Last month we got together with Bob Scott of Niche Cocktails and Ruth Leigh of the Paella and Tapas Company to exhibit at the Anglia Business Exhibition. The concept was easy – remove the usual pull up banners, tables and leaflets that you usually see at business exhibitions and ‘sell the experience’ of our companies.
After meeting over several coffees, we landed with the idea of having a Spanish themed stand, creating the feel of an outdoor celebration with great food and fantastic drinks. A red and yellow colour scheme came to mind, together with palm tree, lemon trees and a rustic looking cocktail bar.
As time went on, Bob sourced exotic liqueurs, hunted down cocktail recipes and perfected his craft. Ruth worked on her paella dishes and advised us on the key points to Spanish parties and, at VIP Balloons, we experimented with new designs and sculptures!
We had a space that was four meters square, within the presidential marquee on the Suffolk Showground to create our little corner of Spain. After deciding to dispense with the grey backing boards, we spoke to Darrell Smith of Archway Carpets to provide us with some artificial grass to define our space. After obtaining some old pallets, the building of the rustic cocktail bar was started and the ideas were starting to come together.
We moved in to the showground two days ahead of the show. After the grass went down, the first thing to be placed were the trees. Two four meter high trees would frame the space, one a palm tree and the other a fantasy lemon/orange tree. We had made several palm trees before, including one on this scale for a previous event, however the lemon/orange tree was a new experience!
We wanted a stylised spherical shape and so, after creating a frame using children’s hula hoops covered with garden netting, the frame was covered with over 800 baby balloons in differing shades of green. The oranges and lemons were added along with a very hungry caterpillar who would keep an eye on us throughout the show!
Once these structural items were in place, we worked on building an arch using the Qualatex Quick-Link balloons. These are a new type of balloon that tie at both ends, meaning that the whole structure could be made without the use of helium. We added some personalised foil balloons so that those attending would know which companies were exhibiting.
Ruth brought in her paella pan and dressed it with the ingredients she would use, and Bob had samples of cocktails to give away. Two days later and we were ready!
The show was a huge success, with hundreds of people coming into our garden, enjoying a cocktail or two and wondering at the spectacular display we had created. The day was completed when, late in the afternoon, we were awarded with ‘Best Stand In Show’ along with £100 worth of Coes Vouchers.
We have already been asked what we have planned for next year but that is a closely guarded secret – You’ll have to come along to see!