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FRANKLY SPEAKING


Don’t burst my bubble!


HERE’S a tiny part of me that can’t help being impressed by people who complain about staying in hotels for trade shows. They sound so jaded, as if they’ve done this so many times that it’s all just a vaguely inconvenient routine.


T


As a child I had much the same feeling about my parents’ conspicuous lack of excitement about their birthdays – how exciting must grown-up life be, I wondered, that you could honestly say that you “weren’t really bothered” about your OWN BIRTHDAY? I imagined that offi ces and


staff rooms must be stuffed full of cake on a daily basis, with friends bombarding you with presents every time you walk through the door. Maybe that’s why I’ve gravitated towards the greetings industry, where this isn’t always that far from the truth!


Having reached the grand old age of 25 now, I’m a bit horrifi ed to notice the bubble has burst on my own birthday excitement – but since I’ve only been doing trade shows for two years hopefully I’ve still got a while before the hotel gloss wears off.


I don’t care if it’s not cool, I love staying in hotel rooms. It’s like a special holiday for lazy people.


All the best things about home (comfy bed,


TV, kettle, biscuits) and none of the bad things (washing up, hoovering, smelly milk) all in one room.


spend the entire time lying on the bed watching the cooking channel and drinking wine out of a coffee cup.


On one particularly decadent occasion I discovered that if I propped the door open I could watch telly from the bath; I don’t think it’s a


Sarah Porter is the erudite PR and NPD Manager for My World, who’s known as Frankie outside work and blogs about the trials and tribulations of being a relative newcomer to the world of greetings card publishing at www.myworld.co.uk/blogs/news as well as compiling the regular My World newsletter. T: 0191 305 5165


There’s never a chair – that thing that may look very like a chair is in fact a sophisticated new type of wardrobe, and should be used exclusively for chucking your clothes over – so it’s totally fi ne to


When something is commonplace it’s no longer a thril so Sarah Porter is hoping she never gets to that stage and can still keep the excitement of staying in hotels for trade shows bubbling over.


coincidence that that was My World’s best show yet.


Of course, this also means that a bad hotel experience can end up affecting your entire show. In April I did London Book Fair and stayed in Fulham Travelodge, which turned out to have extremely friendly, helpful staff and pretty much nothing else, it was sort of like being in a posh prison, although I imagine that posh prisons would at least have Sky. The show before that was Scotland, for which we stayed in an Addams Family- style establishment run by murderers. Our neighbours and customers at the show were all lovely, of course, but being lulled to sleep by the sound of Glaswegian blokes biting each other’s noses off does tend to put me off my professional game.


All this has taught me the importance of booking your hotel well, well in advance. Not only are the prices better, but you stand far less chance of ending up in the care of some swivel-eyed loon who denies all knowledge of your booking before cramming you into a room the size and temperature of a chest freezer. For Autumn Fair this year, for example, I’ve wangled a room at the NEC Hilton for the fi rst time ever, reasoning that in lieu of Tobias I should at least get access to a swimming pool. With a bit of luck my theory will be proven and the show will be deliriously successful – and who knows, I might even be able to drink my wine from a real glass!


Love hotels? Hate them? Do you have horror stories of your own? I’ve love to hear them so tweet me, @MyWorldCards


www.greetingstoday.co.uk 45


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