Thursday, September 10, 2015

National Stationery Show - Final Part 3 - The Show

Here we are the final instalment. I think my average work day was about 18 hours per day in the run up and during the show. It was crazy nuts busy, exercise out the window, eating proper food etc. So after all the preparations I packed up and headed to the airport to catch a red eye to New York. I slept pretty much all the way, there was no way any meaningful work was going to happen so I just tried to rest before Day 1 of set up. Now the show folks will tell you that there is a set slot move in time but let's just say it was flexible.

The not so Blank Canvas
So far so good, arrived walked what seemed like miles with 2 suitcases, back pack and hand bag to get to the shuttle bus pick up, which I had prepaid online. I had an hour to kill as the flight arrived early, so I think it was about 5am instead of 5:30am, so let's just call it pretty darn early. I'm not usually awake at that time, the shuttle bus came and I grabbed my umpteen bags and boarded. About 5 minutes into the drive I realized, horrified that I'd left my handbag behind in La Guardia Airport, money, passport, I.D. everything !! The shuttle bus driver to his credit turned around and headed back to the airport, there was only one other couple on the bus thankfully. It was a pretty tense drive back and nervous as hell I jumped out of the bus and ran into the terminal. Imagine my immense relief when there, sat on the chair was my bag. There were people sat either side who hadn't noticed the absence of an owner, but everything was in it. Faith in humanity restored, faith in reporting suspicious unattended bags not so much... (luckily for me.) After that it was pretty much a given that this was going to be a good trip. I'd averted near disaster and I was pretty convinced that luck was on my side. (Sidenote, carry as few bags as possible, less chance of leaving one behind and sleep helps!)

I arrived at Javits about 7am and dropped off my suitcases in my space which would be my home for the next 6.5 days. It took every single hour of time allocated to get the space show ready. It didn't help that the walls weren't white, after paying 4 figures for temporary walls you'd think they'd at least have a decent paint job.  I had what looked like orange coming through in patches. I did try and contact the team responsable but to no avail. Fortunately my fantastic neighbor had extra rollers and paint and was nice enough to share, it did take extra time that I hadn't factored in for the paint to dry but totally worth it. I was lucky enough to have brilliant first time neighbors who made the experience much more enjoyable and being native New Yorkers with cars had access to things like step stools which hadn't made it into the suitcase but were pretty essential for putting up signage.
Step stools are handy
Minimal but essential tools
As far as furniture was concerned, I had 3 stools and  3 tables shipped to an apartment in New York and then I took a cab to Javits on Day 2 of set up. I entertained ideas of going to Ikea once I was there, but honestly there isn't time, especially if you are flying solo.
 Javits the night before NSS opened, I was there till midnight.

The Final 

Because everything was so clean and white the bare floor didn't bother me too much. The flowers were given to me by another exhibitor who had too many. Fresh flowers are a really nice added touch.

Right wall

Most areas had pink carpet but the Fresh Section was yellow.
There you have it, the last installment. On the financial side I made my investment back within two months so definitely worth doing and I'm hoping to do it all again next year ! Also good to note is that you have to take everything, if you leave any furniture in your space or stuff on the walls you will get charged. Apparently there is some kind of collection process where your furniture gets donated but I couldn't find any info about that so what I didn't sell I gave away.