As part of the launch of our County and Irelandcharts we decided to exhibit this year at Showcase Ireland, Ireland’s largest expo for creative products and ideas. Our attendance was designed to make contacts with potential retailers who would be interested in selling our products both in Ireland and the United States. As a result of our attendance we have concluded deals with a number of outlets and are in negotiations with several more. We thought we would share some of our experience at the expo with you through the medium of photography- captions provided by Know Thy Place Director Colm Moloney!
Our stand had to be erected on a Saturday so it was an early start from Cork to get to the RDS and have everything installed before 6pm. This is me setting off early from Midleton, County Cork (my place!). Many thanks to Rubicon for the loan of the van.
Leinster Rugby Club were playing a match across the road from the RDS exhibition centre, I decided to wear my Munster Rugby Club jersey as Munster are the prime rivals of Leinster in Ireland. This is me having just arrived at the stall, upsetting the locals in my jersey! The officials at the gate asked me to change!
Louise designed the layout of the stall and I provided labour to get everything in place. We tried to provide examples of how our products could be displayed in a shop environment. We exhibited framed examples, examples in a cradle and we also designed a rotating display cabinet. The majority of smaller outlets preferred the framed example while larger shops were interested in our custom-built cabinet. Here is me putting the display together under the direction of the lovely Louise!
The end result of all our efforts!
Our proposed unit for retail outlets
The Expo is massive with 350 exhibitors with a bewildering variety of products. It is a great opportunity to meet both domestic and international buyers and see if your products would suit their shop. This was particularly important in the case of Know Thy Place as we produce a unique product. We spoke to people who have Irish shops in the US and needed products to cover all of the counties of Ireland. our county charts seem to be the perfect fit for this market! Here is a photo of me checking out the opposition!
The exhibition was officially opened on the Sunday by our new President, Michael D. Higgins. President Higgins gave an excellent speech on the importance of fostering our craft industry and promoting Irish products abroad
I think the lovely Louise has a soft spot for Michael D! The Expo was a great success. We raised our profile and had lots of interest in our products, a lot of which has been converted into orders since the event. We also made lots of friends amongst the other exhibitors- people we hope to meet at further similar events in the future.
Louise kicking off Showcase Ireland in style!
Exhausted but happy after three long days exhibiting the Know Thy Place charts