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Warley Show Weekend 2014

Katharine Stone

KATHARINE STONE tells us about her experiences working on our stand the Warley show for the first time.

At the beginning of October the call for volunteers went up for working the Warley Exhibition, and as I hadn't done it before I thought I'd give it a go. In my usual desk job in the accounts department I donít very often see the other side of the business, the actual selling! As the weekend drew nearer and all the preparation was almost done I began to get a bit nervous, I mean what do I know about any of this? I suddenly realised how out of my comfort zone I really was!

We set off on the Friday before the show at 5am. Yes, 5am! The journey was quicker than I thought it would be, and before we knew it we were in the NEC setting up. I had heard stories from other staff of the 'frayed nerves' on set-up days, but even though I had no idea what I was doing, it went very smoothly. After a long day setting up our stand looked amazing. A well earned drink was then needed!

Warley 2014 Show

Setting up the stand.

It was finally here, the day Iíve been dreading all week, my model railway knowledge is limited and I love my desk job! The show opened and hundreds of people filtered into the hall heading straight our way! With a huge smile on my face I welcome them to our stand - and with that my nerves were gone. Standing up all day helping customers all of a sudden seemed second nature to me. I was greeting them, selling catalogues and, surprisingly to me, answering a fair few of their questions, which was something I was dreading as my knowledge isnít great!

Lunchtime comes and goes and we are all still smiling. I pluck up the courage to learn how to use the tills. I picked it up quickly and get serving. Come the end of the day we re-stocked the shelves, closed up the stand, and head back to the hotel. Others ran to the bar, but my legs could hardly walk - I'm far too used to my desk job!

Warley 2014 Show

Lots of customers!

We were up early again on Sunday, ready for another big day. Although it was quieter we were still busy, and the customers were very friendly as they were on Saturday. In the afternoon I had some time to walk around and introduce myself to other traders who I usually speak to during my usual working week, and have a look at some of the amazing layouts on show.

At 5pm the show closed and we had to break down the stand all our hard work setting up on Friday was now being dismantled. It was all lugged back onto the vans and the metal framework was taken down. There were weary, tired bodies everywhere when we finished around 8pm, and left for some well earned dinner, where the table was quiet before our three hour journey back home to Sussex.

Warley 2014 Show

Richard Johnson of DCC Concepts is kept busy showing off his range.

Over the weekend I learned some scenery skills courtesy of Nick Duxfield, Richard Johnson explained that DCC Concepts codes are not as complicated as I first thought, how to use the tills and card machines, and I actually enjoyed selling to the general public. Every bone/muscle now hurts, but yes, I would do it again - just not after a bit of a rest! Maybe Iíll see you next year?

Now she's been bitten by the bug, you might start seeing Katharine at other shows...

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