One Week in London

  • Vivian Zhang
  • 16th November 2014

Talented team member Vivian shares her first consumer show experience in Olympia London with BIDBI's sister brand, Talented.

Me and Louisa were spreading Christmas spirit in London last week. It all started with the consumer show, Spirit of Christmas 2014, in Kensington Olympia.

Before the commencement on Tuesday 4 November, we drove a long way to London on Monday to set up our stand and do all the preparation work. Along the way Louisa introduced English culture and regional folk tales to me. When we passed the St Mary and All Saints Parish Church of Chesterfield she told me some the offensive comments about the church’s crooked spire. I said we had similar things happened in China. She laughed. Well, judging is human nature, isn't it?

When we passed the Peak District, I saw a lot of sheep, and later, a lot of cows, a herd of which were lying on the grass. Louisa said cows lying down are said to be an indication of rain. I told her we have that with dogs' sneezing in China.

And it’s been proved that both are so true as later as we were approaching London it was pouring down. The water splashed by the fast moving cars, accompanied by thick frog, constructed a really beautiful sight, like a fairyland or heaven to me, though I have been to neither. But Louisa hated it as the bad weather totally blocked her sightseeing on the road.

She pointed out Emerson’s warehouse to me on the road and mentioned that our warehouse manager Pedro used to work there. Anyone knows the location will know how massive that place is - a plane can easily land on it. The sight of it gave me joy. We have got their guy, with hard work we are going to occupy a warehouse of that size too.

With chatting and laughter we arrived in London around 2pm. I know it was a business trip, but I will still remember it as my first road trip in England.

Decorating the stand was fun. I even painted the wall myself. It was all new and interesting to me. Enough for me not to care about my ruined T-shirt. Here is a picture of the stand:

The following days were full of selling. Because we are wholeseller, trade shows are what we usually participated. This was our first consumer show, therefore, we had no data to refer for business prediction. But an exploring journey was definitely worth it and exciting.

The first two days were relatively quiet. On Wednesday Jo, new account manager on BIDBI team joined us in London. She helped us rearrange the stand - swoping the displaying locations of T-shirts and the end of line stock. It made the stand neater, which I believe had brought us more attention and business. Big thanks to Jo!

The day when Jo came, Roy, our PR agent also came to our stand. He asked me out of blue that “Are you Vivian?” I will be lying if I say I was freaking out. It took him a while before he revealed himself. I think he did that on purpose.

Meeting with him was on top of my schedule. Then poof, there he was. Once again it’s been confirmed: great minds think alike. HAHA.

He complimented our stand. Here is our purse bowl and bargain basket, which attracted lots attention during the show.

Sales started rolling since the third day. We tried changing displaying and communicating strategy. You could tell we really were not retailer but we were absolutely making efforts. This has always been the company’s spirit, which attracted me in the first place and has been keeping me going ever since.

At one point I didn’t even have time to keep tally. But thanks to my fabulous memory inherited from my eidetic memory father, I managed to keep tracks of what we sold.

Now enough with the work. Me and Louisa shared a wonderful Fulham bonfire night.

We stood in the crowd for 20 minutes, amazed by the beautiful fireworks.

Before we went to London, Julia was very kind and told us to enjoy ourselves and have some fabulous food there. So we did. (cheeky!) The last night in London, I had the best dinner I have ever had in my whole life. Italian food now has exceled Chinese dishes and become my favourite cuisine. And Louisa, who had got me a Nutella snack when we were heading back, has become my favourite person.

She did linguistic course during undergraduate education. So did I. Which made us two hit it off instantly. We had many similar experiences. And we shared lots of funny stuff happened at class. She was learning Portuguese in France like I was learning French in Germany. That feeling when you surpass your mother tongue to translate words between two foreign languages, only those who had it would know how hard and amazing it is! We also both did interpreting job.

She had been really looking out for me all along ever since I joined Talented. When we were loading and unloading our stock and display stand, she did much more lifting than me just because she was afraid I would get hurt. Sometimes I wish I could be stronger and help her more. This thought inspired me to go to gym. And I did, since the day after we came back.

Not until Sunday midnight were we entering good old Sheffield. Four-hour drive seemed like an instant. Maybe it’s like what people say: good times always fly like an arrow.