Monday, 10 February 2014

Seminar @ Spring Fair

 Train journey // Notemaking // SPRING FAIR! // Cat cushion in Speakers Lounge // Seminar Board // Zoe's talk

Last week I made the trip to the NEC, Birmingham for Spring Fair after agreeing to join a panel on the ‘Unleashing the Power of Social Media’ seminar. 

To say I was nervous was an understatement; I was a bundle of nerves giving a speech at my own wedding – never mind talking business to a room full of strangers!

I try and live by a ‘what’s the worst that can happen?!’ philosophy, so I put on my brave face and wrote myself a few pages of notes on the train (just in case my brain stopped working mid seminar).

I wasn’t quite prepared for how huge Spring Fair is! The set-up is much the same as Top Drawer, but the scale is enormous. I found the Speakers’ Lounge and luckily spotted Zoe from Ladybird Likes who was taking part in the day’s seminars too. Zoe was super brave and also gave a solo presentation on Product Photography that was full of useful information – she also proved that it wasn’t too scary being up in front of a crowd! (Definitely follow Ladybird Likes for photo inspiration and DIY tips!)

 My name on screen // The Panel (photo credit Zoe Bateman)

When the time came for us to give our Social Media talk I soon got into full flow; we had lots of questions from the audience and with Zoe, the other panellist Zak and I all sharing our tips and ideas the 30mins sailed by. 

With Social Media being such an integral part of STACIE SWIFT and being a key factor in our growth and success it was easy to forget that not everyone is confident in being online in the same way. It was really nice to get thanks at the end and some nice tweets to say what I had said had actually been helpful! (big sigh of relief!)

I was really pleased that I pushed myself to get out of my studio and to go and do something new and challenging. Despite my concerns I actually really enjoyed public speaking and it’s made me even more excited for the upcoming seminar I’ll be doing at SMUG. I’m hoping to keep participating in these kinds of talks – so I’ve added a ‘Seminars + Speaking’ page to the STACIE SWIFT blog and website; you can keep up to date with upcoming events or hire me as a speaker if you’re hosting :)


Once the hard work was over I made sure to go and have a nose at some of the exhibitors too. Here's some of my favourites!


Kitten on Hallmark stand // Wrap Magazine // Cat card - Judy Lumley // Ohh Deer // Imogen Own // Giant moving tiger!


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