It is now Wednesday and the CLA game fair starts on Friday. We are in Aberdeenshire and need to travel quite a long way to get there, but the van and trailer are not even packed. The beauty is that we are well rehearsed in the packing and it does not take us that long to fill the vehicles with beautiful tough dog beds. It still takes about 12 hours to get there, not the least because we have the dreaded taco graph to deal with, but at least we are able to share the driving and remain within the law. Looking at the forecast it looks like the brand new roof for the stall will come in handy as there seem to be heavy showers coming over Oxfordshire. The game fair is held in the grounds of Blenheim Palace, which is very well suited to such an event. It is a vast area and you can buy all sorts of products from very interesting stalls that you can never find in the high street. There are lots of demonstrations of all country pursuits and obviously there is an arena dedicated to gun dogs and their training. Our stall selling our best dog beds will be in that area, we are stall number M520. The “M” refers to the road name. At this show you will find around 1,000 stalls exhibiting and around 150,000 visitors arriving through the gates.
We often find that when we sell dog beds at these large shows our customers are pleased to see the products and love to investigate the new types of luxury dog beds that we are carrying, but when they lift these top quality dog beds up, they realise that it would be a nightmare to carry them back to the car park. There are so many people at these events that the volume of cars arriving means that if you were not there and parked up first thing in the morning, you will be allocated a car parking space up to TWO miles from the show. At least this is what some customers tell us. In any case, if it is over 30 degrees, it is not nice to carry a very heavy and substantial dog bed even 50 meters. Luckily we are more than happy to take orders, which will be sent to the customers home. Many people take advantage of this, leaving them with free hands to shop for other, smaller things.
Let’s hope for weather in between, such as a nice breeze at 20 degrees all three days. The other thing is that everyone loves to bring their dogs to the show, not only because they want to choose the right size amongst our fantastic dog beds, but simply to socialise the dogs too. With last year’s weather it was almost cruel and you saw dogs dragging themselves along in the terrible heat. Some people put some sort of cooling or reflecting jackets on their dogs, but I really don’t think that helped much. Let me say, that unless you need your dogs at the show, leave them at home on their great dog beds in the shade if the forecast is for HOT.