On Friday July 8th the Rebecca Goodyear Health & Beauty team went to the beauty and health shows taking place at Olympia London. For Min and Eline it was their first week at Rebecca Goodyear Health & Beauty. “Going to the show and being trusted to represent the agency was a big deal, but it was a great experience. Even though I am new at the agency this gave the right amount of motivation to really go for it,” Eline said. “Having been to this show and just seeing all these companies and products probably gave me a better idea of the industry than spending a whole at the office month would have,” Min added. Apart from Rebecca, the rest of the team are all from outside the UK. Min is from China, Eline is from Belgium and I, Johana, am from France. And it was the first time for us three going to a British trade show like this and – as we thought we would – we enjoyed it very much.

The Olympia London is an amazing venue and the first 15 minutes we were there we went up to the balcony on the first floor to get a look of the hall from above. We needed a few minutes to catch our breath, and not just because we took the staircase, the venue looked amazing and we just couldn’t get over the fact that the roof was made of glass. Looking down we also had no idea how we were going to be able to see all the stands. There were some many of them and it took us a good two hours to visit all the stands. And by ‘visit’ I mean quickly get a glance of them, see what they were about and grabbing some free tasters whenever possible.
The whole event was actually a collaboration between three different shows: The Love Natural Love You show (blue carpet), the Just V Show (pink carpet) and The Allergy & Free From Show, sponsored by Schär (green carpet). We saw some large and powerful brands and companies such as ASDA, Tesco and Sainsbury’s as well as smaller businesses and start-ups. Especially the latter were so genuinely passionate about their products and it was just wonderful to talk to them.

There were also many events promoting brands or new products and interesting talks from people in the industry. What was most fun to watch were the cooking demonstrations in the California Prunes Kitchen. Especially Eline, who loves to bake herself, was so intrigued by Frances Quinn (winner of the Great British Bake Off 2013) and her ‘Creative bakes with the wow factor’ demonstration that we couldn’t get her away from the stand. Almost all of the ingredients that were used could be bought at one of the surrounding stands as well. I’m pretty sure one of these days Eline will show up at the office with a big – healthy – chocolate cake!

Here is another example of how new products were promoted. Min had never seen this highly efficient tool before and couldn’t stop looking at the demonstration. This kitchen tool quickly cuts cucumbers, apples, potatoes, zucchinis, etc. into perfectly even slices or strings.  Throughout the day there were always many people gathered around this stand and from the looks of it, the guy sold a lot of ell plenty of the new products.

Another interesting thing attracted me the most were the organic food tasters. In the picture on the left you can see a bit of ‘london falafel’, which they deep fried right before handing them out so they were still hot and crispy. It tasted so good and a lot of people were queueing up even though the tasters were very small, but people were simply drawn to the stand because it smelled so good. This type of stand that gave away free samples and especially the food stands got a lot of attention and obviously people were more inclined to actually buy the product immediately after.

Spin the wheel and win prize! This stand was so much fun that we spun the wheel twice. No matter which section you landed on, the prize was always related to the brand’s products. People were happy to wait in line for a spin, but you couldn’t imagine the look of disappointment on my face when I got the worst prizes on the wheel! Since this is my last week in England, I obviously wasn’t going to use the online coupon and I don’t think anyone was actually excited about winning a trolley coin. Eline felt so bad for me that she gave me her biscuits, which she had two packages of anyway because she got the same prize twice.

We enjoyed the whole day so much. There were so many incredible and new beauty products as well as delicious organic and natural food. We also had to do some prospecting though – we weren’t there just for fun – so we talked to a few companies and brands for our new upcoming website: The Natural Directory. Most start-ups and smaller brands that we talked to were really excited about TND and were so thankful for us reaching out to them. Almost everyone we talked to saw the potential of our new website as a way to promote their brand and interact with other companies and with their customers. We left the show very satisfied with ourselves, but mainly we were just happy that we were able to get home without falling asleep on the tube!

By Johana Da Eira, Eline De Mont and Min Zhou