We thank Rick Paul for his Facebook post of 12 July – I wondered if it appropriate for us to publish it: and then I thought ‘Why Not?’ The article contains are a few points worthy of mention!

Mr Rick Paul

My weekend actually started early as I had volunteered to help with the event’s set-up. Perception is a beautiful thing, and in my mind, I was going to put some tables and chairs out and do what I could to help out. How wrong my perception was. My day started at 10.30 am, arriving at Newark Show Ground, and I came home at 6.20 pm bearing in mind that I only have a 20-minute commute to the venue. What followed was a full day and showed me as a community member just what goes on “behind the scenes”. 

I am sat here having a brew and reflecting on my weekend at the Newark well-being market. I am sat still bleary-eyed, and a few observations have sprung to mind.

I did as I thought at first which was to help put the tables and chairs out. Liz coordinates and collates this information onto lists and then sets out the table plan for where people are placed. Spacing is then considered due to current guidelines, what people are doing and who they are around. Then consideration is given to those who have requested electricity. Next, Ian Timothy and I were crawling (at times) on the floor to run extension cables out for said people. All of this has to be secured under rubber matting and taped down to minimise a potential trip hazard, something that needs to be considered.

Next, there is the signage for the event. Time is taken to take the banners around the perimeter so that people can see where the event is, some impromptu cutting down of weeds to make sure signage is visible. Something that was forgotten that was needed had to be fetched, so Ian had to go to Nottingham to get it.

Next, the talk rooms need setting up. Again to comply with current regulations and spacing guidelines, 60 chairs and removal and placement of other tables because the venue had a meeting the day before, so all of this needed moving.

Back out into the hall, checking that all tables were in a line, then set up reception area so the lovely visitors can be welcomed. Time is ticking on. Community members arrive for the set-up, primarily unaware of the amount of work that has gone on in the background to provide this blank canvas. Liz answers calls and directs people to set up. Ian, I then go into the talk room to help set up the streaming equipment for the live feeds that will be put out during the event. All equipment needs setting up, positioning and testing to ensure its functionality. It was after this that I went home. My point is this, Ian and Liz were there before me and after me and worked very hard to put this event on. 

Community members, this post is directed at you! You are offered a fabulous stage to perform on. You have the opportunity to promote yourself for free on the LizianEvents pages on Facebook and LizianEvents.org You can promote your business in the listings you have the chance to live stream and present your thoughts and your business. All this is part of your tables fees which are then ploughed back into developing and promoting the well-being events. Liz and Ian can only affect so much of the day once they open the doors. It is down to you, the exhibitor, to promote yourself and others to bring people to the event. If I encourage and share your work, you get a sale, then that person is then drawn to me for a reading. We have benefitted, and also so has the community as that person may well go and have a treatment, etc. Hitting the like and share button and adding a comment is a tiny part of what you can do. There are no rivals, no competition, just a drive to bring in footfall. 

Consider this before any minor gripes come in. Have you done everything you can do before the show and during it to promote the event, your business, your skills? Have you looked at the way you sell yourself? Have you engaged with all your networking opportunities? 

I spend a lot of my time promoting Lizian events and other community members and myself because I choose to, and I enjoy it. It is reaping the rewards as the residual business comes in from having that conversation during the show. Are you doing it? It is not just about the on the day thing.

I made a couple of errors of judgement on Saturday, these were pointed out to me, and I tightened them up on Sunday. I am making this point because the people I am exhibiting with look after one another. Many seasoned exhibitors know what works, so ask for advice if you are not sure you WILL get the support. Promote yourself, others and the event and take advantage of every opportunity that is offered.

In conclusion, my perception has changed because of Friday’s events. I had one hectic and tiring day to help set up one event. Liz and Ian do this every single show. They promote the events and you 365 days a year. Just ask yourself are you doing your bit. No judgement, either way, your venture/ business is precisely that, but you have great opportunities being given to you. All you have to do is take them.

Incidentally, because I put my money where my mouth is, this is how my show was. I was quiet on Saturday and swamped on Sunday. I made a profit. This was down to, as is pointed out, not counting the takings at halftime. I spend all my time at the table, engage with people, and not look at my phone. I actively promote myself and the events. Even though some days are more complex than others, I don’t regret or waste a single day minute at the shows.

I appreciate that this won’t get read by many and probably make an impact on even less. Still, I demonstrate by my actions that what I am saying is what I am doing. I will continue to promote you. All I ask of you is that you do what you can to promote also. Sharing is caring.  

Thanks for reading. You will like the piece of not: even so, there are essential points to note. I have had a lovely weekend, and I have considered this. Suppose I was offered the opportunity for a fee to stand for a weekend as a live advert for what I do. Would I pay that cost, absolutely yes add to that the possibility of making my fee back and getting residual work and potential profit? Would I do it? Absolutely yes. To ensure my investment, what would I do to secure it? If I have done everything I could (and I did), then I am happy. Thank you to the universal energies and Lizian events for making this weekend happen. I am in a state of gratitude, and as usual, with my ramblings, just my thoughts.

Best wishes, Rick

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