The Times: Destinations Show
Today the Travel and Tourism class took a trip into Central London to visit The Times: Destinations Show. We got there for about 10:30 in the freezing cold and couldn’t wait to get in and have a look around. At first glance the show seemed to be quite small and there wasn’t too many people milling around. It didn’t take too long for the event to fill up with people and the exhibition centre is actually a lot bigger than it looked at first glance. The stalls were brimming full of cool bits and bobs to pick up and take home and there were some great interviews and performances taking place on the main stage including:
- Tropical Inc Ltd – They brought in a wide range of exotic animals including Skunks, Snapping Turtles, Scorpions, Parrots and everyone favourite Peanut the Meerkat!
- Sir Trevor McDonald – Had a wonderful interview on the main exhibition stage, he took questions from the crowd including questions on the objectivity of the news, the saddest story that he had to cover and insights into his coverage of some of the worlds biggest stories.
- The Argentinian salsa dancers – After Sir Trevor McDonald the crowd were entertained with a dance from an Argentinian couple doing the salsa!
It wasn’t all fun and games however, we had a task to complete. The travel and tourism level threes are holding an event on the 29th May. The event (aptly named) Olympic Rewind will take the audience back in time to the first country that hosted the games (Greece 776 BC for the Ancient Olympics and 1896 for the first modern Olympics) and then travel through 6 other countries that hosted the Olympics before finally coming back round to the UK for 2012. During our time at the destination show we looked for inspiration that we could use for some ideas of the decorations at our event and we also looked at how the event was put together and picked up some leaflets/posters and information that we can use during our own event.
What did we learn from the Destinations Show?
Obviously our event will not be quite as big as either the World Travel Market or the Destinations Show but there is a lot that needs to be done to make sure that any event, big or small runs without a hitch.
- The main thing we learned during our time at the show was that we need to make sure we are focused on making our audience happy and giving the best customer service possible. The destinations show had a number of helpers stationed around the building to point people in the right direction. Also the stall holders were very customer focused as they wanted to sell their products, there were a lot of free bits which instantly drew people to their stalls, these included free bread samples, seed samples and a lot of demonstrations including Asian cooking . What are we going to do to catch our audience’s eye?
- There needs to be space for people to move around. There was a lot of empty space at the show allowing people to take a breather away from the crowds. How will we set the hall out to make sure that there is space for everyone?
- There was clear sign posting about the safety procedures in the exhibition building, we will need to create posters leading to the exits for our event. Also we need to make sure that the entire team is briefed on what to do in an emergency.
The latest on our event -
So, as I said before we have come up with a theme, date and location for our event. We have also chosen to take this opportunity to raise money for Children First Lewisham charity which is situated in Catford, Lewisham. They work to help children with physical, mental and educational issues, any money that is donated to them will be spent on the charities current four objectives:
- To promote the relationship between parents and services at Kaleidoscope and to enhance parent and child experience in using services.
- To benefit children and their families who have additional needs by supportive actions not otherwise funded by the statutory sector.
- To support the professionals based at Kaleidoscope in their work.
- To develop closer links with the Lewisham voluntary sector.
Final Thoughts -
I’d just like to say a huge thank you to those who were at the stalls on the 3rd, I had a great time talking to a few different people and it’s really inspired me to keep up with my writing!