As the Kymera Magic Wand and a new product were shown at the Birmingham Autumn Fair, I asked the Wand-Maker Chris Barnardo to send me a report of his experiences there.
I was overwhelmed by the amount of information I got back. Big Thanks to Chris for taking the time to write it down.

Report from the Birmingham Autum Fair

Awareness and Dragons Den Effect

Both products performed flawlessly extracting squeals of delight from anyone
that stopped by the stand to have a go. Passing interest was limited as the
stand was crowded out by people who had targeted us to come and see the wand
for the express purpose of stocking it. I guess it was a huge benefit that
Dragons’ Den had been aired only a couple of weeks before. This is one of
the luckiest things to happen to us. If it had been aired after the show,
awareness of the wand would not have been as high. If it had been aired the
week of the show we would not have been able to cope with both. In business
you always need a bit of luck.

Sir Barons Study

Sir Barons Study

Magical Applicances

On the TV on our stand we had a dvd playing a loop from a promotional video
of surfing huge waves in Hawaii (I think, although Richard will know
exactly), that incredible footage was a draw and the TV was very useful to
demonstrate the functions of the wand. We also had what looked like a real
fire. It was a Dimplex Optimist and uses atomised water to look like smoke
and when lit by hidden light, like flames. Quite convincing it is too and if
we had been agents for the fire I’m sure we could have sold a load of those
too. The fire had the benefit of being remote control so the Kymera had no
trouble learning the codes and with a simple pull back gesture we were able
to put out the fire. The powerhouse of any demonstration was the iPod dock.
The iconic iPod has an interface made for the wand. The wands 13 functions
map well to the iPod interface and allow a great deal of control. We played
magical type music from the playlist that we had used in the Dragons’ Den.

Great Support by Dawn

Richard and I were joined by my partner Dawn on the stand for the whole
show. Dawn works in the Wand Company on the financial side making sure that
the accounts are kept up to date and as a result of the show is also working
with some new customers. Dawn was a great asset on the stand, capable and
confident there was no way Richard and I could have handled the wave after
wave of interested prospects on our own. The show is not one for the general
public, it is a trade show, so each person that comes to the stand is a
potential customer and needs individual demonstration and a discussion about
their particular needs.

Dimishing Stocks

After the first day it was clear that we were going to sell out of the stock
we had in the UK. Signing up numerous resellers who wanted stock immediately
gave us the pleasure and problem of working out how we were going to supply
them. Luckily we had been holding a large number o units for a French
customer of ours and a quick phone call assured us that he wouldn’t mind if
we dipped into his stock, in the knowledge that more stack was arriving next
week (before he needed it). By the end of the second day we were getting
dangerously close to selling out of that too.

Birmingham Autumn Fair Hall 5

Birmingham Autumn Fair Hall 5

After Fair

Long days on the the tiny stand were tiring but huge fun. We didn’t stay at
the NEC but at Birmingham’s trendy Mailbox. So at the end of each day we
drove back there and had a nice meal and then staying up until 2.30am
writing invoices to make sure that our customers got the best service. We
had thought that we might go out and explore Birmingham, but we had so many
emails to catch up on and so many invoices to write that there was not time
for that.

Trade Shows

Autumn Fair was a test for us, it was our first trade show and we wanted to
see if it was going to be worth doing Spring Fair 2011, which is much
bigger. We had a great time, we did a sizable amount of business, we signed
up a good number of new customers and made some heavyweight contacts that
will result in big sales later, so all in all a great success and even
discounting the result slightly for the exceptional effect of Dragons’ Den
(which of course no other subsequent show will have directly) we have to do
more of this sort of thing and Spring Fair looks like a definite date in the

Preparing the booth

Preparing the booth

Notes about the stand itself

Given its small size (perhaps the smallest at Autumn Fair, 1m x 3m) we
managed to pack a lot into it. The design itself was carfeully though
through and I build a special faux old bookcase with a hollow cupboard (and
locakable door) behind and there was the fire place, which itself is very
big. So to make sure that it would all fit and to help with the design, I
built a one tenth scale model. It was very useful in deciding what extra
accessories to get. I attach a picture of the stand model.

Stand Model 1 in 10 Scale

Stand Model 1 in 10 Scale

Richard has tweeted pictures of the empty space and the stand build and the final stand
on @thewandcompany.

Chris Barnardo

This entry was posted on Saturday, September 11th, 2010 at 11:00 am and is filed under Excitement, News, Pictures, Story, Workshop Insiders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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