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Article: Navigating Top Drawer London: Your Playful Guide to Trade Show Success

Navigating Top Drawer London: Your Playful Guide to Trade Show Success

Navigating Top Drawer London: Your Playful Guide to Trade Show Success

Greetings, fellow trade show adventurers! 🎉

So, you've decided to dive headfirst into the exciting world of trade shows, starting with the fantastic Top Drawer London event. When we embarked on this journey at Top Drawer London in September 2023, we scoured the depths of the internet for guidance but found it as elusive as a unicorn in a desert. Fear not, for we've donned our metaphorical capes to create this guide and shed some light on the mystical experience that is Top Drawer London.

We're Laura and Adam, owners of Futuro Bambino and here's a peek of us guys and our 3sqm stand

First things first, which stand size should you go for and what will that cost?

Before you get too overwhelmed by the idea of stand sizes and budgets, take a deep breath. We've got you covered. Here are the magical numbers from September 2023:

- 5sqm: £2665
- 4sqm: £2132
- 3sqm: £1599

But wait, there's more! These stands are mostly L or U-shaped. All stands, stand at 2.75m high but a 4sqm stand isn't a's a rectangle or L shape; it's a 1m wide side and a 4m wide back wall. A 3sqm stand is a 1m wide side and a 3m wide back wall (you catch my drift). And if you go with a U-shape, you'll get 2 x 1m wide sides and 1 x 3m wide back wall.

Oh, and don't forget to add on the stand marketing fee (£375) plus VAT. 🎩💼

But remember, there are personalised options too. We weren't offered any smaller stands (cheeky) but there were definitely smaller ones at the show. So when you fill out your application form and find yourself among the chosen ones, don't hesitate to inquire about them. You might discover hidden gems!


Stand inspo, how should I decorate my stand?

Ah, the age-old question of stand decoration. Learn from our mishaps, dear readers. We, in our sustainable fervor, tried stencils and paint – a bold move, or so we thought. It turned into a disaster and left us with a wall missing more paint than a toddler's coloring book.

The secret to stand beauty? Simplicity! Opt for a simple wall color and a striking sign or branded wallpaper like Steel Mill used. Even vinyls can work wonders, however be careful as in the heat they did keep trying to peel off. Keep it chic and let buyers imagine how your products will shine in their own shops.

Great, I'm in, now when will Top Drawer send out information?

Top Drawer's information manual arrives around a month before the show. But don't expect it to be your magical map to success – it's more like a treasure chest without the treasure. We did consider using their furnishing provider, GES, to paint our stand, but at £500, it felt like highway robbery, so we gave it a pass.

Here's the must-do: Book a 30 minute unloading slot for when you arrive and depart. We chose the Green Zone (west hall) for our unloading adventure, even though our stand was a bit tucked away. Olympia isn't a maze, so you're good to go!


Where should I park?

Visit Olympia's parking booking page ASAP. This spot is as hot as a fresh batch of scones and books up faster than a pop star's concert. We paid £121, but hey, it's super close and secure. We left our car there for the full three days, as none of the hotels offered parking and this worked well for us. 

Where's the best accommodation?

For accommodations, Premier Inns in Kensington or Hammersmith come highly recommended – they're a stone's throw away from Olympia. If you're feeling fancy and want kitchen facilities, check out Earls Court serviced apartments, just one tube stop away. Plus, there's a cozy M&S food shop on the corner.

Setting up your stand

Gear up for setup day! Don't forget your high-vis jacket, or you can snag one there for a fiver. And remember, open-toe shoes are a no-go – we learned this the hard way.

You'll have 30 glorious minutes to unload your goods and set up time is from 8am to 8pm the night before the event. Be prepared for surprises, like accidentally painted stands or extra sticky, sticky sheets on the floor. It's all part of the adventure! We arrived around 11:30am and left around 6:30pm but that's because we had a few issues with our set up, including the wall not being white as expected but in fact being green Yikes!

Which types of companies will do well at Top Drawer London?

Top Drawer is a haven for gifting, jewellery, stationary, and home goods. It's like a treasure trove for those categories. If you're selling clothing like we were, be forewarned – we were one of the few clothing stores among a sea of giftables. But hey, we loved mingling with fellow small business owners who shared our passion.

What to expect over the three days?

Sunday: A warm-up day filled with curious souls – both exhibitors and trend seekers.

Monday: Still a bit quiet but with a sprinkle of service sellers. Brace yourself; it's tiring!

Tuesday:The big one! Loads of foot traffic (probably because the weather finally decided to chill out).

What do I need to have prepared?

Be prepared for questions like 'what are your minimums?' or 'what's your POS?' We created packages 1-4 after Sunday's revelations: everything from a set price with essentials to made-to-order options. Put this info on your website and create a QR code for easy access. Organize your products to visualize each package.

Top Tips

Stock up on snacks, drinks, and lunch. Leaving your stand can be uncomfortable when you're flying solo.

Make friends with your neighbors. They might become your ticket to new opportunities, trade show recommendations, and lifelong friendships. 🤝

These guys were mine 🫶

So there you have it – your playful guide to conquering Top Drawer London. May your journey be filled with adventure, camaraderie, and success! 🌟

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