Well, after a very successful debut into the world of trade shows with Crufts, we decided to venture outdoors with "All About Dogs". It wasn’t so much a “baptism of fire” as one of snow, rain and wind!
One thing you can’t control with outdoor shows in the UK is the weather!
For the first one, in Ipswich, we had an onsite marquee which, while it provided a shelter, didn’t keep out the cold. It even snowed – brrrrr! The weekend was quite successful, but we felt there was something missing from our stand, so for the second outing, to Newbury, we took along our own gazebo and had a much bigger pitch, giving us the opportunity to set up a ring to offer trick training as a fun element to grab people’s attention.
This wasn’t so successful on the Saturday, as the rain-soaked visitors were not inclined to stand around outside any longer than they had to learning tricks but the Sunday proved more successful. On that day we just had strong winds to contend with!
We spent the entire day battling with holding down a gazebo that kept filling up with air and trying to take off like a great balloon. What didn’t help was that the rain-soaked ground made the pegs pull out easily.
We thought we’d escaped unscathed and were just packing up when disaster struck! One of the other gazebos actually did take flight and crash landed into ours, causing irreparable damage. Huge thanks go to the immediate team of local stall-holders who immediately marshalled to come to our aid and to Sarah from BlackDogDNA, the owner of the errant gazebo that had taken flight. Sarah is doing everything she can to help us to sort this out, which is handy as we think her company is a great idea and we plan to do some filming with her. BlackDogDNA uses a simple test to find out which breeds have gone into the mix in non-pedigree dogs. We look forward to finding out the ingredients that make up our “office” dog, Sandy.
On the subject of filming, we also got some great footage of Dock Dogs, where dogs compete in a water-based long jump by launching themselves into a sort of dog swimming pool. The winner at Newbury jumped 18 feet! We look forward to filming an article on Dock Dogs soon too.