Bariquins & Their Very First Exhibition

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Bariquins & Their Very First Exhibition


By Chris Jarratt of Bariquins (September 2016)

As a change from the usual stat attack, this month I’m going to give you the background into Bariquins’ preparation for our first exhibition. It’s at this month’s

Emergency Services Show

on 21st & 22nd September

at the National Exhibition Centre (or NEC) Birmingham, England.


If you’re going, you’ll find us at Stand P65, to the side of the area where Highways England are.



After initially booking the shell stand in, what now seems a long time ago, March, next on the list of priorities was accommodation. After all, the early bird gets the best choice. That was the theory and a small, local hotel, not too far from the NEC, was picked. Tragically though, in June, the owner lost her husband with whom she ran the hotel and was selling up. As the new owners wanted the premises for a different use, a hunt began for a similar place nearby. Fortunately, one was located and rooms were reserved immediately.

Having chosen the stand for its corner location, attention had turned to how best to use its double open-sided position for maximum impact. With 2 Bariquins to exhibit, there would definitely be a large visual impact. The display needed to include one Barry lying on a bed or stretcher and the second one sat on a chair (or will that be different one? A little tease there, so stay tuned). I also wanted a screen on a stand to show some videos and images. To complete the scheme, I needed a counter as well, for literature and give-aways to be displayed on. With a combination of measuring a section of the office to replicate the stand space and a scale plan, options were examined and ruled out or in, until the final configuration was selected. Even this had to change slightly. When I sourced a TV stand, its base would not allow it to be placed flat against the shell wall, so it is now positioned behind the chair with Barry on.

And speaking of give-aways, they had to be decided on, designed and ordered. With the much appreciated assistance of Jen from A Ward Signs, that was completed fret-free. Here’s Barry making a wonderful job of modelling the coasters, the post-its and the obligatory pens.



            Having visited a few exhibitions, I had seen various companies offer reasons for delegates to leave business cards as a way of gathering contact details. The inducements generally involved the chance to win a small prize like a radio or bottle of alcohol. I didn’t like the alcohol offer as it’s not everyone’s cup of (Long Island iced) tea. It may even be offensive to some, either on religious grounds or perhaps from a recovering alcoholic’s point of view. The small prize idea had its drawbacks too. As it was pointed out to me, who does the prize belong to; the delegate or the delegate’s employer? As an excellent compromise (even if I do say so myself), I came up with the idea of the charitable business card donation. So, ‘How does that work?’ you may ask yourself. (And even if you don’t, I will tell you.) Well, business cards are placed into a container by interested visiting delegates and co-exhibitors. Depending how many are placed in the container, in our case a glass vase, a donation is given by Bariquins to a deserving organisation. The vase will somehow be marked to show the amount being raised.

            Around the time of booking the stand at the show, I had seen the founder of a locally based charity being interviewed on the regional TV news programme. This organisation, SAFE, fights the trafficking of the estimated 13,000 victims of trafficking in the UK. (This figure has been provided by the Home Office.) Across the entire country, these victims suffer commercial sexual exploitation with young women and girls disproportionately affected by this crime. Frighteningly, only a tiny 1% of those 13,000 ever escape. At the time I saw the item on the news, I thought that I would like Bariquins to be able to do something for them. So, the exhibition seemed the ideal opportunity to start our association with SAFE. I’ve since met with the founder and he’s provided me with some literature to put on our counter at ESS2016.

            And speaking of counters, that’s in the process of being printed together with the pop-up banners. They are being provided by a very local company -they’re based in the same building as Bariquins. Thank you also to Mike of Image It for those. And thanks too, to Jason Lock who did the photographs for the images. And yes, he’s local too.

            There’s still other things that need to be prepared for the exhibition. Although it’s only two weeks away, our literature needs finalising, as do the videos. And the purchase of all things necessary when exhibiting, like gaffer tape, staplers, etc. etc. But that’s what deadlines are for, aren’t they?

            Next month, I’ll let you know how it went, what I leant, what I wished I’d known earlier and what tips I’d advise anyone else to know about. See you the first Wednesday of October. Or at

Stand P65

if you’re at the Emergency Services Show.



Tags: Emergency, Services, Show, NEC, Birmingham, England, UK, Bariquins, bariatric, Barry, obesity, obese, ambulance, fire, paramedic, police, fat, nhs, health service, health and safety



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