[By Lis Watkins in London] Last month, I booked a small display space in the Illustrators Gallery at the London Book Fair. It was the first time I'd exhibited at a trade show, so not sure what to expect, I decided if nothing else, I would use it as an opportunity to do some drawing. The large hall in Olympia, where it was based, originally opened in 1886 and at the time, was said to be the largest building in the UK covered by a single span of iron and glass.
Over the years, it has been the venue for lots of exhibitions, shows and even circuses. Being an exhibitor, I had to put up my display before the doors opened and was given a brief glimpse of all the activity that goes on before a huge event like this takes place.
People chatting and working on laptops.
Deals being done, maybe?
The author Michael Morpugo gave a short talk about his new children's book, his take on the Wizard of Oz story, which he has rewritten from the point of view of Toto, Dorothy's dog. It was a nice touch from the publishers to furnish one of the rest areas with a yellow brick road and rainbow.
All in all, an interesting experience. I learnt one important lesson.
Take at least three times the amount of business cards you think you may need!