On Sunday, we went to The Baby Show at Olympia, London. I’ve made previous comments expecting it to be carnage. I wasn’t wrong.
Thousands of adults, some more pregnant than others, hundreds of kids and buggies and more than a few handfuls really young ones. It was busy.
I’ll start with a quote we heard right at the end of the day, “I’ve never seen so many pregnant women in one place!”. I’m sure I visibly shook my head in disbelief but she wasn’t wrong though, all looking for their next purchase or adding to their lists of stuff to look out for in the future. I could have replied, “I’ve never seen so many pack horses in one place” and by that I mean guys carrying far too many bags at once trailing behind.
So, back up a few hours, six to be precise, and we walk in to the main hall to be presented with stand after stand, as far as the eye could see in front and wall to wall from left to right. First port of call, download an app to receive a goody bag from a stand to our right. Laura and I both do it so we are 5 minutes in and I’m two bags heavier. Actually, that’s not true. Laura’s Mum came with us too (thank you for driving and helping to carry bags) so we were two bags heavier as a collective. Deciding to walk anticlockwise around the venue you are presented with all different kinds of goods; clothing, bags, skin care, cleaning products, buggies, highchairs, nursery furniture and even non-alcohol prosecco. It is very daunting and what became apparent very early on is the level of choice. What there was a lack of compared to the BabyTodd show we went to before was the holistic and wellbeing type stuff; pregnancy yoga, massage and acupuncture etc. There was also a stage at the back of the room for live presentations, fashion shows and other hints and tips sessions. We didn’t actually take any of these in though, perhaps a missed opportunity but we were focused on shopping, mainly.
I won’t list all of the vendors we looked at before lunch 3 hours in but we had already entered several competitions, collected numerous tote bags of little bits and leaflet paraphernalia as well as Laura and I having a mini photoshoot at the Bounty stand where she looks gorgeous!
So we had a spot of lunch at the Joie cafe area where by 2:30 they’d run out of beans to go with their jacket potatoes (I gave the last portion to Laura so I only had cheese) and had a coffee and a sit down for a minute to contemplate next steps. Which ended up being to decide on nursery furniture and after walking a few times back and forth between two stands we finally made that decision and by buying at the event saved 25% off the normal price. Yay!
Then it was back round a few of the other vendors that we’d seen on the way round to make a few purchases, collect the nappy bin that was included in our choice of ticket and headed out to come home.
Until I saw the Beaming Baby stand and had to go have a look. The little competition to win a box of stuff was a nice entry point but actually the guy on the stand, I wish I took his name, was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and overall just came across really well both personally and for the brand. Essentially they sell organic and eco-friendly products from biodegradable nappies to clothes and toys as well as doing other bits and bobs too. Definitely a company I’ll be looking at spending some money with in the future and was my favourite stand of the day, hence this little mention.
The long drive home, via the in-laws for a Chinese, meant it ended up being a 12 hour day. Was it worth it? Yeah, just about. If we were looking for a buggy and car seats it would have been more beneficial, but then that was also a swathe of the show we didn’t have to deal with, thankfully. Would I go again? Ask me again once this experience has worn off a little!
A little hint if you are thinking of going to something like this – try and bag yourself and end of show ex-display. The Uppababy stand sold everything off and it was empty as we walked out the door.