Archive for October, 2011

Changes to UK Baby Shows – ‘Find a Baby Show’

I got a really constructive, useful email last week from Annabel at Special Occasion Events. She told me about some bits of the updated website that weren’t working for her and that she’d had feedback from two exhbitors on having difficulty finding reviews of her other Shows. This is really important to Annabel, as she uses her fab reviews to “sell” her credibility, experience and track record to bring in new exhibitors. (more…)

Simon Roberts of Emma’s Diary on the purchasing decisions made by pregnant women and their families

Emmas DiaryI’m at the Baby Show for Trade that’s about to open for the second day of the Show. And I’ve had a sneaky preview of what’s coming from the Emma’s Diary team with Simon Roberts, the Business Development Manager at Emma’s Diary on their insights about the purchasing decisions made by pregnant women and their families…

Why is it important that business take time to think about how purchasing decisions are made?

It’s vital that businesses look to target mums tat the right time – it’s crucial to make sure you don’t waste your marketing activity on something that won’t work. Every business has a purchasing timeline and should know who their core audience are – that can be based on age, location, status or a range of other factors.

When you talk about factors, there’s lots of stuff banded about regarding ABC1 Mums.Do you think businesses know what ABC1 mums are?

No but we get asked about it all the time! Sometimes, ABC is too overly used without prior knowledge of what an ABC1 Mum looks like.  The fact is that you can target people but if your product is only available in ASDA and you want people who just shop in Waitrose, there’s going to be a problem going forwards.

How does Emma’s Diary work out who their users area?

We use research. Emma’s Diary appeals to most women because the majority of women have the opportunity to get pregnant. Emma refers to no age, colour or social status. Emma is a middle of the road mum that anyone can relate, engage and talk to you.

Is it not difficult to be all things to all people?

Not at all – pregnantcy is a key life stage where women want someone to talk to. Emma’s Diary is accessible to women – including pre conception. This includes on our website, facebook, twitter and via SMS.. Our life is made easier because Emma’s hold independent research about buying timelines and today’s talk will have Paul Petrie from MumsViews which is a big  bespoke research provider .

Emma’s provides the portal to access mums and based on location, age, child or children’s date of birth and number of children in household.

An example of this in action is that even as early as 6 months pregnant, 62% of parents to be have already purchased their car seat, so there’s no point in marketing your car seat to people from that point onwards. This is the sort of insight which we can provide, helping businesses make sure that they are making best use of their resources and generating turnover from the opportunities available to them.

Simon Roberts

Business Development Manager

Diary of a first time Exhibitor at the Baby Show for Trade

We’ve got a new guest blog today, from Allya at Peep Baby. She’s a new exhibitor at The Baby Show for Trade and gives us the inside track on her first day on site…

Saturday 15 October.

2am: Going to bed. I don’t think there’s much more I could take to the Show, other than the kitchen sink? It’s all piled up at the front door, ready to go. If I fall over it in the morning, I’ll take it with me.

Sunday 16 October.

8am: Get to Olympia but there’s a huge queue of vans and lorries, so I don’t get into the National Hall until 8.45am. But the upside is having finally met Liz Weston who has helped me get all my flyers, business cards, banners and kit together for today.

Peep Baby Stand at the Baby Show For Trade10am: Liz and I are delirious with sweat and looking a *bit* unladylike right now – but we’ve got the stand sorted and are ready to meet the visitors who are our potential customers going forwards. Liz has started on the Quality Street as she’s not had breakfast. I daren’t tell her that she’s going to give herself a sugar rush and then crash, so I join in with the scoffing. We share sweets with our fellow Exhibitors around us, to make friends for when I need to go to the loo so they will cover my stand!

11am: Met 3 really useful people who are all interested in stocking the Peep Baby breastfeeding poncho. We’ve already been asked to make different versions with patterns, so that’s definitely something to think about going forwards. People are impressed to hear that when we put a batch on Ebay, they sell out within 72 hours. And that was the original model – we now sell them all directly through the website and it’s working really well. Visitors need to know that although we’re new to launching to the general market, there’s already been a good take up and news of Peep Baby is spreading virally.

11.50am: Met Cara Sayer, Founder of SnoozeShade. She’s brilliant – practical, down to earth, obviously well connected and market savvy. I’m glad I got back from my run to the car to drop the empty suitcase and meet her – she’s got a busy old day on!

Peep Baby Chatting To Buyers at the Baby Show for Trade1pm: Where has the time gone? We’ve met some brilliant people already but I’m going to be honest and say also, that we’ve had one weird encounter. A couple asked us quite strange questions – one was very cagey about their background and wanted to know if we’d got patent protection. They were asking really detailed questions. I didn’t like it, so I decided to not get into too much detail with them as they looked like they were there looking for ideas to pinch from people – you know when you get a strange feeling about someone? Thankfully, that’s only happened once. Everyone else has been really helpful …

2.45pm: Lunch. That’s it. I’ve missed lunchtime. How did that happen? Where did I put my sandwiches? Please tell me they aren’t in the car?? Surely not? Ah, no, they are here – squashed and mangled, but here. Heaven.

4pm: Still busy – I think people are walking around everything first and then going back to have proper conversations with the people who interest them. There’s so much to see here, that you’ve got to have a strategy for what / who you want to talk to. The only downside of there just being me here is that I’ve not got the chance to walk around and check everyone else out. I think I will get here early tomorrow and go for a wander then…

One day down, two to go and tomorrow is supposed to be uber busy – wish me luck!

Peep Baby PonchoAllya Rafiq



A visitors review of the Business and Baby Show 2011

Joanne, who blogs at Family of Four, went to the Business and Baby Show and here is what she thought of it….


Mia Tui stand at the Business and Baby Show

On Saturday the 1st of October 2011 I went to the Business and Baby Show in Solihull. Initially I was going mainly because I was looking forward to having a long natter with a friend I was meant to be travelling with. However, my friend’s childcare arrangement fell apart and so she couldn’t come. I spent a little while deciding whether still to go because it was a very rare, beautifully warm day.

However I knew a number of people exhibiting and it is always good to do a bit of networking, especially when you are starting a new business so you can get some feedback on your ideas.

My initial reaction on arrival was that signage was pretty poor. Even when I walked into the door I wasn’t very sure I was in the right place! The exhibition hall felt a bit empty and a few of the stands looked like they had been put together at the last minute. I walked around for a bit, desparate to find a toilet and then the seminar room but again there seemed to be very few signs. After walking up and down various corridors I eventually found both.

The first session was presented by Carl Hopkins on low cost ways to ensure your business succeeds. One point he made particularly resonated with me which is once you’ve told someone you are going to do something then actually do it! I’ve been talking about starting Magenta Sky for months now and have indeed been busy helping clients with their online technical needs but I haven’t actually built my own website for it yet! So this task has just moved up the priority scale on my to do list. Carl Hopkins was informative, refreshing and funny.

After this session I decided to have a walk around the exhibition. As the show was targeted at people looking for franchise opportunities or wanting to browse the baby products, I didn’t expect to find many stands to interest me. I certainly didn’t expect to be buying anything…..

Mia Tui Ava bag in purple

First of all I got chatting to Charlotte Jamme of Mia Tui bags. I have been looking for a bag that would take my little laptop, the nappy change purse, my son’s epi-pens, my usual handbag stuff and close with a zip (harder than you might think!). Charlotte introduced me to the Ava bag in purple and I loved it. Charlotte had a special show discount on all the bags and so I decided to buy it there and then. After I paid, she was about to put it in a bag so I pointed out that she really wanted me to use it and to carry it around the exhibition with me. Then if anyone asked me about it I could point them to her stand. I saw Charlotte at the end of the day and she told me that she had sold out of the Ava bag in purple.

Bras 4 Mums Stand Business and Baby Show

Next I went to see T-J Hughes of Bras 4 Mums. I have met T-J at various events and have thought about having her advise me on my bra size but she has always been so busy. Fortunately, for me, the Business and Baby Show was very quiet so T-J had time to measure me. I was gobsmacked. I regularly get measured at M&S and thought I knew my bra size approximately but TJ told me that I wasn’t wearing the band tight enough and that it is the band that gives the support. She asked me to try on a bra which was 2 back sizes smaller and two cup sizes bigger than I am used to. After trying a couple to get just the right fit I purchased one and walked away wearing it. I can really recommend having a bra fitting by T-J or one of her bra ladies around the country (she is looking for franchisees). Without going into too many details, lets just say I feel a lot more comfortable!

Next I went to see Suzanne Dibble of Lawyers4Mumpreneurs. I have had a question to ask her for a while but hadn’t got round to emailing so it was nice to just have a quick chat and to get some advise. I also chatted with a number of the other stall holders about their business, about mine and about how they were finding the event. The consensus was that it was a lot quieter than expected but those people who did come through the door were exactly their target market.

Finally I went to the seminar by Jean Maund on “How to quickly and easily generate more ideas than you need for your blog or social media output without it taking over your life”. Jean had some great information which I look forward to putting into practise on Magenta Sky’s blog.

Overall the event was very quiet but then it was a very unexpected warm and sunny day and after the poor August we had had I am not surprised that some people decided to stay home instead. However I truly enjoyed my day and being one of a few visitors can have its advantages!