DLExpo – open for business

If you haven’t already, read part 1 here!

DLExpo – open for business

I love my job. A lot of people tell me PAT testing is money for old rope. But at the Expo, I could show people what I do and why it matters.

Skybur Testing's DLExpo exhibit stand
Our stand at DLExpo, with all my beautiful failed appliances, my collection of power leads, and one week’s worth of fuse changes

I’d laid four, nearly identical, power leads at the front of my stand. These were the main focus of conversation. Only one was safe to use – two had been recalled, and one was counterfeit. I probably spoke to around fifty people, and only one picked out the safe lead – and she admitted that was a guess. Not one of these people knew why the other three leads weren’t safe until I explained it. But I’ll bet they checked their computers when they got home…

Another talking point was the jar of fuses. We’d just tested an office with a lot of new equipment, and I had changed out 282 fuses in one week. Most were simply the wrong rating, one was a recalled fuse, and one was a counterfeit. This was not a surprise to us, but a lot of people think that if something’s new it’s perfect. Obviously, that’s not always the case. I had people guessing how many there were, and popped their guesses into a draw for a bottle of wine. They ranged from under 100 to over 2000 fuses changed in an average week!

Presenting a bottle of wine to Hazel Rayner of Aspray Darlington
With Hazel Rayner of Aspray Darlington

The two closest guesses were Hazel Rayner, director of Aspray Darlington; and Norman Haggart of C&A Safety Solutions. I hope their wine is to their taste; wine gives me a headache, so I had to get advice from my brother on what was good!

I talked about socket covers, power leads, adapter blocks, heaters, extension leads, fuse ratings, and counterfeit goods all day. The day flew by. I was in heaven.

Yes, I know, I’m a very sad individual. But I noticed other stands where people had just laid out leaflets, and spent the entire day looking bored. I’m so glad I didn’t do that. I’m so pleased that I got other people to have a go at doing my job – just for a minute. It was an enjoyable day, albeit a long one.

Finishing up

The day finished with a good catch up with Andrew Corry, who I hadn’t seen for a long while. It was lovely to hear about his experience as a finalist in the UK Blog Awards last year, and he pointed me at a restaurant and a castle we’ll be visiting in the coming weeks! I’ve started following his blog, too, because he’s writing about businesses and attractions in the local area that I hadn’t heard of, and because I enjoy his writing style. He really puts you right there.

He’s got some great stories to tell and he’s a really nice guy to boot. We could happily lose a few hours chatting in a pub with him. And he gave me fresh insight and inspiration on promoting my own business – a win-win situation!

Once Andrew left, I looked around and realised other exhibitors were starting to pack up. The exhibits I’d collected over the last few weeks turned from desirable display items to a box of rubbish I had to lug home. The spare bits I’d packed had spent the day under my stand in the crate. And I had a lot of stuff to carry.

I suddenly felt sore and exhausted. I’d been late to bed, early up, and on my feet nearly all day. I hadn’t realised how hungry I was. And trust me, that’s not something I say often!

By the time we were all packed up, it was well after 5pm. After chatting in the car park before leaving, it was nearly 6pm. I got home and collapsed on the sofa with the dog.

So what did I actually learn?

  • It can be fun to exhibit
  • It is what you make of it
  • Order business cards early
  • Take a second pair of shoes so you can swap footwear
  • Make eye contact and say hello as people pass
  • Stand up when you’re talking to people
  • Think outside the box
  • Blogging – even about PAT testing – can take you to unexpected places
  • Most people have no idea what I actually do
  • Product recalls really need to be better promoted and explained
  • You don’t need all those damaged extension leads
  • Apples are a lot nicer than I remember
  • There are a lot of fantastic businesses, charities, and attractions in the local area

Did you attend? What did you learn?

One thought on “DLExpo – open for business

Leave a Reply