, buzzy, bustling and business focused. Buyers turned out in force to support the industry. The BHETA team were welcoming our visitors.
I even managed to capture Helen Miller on the Le Creuset stand and Sarah Wood at the Launchpad.
I got star struck by Lynsey Crombie, The Queen of Clean; her hacks are great!
No party this year but we were able to have a drinks reception; just drinks. Not even any peanuts for safety reasons. I did wonder if we could have handed out individual packets as per flights??
Day two I was lucky enough to meet Juliet Sears; bakes amazing cakes on This Morning.
Oh and I issued the contracts for Exclusively 2022. First one back with their contract – Ijaz. Just fabulous!
The show was full of beautiful, functional, eco, well designed, branded, unbranded and varied products from a number of categories. I intentionally didn’t take too many product photos as I would probably have killed my phone. But here are a few of people with some products .
The show was full of established businesses and newcomers.
The show welcomed more tableware suppliers.
The show saw buyers from independent cook shops, major grocers specialist stores to online.
And at the end of two days when it all finishes, the chaos reappears for the contractors to clear up.
I can report that I did 28,282 steps and climbed 38 flights over the two days. My poor ankles. Perhaps that will have worked of the yummy lunch and pudding served up by Liam and his team.
So, there you have it . We will see you next year. I can’t actually put into words how great it was to be with so many friends from the industry. Because we are friends now, aren’t we?
And fabulous to make new contacts and meet away from a screen.
Thanks for exhibiting and visiting and making this a great industry.
However you got home, I hope it was an easy journey. My uber ride back to St Pancras was rather painful, but it was a comfortable, familiar pain. Oh London… I’ve missed you.
Note to self – go straight home and don’t be lulled into a dinner date, even if it is your daughter. Exclusively Exhausted vegetarian at the German Gymnasium… all very wrong.