After the massive rush leading up to Hyper Japan, it's a little surreal for it to be all over now! The 15th-17th July came and went much more quickly than I could have ever dreamed of, and now I'm back here to give you a quick account of how it went!
We experienced three super hectic, exciting, and interesting days at the Olympia Grand, where we met lots of people we wouldn't have otherwise, and picked up so much knowledge and wisdom from the convention veterans around us. The event itself was really fun to experience, with a good atmosphere and lots to see and do, though it wasn't anywhere near as Japanese fashion heavy as I hoped it would be. A highlight for me was the performance by Charisma.com, this really amazing rapping and DJ-ing duo, who really got the energy going in the crowd as we danced along to their fun music! They definitely helped to keep my spirits up over the exhausting, hot and stuffy convention weekend!
I am really happy with the way my stall turned out! Those metal display grids are a lot heavier to carry than I expected, but they were worth struggling on public transport with to have my bloomers and berets presented so nicely! There's things I would change, of course, but for my first time at a big convention, things went surprisingly well, without any major hitches! In future, I would love to have a backing board behind me, as I found my table's position at an awkward T-junction of sorts meant people got easily distracted by whatever they could see behind me.
An important thing I learnt over that weekend was that selling in person is a whole different game to selling online. The trends I experienced with my online sales were totally different to what I experienced at the convention, where my most popular items were my earrings and hair bows (two items I actually stopped listing online for a while due to lack of interest!) It seems that in person, people want to pick up lots of little things, so I am thinking of expanding my jewellery and hair accessories range. I returned home full of new ideas I'm really excited to try out!
Generating sales proved to be a real learning curve, and I got to figure out how to chat to prospective customers, and how to create an appealing stall layout and general shopping experience. The crowds I experienced were, for the most part, quite mainstream, and I think my unashamedly bright, alternative stall, along with many others, was something they didn't quite understand. I think the event went well for those who are big brands or regulars who have already amassed a large following, which is what I'm hoping to do with time! Still, I got many business cards out there, and made lots of sales that wouldn't have happened had I not been at the event! I even got to use my PayPal card reader for the first time, which was honestly so much fun and made me feel like the owner of a real bricks and mortar shop! Most importantly, I enjoyed my convention vending experience, and it's something I would love to do more of in future!
Thank you so much to all of my friends who came to check out my stall over the course of the event! It was wonderful chatting to you all! And of course, many thanks to those who purchased Sugar Trampoline items! ❤