The 'Original' Creative Crafting Magazine written by Crafters, for Crafters
Creative Crafting magazine began in August/September 2009, when a group of crafting friends on the Creative Connections network decided that it would be a good idea to raise awareness of the crafting community. From this point they started work and the first issue of Creative Crafting was published in October 2009 and are still publishing today.
It was summer 2013 and I was wiling away some time in twitterland. I chanced upon a tweet from I Love Markets (ILM) that mentioned the Handmade Market at the O2 in December and invited crafters to register their interest in a stall.
So I did!
I followed the instructions and sent an email stating what I did and that I was interested. I received a reply via email requesting my website address and was very pleased when I received a further email offering me a place.
At first I found communication with ILM to be slow and a few times I had to send the same email twice before a received a reply. This was frustrating, but then, the person I was dealing with at I Love Markets changed and I met the lovely Hollye, and communication was suddenly quicker.
There was a lot of work to be done, designing my display and creating my collection.
The event at the O2 was being run by Peninsula Exhibitions with I Love Markets working with them, having a number of stalls with which to fill. The event itself was over 3 days,
Friday 13th, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th December. ILM had to balance stall holders who wanted to
have a stall for either, 1, 2 or all 3 days. Not an easy task, whilst working with Peninsula Exhibitions. During the months leading up to the event a lot of information was sent out to the stall holders, some from Peninsula Exhibitions, including an exhibitors manual and some from I Love Markets.
Hollye from ILM kept us as informed as possible, stall numbers, a layout of the stalls so we knew where we were and even photographs of the stalls as they were being constructed. Invaluable information and allowing us to make adjustments to our display before the day.
My experience as an exhibitor at the O2 was not a particularly pleasant one, however, before I proceed to
explain why, I would like to let you know that the issues faced were in no way the fault of Hollye or ILM, the blame lies with Peninsula Exhibitions.
Walking into the entrance of the O2, myself and a friend who had volunteered to help me, began looking around for signposts or directions to guide us to where we needed to go.
There were none.
However, luckily, security guards were present and they provided the required directions. It was quite a long walk and we were worried that perhaps we hadn't fully understood the directions given. Then, thankfully we spotted a sign, though a rather discreet one.
There was much still being done and metal fences were ringed around the stalls giving no obvious way
through. Again we had to ask. Then we had to ask where our stall was. The stall layouts and locations we had originally been given had been changed. Instead of the ILM stall holders being given a nice location, we were placed at the back. In fact my particular stall was facing the back wall and the row was inset so that
approaching from the entrance you were unaware that those stalls even existed.
For a Christmas market, set indoors there was no music, no atmosphere and promises had not been
kept regarding an appearance from Father Christmas and activities for children. The estimated footfall of 20K people compared to actual footfall fell so short of estimations to be a complete joke and a charge of £8 entry put off many potential customers wishing to browse.
The highlights of the event were meeting Hollye from ILM who chatted with all the stall holders booked
through I Love Markets and photographs were taken and placed on facebook. Then of course there was the opportunity to walk around the stalls, meeting the very talented crafters, enjoying the great mix of
products and styles.
In summary, would I book an event through I Love Markets again? Answer- yes! But I would not make a booking if Peninsula Exhibitions had any involvement.