What an incredible week it’s been! Our Trade Team headed to Glee Tradeshow, at the NEC in Birmingham on Monday to set up and prepare the Evercreatures stand, which also included our newly introduced French brand, Rouchette. There we met the Export Sales Team from Rouchette, headed by Vincent, who travelled all the way from France (and endured all COVID protocols when hitting the UK border). After setting up, we were excited to get the show underway, with day one proving to be hugely active and reassuringly successful for the team. The atmosphere was buzzing and it was lovely that everyone was supporting each other, especially after the challenges Covid-19 has brought.
On day two of the show, I clambered into my car, and drove from HQ in Lincolnshire to Birmingham, and arrived to experience the show myself. As the Digital Marketing Apprentice at Evercreatures, I felt it was a great opportunity to observe industry trends, check out our beautiful stand and delve deeper into the Garden and Outdoor industry to utilise in my position. I looked for inspiration and was not disappointed. It was an incredible learning opportunity and a real treat to see so many amazing and creative brands in action.
If it wasn’t enough to gain insight from the other businesses there, Glee also included a variety of scheduled talks that everyone was welcome to attend. During the afternoon I went to watch “Connecting the in-store and digital customer experience” talk hosted by Bryony and Celia from Yarnton Home and Garden. This really helped inspire me as they’ve done a truly incredible job of transforming the business in only two years. Throughout this, they have maintained a personal touch in-store and online. They have found ways to be different and stand out from the crowd whilst also staying connected to their roots which evidently has been key to their success. I am eager to begin implementing this approach at Evercreatures.
As this was a flying visit to the NEC, I then took advantage of the live stream option Glee offered and listened to “How garden centres can adapt to a sustainable and successful long-term online strategy” talk on the Thursday. This was led by Amy Hobson, a Partner at Social B. I found this very concise and informative, everything was explained well and she really helped me understand what I need to look at applying behind the scenes to ensure I am marketing as effectively as possible.
Glee really had thought of everything. It was brilliant to see they had implemented a code of conduct to ensure everyone, staff and traders alike, felt comfortable. Keeping a respectful distance from others was encouraged and wearing a mask suggested. They asked you bring your own hand sanitiser as well as using the stations in high traffic areas of the event. It was recommended to use data capturing devices to share business details as apposed to business cards so the transactions are contact-free. Checking before initiating any form of contact (handshakes for example) was also a vital part of the event’s success in making sure everyone felt safe.
The award shows were a lovely touch as they gave businesses the opportunity to showcase their achievements, which meant we could all celebrate each other’s successes. It all comes back to how supportive all the attendees were of each other, as this was really what made the event such a pleasure to be a part of. All that’s left to say is bring on Glee 2022!