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Some of our international distribution partners have already been showcasing our products at trade shows in their respective countries, for instance our oldest distributor abroad, La Petite Centrale, who are exhibiting twice a year at Maison et Objet in Paris. But why not take things into our own hands for a change?
Basically, we had never handled a trade show presentation in a foreign country ourselves. At least until February 2013, when we headed to Spring Fair in wonderful Birmingham, UK. This was a highly welcome chance for UK retailers to touch and feel the products right on their own doorstep.
We were excited about this opportunity. After all, next to trade fairs in Frankfurt and Paris, the Birmingham show ranges among Europe's biggest specialty fairs for interior design and also attracts visitors from all over the UK.
The organizing team behind Spring Fair reached out and offered us a space in the "Design Lab" area, reserved for upcoming design labels – a real honor considering the highly exclusive invite list.
We could hardly wait to see what customers from the region would think of our little booth and our proudly displayed TASSEN collection.
For this special occasion, we came prepared by bringing our latest novelty, the "Oh Please!" coffee cups. But then again, pretty much all our products were novelties for customers in the United Kingdom. And it was a special treat to see the spontaneous reactions of people seeing our grinning, kissing or sulking little friends for their first time, and watch their faces instantly lighting up with smiles of appreciation.
The verdict at Spring Fair? Our British customers found the TASSEN gang "quirky" – in a very cool, positive kind of way. Overall it's been a great trip to the "Island" and we'll soon be back for more!