Tuesday, 12 January 2016

It’s bound to be exciting!

With only a couple of weeks to go before the trade fair, things are really motoring here at BETA International HQ. The January issue of ETN – the bumper issue that provides a colourful preview of the show – has just arrived in big brown boxes and very good it looks, too!

It turned up a little later than usual after its front cover met a rather soggy end when the company binding the magazine fell foul of the torrential rain and heavy flooding. Thanks to the quick response of our printer, a new version was soon sorted and the magazine continued on its journey.

Congratulations to all those companies that sent in their editorial for the Stand Guide. It certainly makes for fascinating reading and provides a handy, sneaky peek of what lies in store for visitors on the lookout for new stock, ideas and inspiration.

There are quite literally hundreds of products. Some are being unveiled for the first time while others have just been launched – and the rest are already highly prized and in great demand among retailers up and down the country.

Love the way that some retailers on Twitter are asking their customers to let them know if there are any products in particular they would like them to stock. The benefits of real-time digital platforms – you just can’t beat them!

If your ETN has flipped through your letter box, why not take five to check out the show schedule, highlight the companies you fancy visiting and read the lowdown on the Innovation Awards judges and panellists in Talking Business – a new feature kicking off this year, hosted by ITV newscaster Alastair Stewart. With a line-up of Phil Duff, Monty aka David Stuart-Monteith, Lucy Higginson, David Haythornthwaite, John Nunn and Sara Blackshaw, it’s bound to be exciting. Make sure you join us for a ringside seat!

Monday, 14 December 2015

Take the trade's proven route to success

“Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la! ’Tis the season to be jolly...” Oh, what joy! The office is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, with a little tree decked out in baubles and sparkly lights sat in reception, sack loads of greetings cards arriving on a daily basis and a not insubstantial amount of chocolates lurking in the corners of desks. 

There are even some members of the organising team who have an entire stack of the “big purple one” and “green triangle” squirrelled away at the back of the filing cabinet!

With less than two weeks to go before the big man in the scarlet suit drops down chimneys, BETA International HQ is in overdrive, with plans galloping along faster than Rudolph, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen and the rest of the reindeer crew. 

Seminars and arena sessions are being scheduled into an exciting programme of events, last-minute requests for exhibition stand sales are arriving in a steady flow and visitors are rushing to pre-register for their free tickets to the show.

You can’t beat being organised. So, if you’re the kind of person who has already got their Crimbo pressies bought, wrapped, beribboned and stacked around the tree, don’t go against the grain – make sure you get online and get your place booked. By doing this now, that’s another thing ticked off your “to do” list and you save yourself a tenner into the bargain!

This year’s earlier BETA International – in January rather than February – will provide the perfect tonic to banish those post-Christmas blues. As the last of the turkey and fruit cake is demolished, and Twelfth Night claims the final string of tinsel, the trade fair will be sparkling brightly on the horizon.

Three Wise Men followed the star to Bethlehem in the Nativity Story – so why not take their lead by being a wise man or woman who follows the trade’s proven route to success in Birmingham?!

OK, there are no camels to ride on, but we do have free coaches operating from four key locations, so why not visit the BETA International website, www.beta-int.com, and book online? 

Monday, 9 November 2015

Wining and dining on our doorstep!

Well, what a treat we’ve got in store! The new Resorts World Birmingham is now open and right on the NEC’s doorstep – perfect for popping over to for some much-needed downtime after a hard day at BETA International or for wining and dining corporate guests.

BETA International organiser Claire Thomas, sales manager James Palmer and press officer Debs Hayward were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of this luxurious leisure complex and were bowled over by what they saw. So much so that they are now in talks with Resorts World to arrange a discounted-rate food-and-drinks package for those attending the trade fair.

The tour started on the ground floor of this five-level lakeside building, where popular outlet stores such as Bench, Jeff Banks, Nike and The North Face could be found. Although most of us will probably be too busy to peruse this marble-esque-floored mall, it’s handy to know that it’s there.

Dining will be a big draw for a lot of BETA International visitors and exhibitors – and there’s bags of choice, from chains such as Nando’s, Pizza Express and TGI Fridays offering relaxed dining to the Robata Bar & Grill for something a little more special.

Those of you who enjoy a touch of sparkle will be in for a treat, too, with a Prosecco bar and the High Line New York Bar & Lounge, which are perfect for a sundowner with friends and colleagues. OK, it will be winter and it’s England, so the sun will be well down before you make it into the bar, but you get the gist.

Then, for those of you who like your games, there’s a casino that wouldn’t look out of place as the backdrop for a James Bond movie. We love the thought of sitting across the roulette table from 007 drinking a Martini – shaken, not stirred! There’s also a multi-screen cinema with an Imax screen that will have special significance for any film buffs out there. What a great way to kick back and chill with a box of popcorn – a huge one, of course – a jumbo hot dog, a gallon of pop and some of your favourite stars up there close and personal on the silver screen. Ah, bliss!

And last but certainly not least, there is a sumptuous spa where you can be soothed and pampered and preened. There is a well-known holiday ad – the one for “adult-only” beach escapes where no children shall ever set foot, rotten old meanies! – that uses the strapline “Give us your body and we’ll give you back your mind”. This fits the bill perfectly for Resorts World because, after a hard day’s business, you will certainly benefit from the chance to unwind and float away on a scent of sandalwood. Well, we presume that’s what it will smell like, as spas usually do, don’t they?

Finally – OK, we implied the above was the last point, but there is one other – the Genting Hotel, all 178 rooms of it. It really does look fab and some of the boutique rooms are available at special rates via the BETA International accommodation provider, Event Express. Why wait? Click here to stake your claim and book a room. 

Thursday, 24 September 2015

We’ve got a winning formula!

Stopped off at the local supermarket on the way home from work the other day to pick up a lottery ticket – after all, you’ve got to be in it to win it! The National Lottery website gives the odds of scooping the jackpot as about one in 14 million! That shows there is only a slim chance of becoming a multi-millionaire – but it’s still a chance, nonetheless!

There are, however, some great winning formulas where the odds are significantly improved and the element of chance minimal! I think you’ve probably guessed where I am going with this one and, if you have, 10 out of 10 for your superior insight.

If you have a great company with some fantastic products and would like to see them displayed on shelves in shops around the country, increase the odds of this happening and cut the chance of failure by making sure they are given pride of place at BETA International – the world’s leading trade fair for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products.

Where else will you find yourself in front of thousands of industry buyers specifically on the lookout for new products and ideas? If you were in the National Lottery, it’s like all the balls popping out of the machine with your number on them!

By the show’s 10 per cent deposit deadline on 11 September, 219 companies had taken the first step to success by booking a stand and they’re now sitting pretty, planning and preparing to make their big splash on 24 January.

Don’t worry if you haven’t done this yet. There’s no need to feel left out in the cold – there are still some cracking opportunities available. Give James Palmer a call, as he’s sure to have some great locations up his sleeve. 

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Have you got a carrot to dangle?

Every one of us has that “donkey gene” – dangle a carrot, and we’ll find it hard to resist. Discounts, special offers, “two for the price of one” deals and prize draws offering the opportunity to bag a whole heap of goodies are all guaranteed to get us rushing to buy or sign on the dotted line.

The fact might be presented here in a bit of a tongue-in-cheek manner but seriously, folks, promotions are a great way to generate increased footfall, bolster customer numbers and boost sales – an exercise in proactive marketing employed by many successful BETA International exhibitors who use the medium to drive visitors to their stand.

If you’re set to enjoy a presence at the 2016 trade fair – and want to make the most of the experience – why not use a few exclusive show offers to help raise awareness of your company and products? They’ll help you to stand out from the crowd, serve as an introduction to new customers and give visitors a strong raison d’ĂȘtre to stop off at your stand.

There’s lots you can do, so live life to the max and go for it – rustle up some great ideas, knock ’em about a bit and, when you think they’ve got legs, let ’em go. Make sure you tell people about them, though. It’s no use hiding your light under a bushel, because nobody will get to hear about them and only you and a few of your close friends and colleagues will be in the know!

BETA International’s official media partner, ETN (Equestrian Trade News), offers a great platform for shouting about special offers and on-stand competitions. Every exhibitor is automatically offered the chance to send in up to 200 words of editorial and a photo for consideration.

Obviously, there is no guarantee that every word that flows from your pen will make it into the magazine, but it’s definitely worth doing. How often are you offered something for nothing? So make sure you give it a go.

Some great little extras are also offered to exhibitors who opt to advertise in the magazine. These include the chance to have your show offers highlighted and emailed out to retailers before the event – and the opportunity to have product included in the famous ETN Prize Draw, with £1,000s of fab prizes. What a fantastic way to flag up your presence!

The BETA International Media Centre also offers the perfect promotional opportunity, with the media team ready, willing and able to pass on your details to visiting journalists at the trade fair. Don’t worry – our press officer, Deborah Hayward, will get in touch with you all as the show gets a little closer.

Now is definitely the time to get your thinking caps on, keep calm and rustle up some great incentives for BETA International 2016.

Monday, 24 August 2015

One lump or two?

Who else finds a coffee or two an essential way to kick-start the day? We’re now on our third cup, with some of us even consuming two at a time (don’t ask!) – and there are still quite a few hours of the working day to go.

There’s always the “just got into the office” mug, when you catch up with colleagues huddled around the kettle. You sip one slowly while you discuss last night’s TV, then another as you tackle the emails in your inbox – and knock another down as you prepare for that afternoon meeting or busy session in the shop.

Coffee is good, so is tea – red-hot and made with Yorkshire tea bags, of course. Sorry if we appear biased here, but it really is the best, strong and well-rounded, just as we like it “oop North”.

Then, of course, there is the drinking vessel to consider and the accompanying biscuit, slice of cake or cream bun if you’re celebrating a colleague’s birthday. Taking a look around BETA International HQ, it is fair to say that we are a team made up of individuals of differing tastes.

Trade fair organiser Claire Thomas sports a trio of favoured mugs on her desk – including one with an English cottage garden design – Lesley Manson in accounts loves her Donny Osmond mug and ETN advertising sales manager Nicki Lewis has a mug with her name on it – just in case she forgets. No, seriously, it has a detailed description of what her name means, which always comes in handy when having a slurp.

The biscuit barrel goody of choice in this neck of the woods is either a ginger nut – all spicy and crisp – or a buttered scone from the baker's. What keeps you going through the day? Are you a super-health-conscious bunch with a juicing bullet in the kitchen and a water tower in reception or are you just as partial as us to a drop of hot liquid refreshment?



Friday, 7 August 2015

Blow your own trumpet!

What a busy time we’ve had this week! Liz Benwell, editor of our official media partner, Equestrian Trade News (ETN), arrived at BETA International HQ to go through plans for the January preview issue of the magazine.
We really like what she has in store, with lots of great features on the people and products set to appear at the trade fair. There’s so much to cover, no wonder this bumper issue has 100-plus pages packed with cracking photos and lots of easy-to-read text.
Everyone who exhibits at BETA International is invited to send in up to 200 words about themselves and the products they will be bringing along. ETN advertising manager Nicki Lewis will be sending out an email about this really soon, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for her message arriving in your inbox.
Liz says she would like everyone to take her up on this opportunity because all those who are exhibiting deserve some editorial space – and we all want to read about them. So, if you want to make your mark and create a big splash next January, get thinking what you can say to blow your own trumpet!