Last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to share a stand at one of the biggest doggy events in Essex – the All About Dogs Show.
I love events like these, meeting hundreds of dogs (and their owners), the chance to shop for accessories you wouldn’t normally see (I bought Bella a gorgeous new collar) and watching the displays and the have-a-go activities taking place in the many arenas that are dotted around.
I started attending these type of events as more than just a doggy mum when I got Bella. She arrived in December 2018 and I spent the whole of 2019 at events fundraising to get the money for the operation she needed because the insurance wouldn’t cover her pre existing condition.
She was at every show with me, meeting people and making them fall in love with her and the energy was amazing.
This year I was there as a business owner, sharing a stand with my amazing friend Amanda from Monkeys Snuffle Mats (look them up they do more than just mats and are superb!!)
It was the first time I’d been at anything like this with my business and I wanted to make sure I made the most of the opportunity.
I had new business cards and a banner made and I took the poo bag gloves, magnetic products, CDB oil and my new heat therapy products (more about those coming soon). I wasn’t expecting to do amazingly because I thought Covid would put a lot of people off of coming and the regulations around running a Covid safe event would make it completely different to how events normally were. I did make sure I purchased a mobile card machine though because again I thought with Covid people would probably prefer that.
As I pulled up at Hylands Park that first morning I got a bit emotional. The sight of all the gazebo’s and marquees around the place. The children’s inflatables and just the general hustle and bustle of stallholders getting ready for the event made me want to cry, it was as if Covid hadn’t happened. It was mentioned once as we were shown to our pitch, when we were told that there was a metre gap between each stand for Covid reasons, but that was it. We all knew the rules, if people were entering our gazebo’s masks must be worn and social distancing measures were in place but we just set our gazebo up so that people didn’t need to come in to see anything and it worked amazingly.
They had to limit the amount of people that they allowed in so it was advanced bookings only and the tickets for both days completely sold out. When they opened the gates and the crowd started to come in it was just as magical as it had always been before. At one point I looked around the show at the crowds gathered around the main arena watching the displays and it was as if Covid had never happened.
They kept mentioning social distancing on the tannoy and there was the odd person walking around wearing a mask but on the whole it was just like a normal day out at a show, (the old normal not the new normal) and it was just perfect. I can’t wait to do the next one!!