We are back after a very busy few days in Birmingham. We were at the NEC for the Education Show 2014. We travelled down there early Thursday morning and went straight into Exhibition Hall 3 to start setting up. Darren and Nathan have got it down to a fine art now - less than 30 minutes. We had a slightly bigger stand than at Manchester - and were handily close to the café. That would mean lots of passing traffic!
|Setting up for another show...|
The whole show was more colourful and fun than the previous ones. I don't know if there were more companies targeting primary schools but there were a lot of fun stands and lots of animals!
|Playground Sheep :-)|
|Just hold out your hand...for the tarantula!|
Although Nathan and I couldn't resist the Harry Potter Studio Tour stand. They had a green screen set up - with a broomstick in front of it. They let you don a cloak in the Hogwarts House of your choice and took your photo in front of the screen. Then within a few minutes produced a glossy photos of you playing Quidditch!
You can see out photos below - we really must go and check out the actual tour!
|The Snitch is over there....|
On Friday they had Dara O Briain - comedian and mathematician - also in the arena talking about the importance of science and maths. We missed that one too. I'm sure they were both inspirational though :-)
There were also lots of people there dressed in costume. There was a theatre group dressed in war uniforms, a Victorian lady selling costumes and some Shakespearean types selling comic (i.e. graphic novel-type versions)versions of his plays.
|Just a normal day in Birmingham|
|What we re made of...|
Also a lovely large chunk of body fat - right next to some lovely lean muscle. The funniest thing though was a pair of beer goggles - comedy glasses that simulated being drunk. The guys on the stand made visitors put them on and then try to walk in a straight line along the edge of the carpet. This resulted in a lot of hilarity as sober teaching types tried not to fall over in front of their giggling colleagues.
It was fun to watch.
Of course - we all worked very hard too - we had lots of people interested in the school apps and Nathan and Darren did a lot of demos. Jo and I handed out leaflets and asked every passing person if they wanted a biscuit/mint/school app. We got lots of leads and now we are back the hard work begins as Darren contacts everyone who expressed an interest in having a free trial and Nathan makes the apps for them.
|The Health Education Stand|
We stayed at the Novotel at the airport - which was really close to the NEC and the station. It is really convenient having it at the NEC. Everything you need is there - including a Wetherspoon's for breakfast!
Apparently Saturday was a really busy day - but sadly I wasn't able to have that day off work - so I came home on the train on Friday night all by myself. Luckily Jo and Darren's oldest son, Josh went down there to help out on the Saturday. I think he had a good time :-) Nathan said he actually held the tarantula - maybe it was a good thing I wasn't there to see that!
|Me and Sid from Ice Age|
So, that is it for shows for a while. The next possible one could well be the Sunday Times Festival of Education in June. We've heard that it is held in a field and you have to go camping. I'm not sure about that!
So, before that N and I are hoping to have a little break. Maybe pop over to Jersey for a few days in May. N has been there before - for work - but I never have. It looks gorgeous - so I am looking forward to that.
Meanwhile this week sees Nathan's birthday! It is on Thursday - but I can't tell you what I have bought him until after then...