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In a World of colour charming

Your cards can be the greatest creations the greetings world has ever seen but, if they’re the only thing a potential customer can remember, you need something else to help you stand out at a trade fair – as Sarah Porter from My World explains.

IF YOU’VE passed by the My World stand at any show over the past year, you’ll probably have witnessed a smooth-talking little charmer and a towering loon, both dressed head-to-foot in the company colours of blue and orange and evidently fully committed to preserving their brand identity.

The tall, foolish one is me (hello!); the helpful,

professional one is my colleague Tobias Barker, whom I would like to thank publicly for Showing Me The Way. See, I wasn’t always the brightly-coloured Brand Queen you see before you; outfi t-wise my show career got off to a bit of a shaky start. PG Live 2012 was our fi rst-ever show and the launch of My World as a company.

I dolled up for the occasion in what I fondly imagined to be a stylish. yet quirky ensemble featuring a spotty dress, green aviation goggles and a pair of rather natty two-tone high heels.

It was a colossal mistake. Three-inch heels for two days of solid standing when my natural state of existence is prostrate on a sofa in bunny slippers? I must have been insane.

By the end of the second day I was hobbling

around like a mad lady, driving all potential customers away with my alarming gait and huge pink-pudding feet. Never again, I swore, and

promptly swung ludicrously far in the other direction; our next show was Harrogate, which saw me schlepping around in baggy jeans, knackered plimsolls and a jumper comprised almost entirely of holes. I was

comfortable, yes, and also a complete disgrace. Once again I looked like a mad lady,

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but this time one who dressed mostly out of bins – it was at this show I fi rst met Tobias.

He’d only just joined the team, but when he turned up on the second day in a blue suit and orange tie, wheeling a suitcase the size of a walk-in freezer, it was obvious he was destined for greatness.

I’m enough of a child that any excuse for themed

dressing-up will do, and by the time Spring Fair rolled around my corporate transformation was complete. Blue and orange, head to foot. Sometimes it’s an orange top with a blue skirt. Sometimes it’s a blue top with orange trousers. It’s an extremely versatile look. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still completely lacking in Tobias’ smartness and professionalism,


I’m fairly sure I still come across like a mad lady most of the time, but at least now I’m a slick, corporate-type of mad lady whose nail

varnish matches her hair

accessories. And, as of Autumn Fair, I have positive proof that it really works. By about fi ve on the second day the fl ow of potential buyers had ebbed, so I left Tobias on the stand and took my day-glo legs for a wander. I was on the opposite side of the greetings hall, networking assiduously with fellow industry professionals – and defi nitely not just hanging around for a chat – when a woman I’d spoken to that morning passed by the stand.

I waved and said hello, thinking she’d smile back and keep walking. No; she stopped in her tracks, came straight up to me and said she wanted to place an order. Now? Yes. Right now.

I have to admit, I was a bit astonished. I like to think I’ve got a friendly sort of face, but it’s never had quite that effect before.

When I asked her if she’d actually come looking for me all the way on the other side of the hall just to do an order, she seemed surprised – and registered for the fi rst time that the stand behind me wasn’t actually the one I belonged to. She then admitted she hadn’t been able to

remember our stand number, or even what our company was called. In fact, all she had remembered was me. Or, specifi cally, my beautifully-coordinated orange trousers. YES! VICTORY!

I towed her back across the hall in triumph and, once I’d managed to convince Tobias I hadn’t resorted to kidnapping passing strangers, he was just as excited as I was. Our dedication to company image had

fi nally paid a measurable dividend! Well, there’s no stopping

us now. We’ve got a couple of months to prepare before the next

show, and we’re going to be stepping things up a notch.

Keep an eye out for a pair of blue and orange mohawks bobbing along above the crowd – and I’ve also booked us both in for matching My World forehead tattoos as a Christmas treat. Don’t tell Tobias.

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