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As promised, here is my second blog post of the year, detailing my first experience visiting BETA International. So, go make yourself a cup of tea and get yourself sat down and ready to read this blog post. Quick note, this blog post is a less serious one. So, please excuse my poor humour and all the GIF’s. I just want to be funny.
This year was my first time visiting BETA and I had no idea what to expect to gain from the day.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with BETA International, it is one of the biggest equestrian and country trade shows in the world. It happens annually at the NEC, Birmingham over the course of three days. It is really easy to get to via most means of transport. I chose to go via train and I found my experience travelling there was really simple and stress free. However, the walk from Birmingham International to Hall 6 where BETA is set up, is draining, it feels like it will never end! OK, maybe a slight exaggeration, it took me about ten minutes BUT I hadn’t had my first cup of Yorkshire Tea before this point and I WASN’T READY. This is what I must have looked like :
Anyway, if you wish to visit, to gain entry to the show is really easy too, you just apply online in advance and you are later emailed your free PDF ticket for you to simply print out and take with you on the day.
TOP TIP: If you do apply online for your free PDF ticket you will be sent emails from BETA in the run up to the trade fair, keep a look out, on these emails I saw that it gave details about how on the day you can get a discount voucher towards food. I did not redeem this offer as I took my own food with me.
If you visit, I suggest that you wear flat shoes. I embraced my trainers with my blazer for a smart/casual look. Lies. I banged out my Puma’s because I am basically am an old woman trapped in a 21 year olds body and I need comfort in
my life. I teamed this with my practical Leather back pack, again not as a fashion statement but because I needed a place for my business cards, lip balm, medication, book for the train, multiple layers and most importantly food. Yey food. So, pack practical and dress smart/casual would be my suggestion. Take only what you need as you will be taking home a lot of literature, and it is a tiring day as you are on your feet.
So when you arrive at BETA, you may have a, right now what? moment like I did. Or, if your life is together, you will have a structured plan for the day – most people do pre-arrange meetings and schedule these between the trade stands they want to visit and the talks they want to watch at the Charles Owen Hub.
Myself, for the first half an hour I decided to get a latte, wake the hell up and have a wander, I won’t lie to you.
I then decided to go back to the entrance, get a free bag and prioritise the stands I wanted to go to first. I allowed 10-15 mins per stand in order to not run out of time. Whilst, on the stand, I would get the information that I wanted to, look at the products and make mental notes. I also spent a little bit of time speaking to people on the stand and asking the questions I wanted to before moving on.
I soon figured out that there are some traditional parts to BETA that you must partake in. They are as follows:
The fashion show which for either the right or wrong reasons I found very entertaining.
I do not want to disclose why I have described it like this, because as I discovered it is much more fun to find out on your own.
Aside from having a good giggle, it was a good opportunity to see what colors and styles will dominate the season ahead.
You must get a free bag mainly because for BETA virgins like me you do not originally realise just how many leaflets and brochures you will soon be trying to carry around, so you will really appreciate the girls handing out the bags as your arms begin to tire. Also, you get some awesome freebies! Well… my ex-racer got various treats and new shampoo samples and I got a pen. So thank you BETA for the freebies my mare loved them but I wouldn’t have minded some cheeky digestives or something for myself.
The various talks that BETA hosts at the Charles Owen Stand are very informative and helpful, especially to new business owners like myself. There was a fantastic talk about retailer laws such as return and exchange policies, which I gained some excellent
notes from. But, I won’t lie, my favourite one was the Wocket Woy and The Pwoducer interview. I was even lucky enough to stop them in their tracks for a quick selfie! I just love these guys, they make my day with their videos, please just go binge watch them!
Also, please do not judge how I look, I was knackered by this time in the day, my Buddha look is on point though.
So, to summarise, I had a fantastic day and I will be returning next year. If you have any more questions on BETA please ask below and I will aim to give you a helpful answer 🙂
My next blog post will be this Sunday where I will talk you through my Equestrian Trend Forecast for 2017.
Talk soon, much love