Bologna. What's the weather like?

It's just a little too soon to get an accurate idea of what the weather will be like when we head off to Bologna but we thought a link to the nice people at Meteo might help.  

Looks like we might need to pack a few extra sweaters!

 

Posted on August 31, 2013 .

Our Roy is back!

He the original ,a one of a kind Roy and he’s back with us after an extended trip to the south of Spain with book fair vans person Jason, younger brother of Daniel.

To be accurate Roy is a Royal 12v thermo Electric Cool Box and this particular one was our first so he holds a place in our hearts. It also needs to be said the he is something of a snob when it comes to what we try and put in him. We’ve long since learned not to offer up ready made sandwiches, fizzy pops and chocolate bars because frankly the fuss isn’t worth it and his fan tends to make a funny noise.

Luckily for us he gets on famously with Ruth and he’s very happy to carry exotic cheese although he did once complain about a rather ripe piece of Époisses.

Fussy food snob or not it’s good to have Roy back.

Roy.gif

Ruth is our resident designer, customer service contact, stop over and hotel picker, lover of cheese and chocolate. Ruth keeps us all fed and watered in as healthy a way possible and have the ability to be  understood in  almost  any language spoken on the face of the planet and other yet to be discovered.

 

London to Bologna Cheese stopovers, Reims

We first stopped in Reims a couple of years ago (It might be longer) when Bologna moved its opening from Tuesday to a Monday. Why did we do it, someone needed help because they ran out of time and needed a van load delivered in a very tight time frame.

None of us had been before except Daniel, but being a child of 5 when you first visit doesn’t count, so we slipped over the channel via Eurotunnel and chalked up some French motorway miles before bedtime. Our hotel was one of the worst I’ve ever stayed in. I’ve travelled round the world with a backpack and no money and didn’t expect to find anything like this for the price that we paid. It really difficult not to be taken in by lovely images on people’s website.

Our luck changed early the next morning when I spotted a covered market setting up nearby. If you are ever in Reims on a Saturday it is just off the Place de la Republique.  Our “Roy” cooler boxes were soon filling up with cheese, saucisson, ham, bread and fruit, but mostly cheese.  Being a vegetarian makes travelling through France hard work, meat seems to come with everything, luckily Cheese ranks just under chocolate for me, and stops in France mean finding new one’s to try, this market certainly filled and ticked all our boxes.

On another stop over I managed to motivate our group to go sight seeing first thing in the morning, no mean feat when it involves men and getting up earlier than normal. We had a quick walk round the Cathedral, on to Place du Forum, the real reason for our early departure, to visit La Cave aux Fromages at number 12.

Luckily La Cave aux Fromages has a resident Anglophile who ran the odd two or three Nicolas wine stores in London back in the last century, so communication wasn’t limited to pointing and the distance between my thumb and fore finger for amounts. I said we wanted to stop of lunch and feast on local cheeses, twenty minutes later after tasting and talking I walked away with lunch and some other bits “To keep that will remind you of being in Champange.”

They don’t have a website that I can point you at which is shame but I’m looking forward to going in again and to the great lunch we’ll have. Reims is definitely on our stop list for Bologna.

If you motor to book fairs, we’d love to hear about your favourite stop over’s, post them hear in the comments box or email me ruth@bookfairvans.co.uk.

Ruth is our resident designer, customer service contact, stop over and hotel picker, lover of cheese and chocolate. Ruth keeps us all fed and watered in as healthy a way possible and have the ability to be  understood in  almost  any language spoken on the face of the planet and other yet to be discovered.

 

What does your existing last minute shipper really cost you?

We talk to a lot of people through out the cycle of book fairs. It’s good fun for us because we get to know a little more about you and to see if we can help make getting to a show easier for them.

Lots of people tell us that they use x, y or z company and have done for a long time. It makes sense; you know what your chosen supplier will and won’t do.  They probably email or fax you a form, fill it out read the small print and make a note in your dairy that the collection is something like a week if not more before the show opens.

The pricing is keen when you work like this and if what you need to send is sitting in a warehouse ready to call off it’s perfect but what happens when you’re not just selling from you back catalogue?

Depending on the amount of internal resources that you have available for concept work, making dummies and spreads you might find that to hit your shippers deadline means asking people to work late or engaging someone from your list of trusted freelance designers. We spoke to a few people about the costs involved for doing this and were surprised at the range of costs that are incurred. It might just be the people that we know but the range of fees was varied from £750 to £2000.

When your internal deadlines are dictated by when you r shipper and the amount of people you have available to do the work it might still make sense to spend even the lower end of the price range because your delivery costs are relatively small. It might even be ok from a budget point of view because who looks at these two areas on the same line? Not you, not your accounts department or even your FD?

We could not find anyone who was able to speak to us about other costs that might be related to working to a forward shipping date but we do wonder how much time and money is lost post show from leave and sickness just to recover from meeting deadlines.

With 3 weeks to go before the doors open at Bologna it might just make sense to have a conversation with us at book fair vans.

As ever we are happy to be proved wrong, sometimes it the only way to learn!

Daniel is our head of last minute, exhibitions since the early 80’s veteran, trained counsellor and Swiss army knife carrier. Loves driving through France because people avoid the motorways, hates paying to cross boarders just because they have a tunnel dug through a mountain. Contact him at Daniel@bookfairvans.co.uk

 

Too soon to talk about the last minute?

We often wonder when is the best time to talk to people about how we ship those last minute important items that people need for shows like Frankfurt and Bologna.  Who wants to talk about the next show when you’ve just finished one and are still catching up back at the office with your work load? Who wants to talk when you deadline is looming?

It’s difficult to gauge with some many people having a different approach to what they need and how they work.

We really enjoy helping people at the last minute. Our clients either plan to work in this way and they need us to take a high volume to their stand or they need some help with a few boxes of material that just can be ready until after their normal “last minute delivery” has left.

Whether you a planner for the last minute or someone who just happens to get caught by an unexpected surprise shift in planning we’d love to help.

Tell us when it’s best to talk to you and that’s what we will do.

Daniel is our head of last minute, exhibitions since the early 80’s veteran, trained counsellor and Swiss army knife carrier. Loves driving through France because people avoid the motorways, hates paying to cross boarders just because they have a tunnel dug through a mountain…..

 

We've lost a Cheese shop in Bologna.

It’s embarrassing, I have to ask for help because I’d like to visit it again and I didn’t write down the address. To make it more difficult I didn’t visit it last year and I’m relying on my memory, which isn’t my greatest feature.

I’d love to be able to find it again because it was full of wonderfully aged, 18 month, 3 and 5 year old parmesan. Floor to ceiling, a very helpful owner who vacuums packed everything I bought and a perfect buying experience.

We stayed at the Tri Vecchi on Via dell’ Indipendenza and it was on one of the side streets nearby. Normally I’d just take a stroll until find it but as we tend to leave when the show opens, time will be a little tight and I’d rather find it than walk around without.

If anyone knows the shop I’m talking about do pop me an email to ruth@bookfairvans.co.uk , leave a comment here to send us a tweet @thebfv

If you help me find this shop I'll make sure we carry a boxes for you free of charge.

Ruth is our resident designer, customer service contact, stop over and hotel picker, lover of cheese and chocolate. She keeps us all fed and watered in as healthy a way possible and have the ability to understand almost any language spoken on the face of the planet.

 

Arriving in Four weeks time.

It's four weeks until we arrive at Bologna book fair and start delivering the last minute items people have asked us to get to their stands.

This is probably too early to start thinking about last minute collection but just in case.

Most of what we carry will have been collected during Friday, normally packed in boxes that we deliver to clients the day before pre-labelled with all the right details on it. It’s usually sales materials that haven’t made it through the internal process in time to meet another shipper’s deadline. For us it’s great we love to help and if we leave later then the other people you use great.

When we look at the figures average orders are four boxes which means that some people send one box and others a few more, whatever the quantity that’s fine we don’t have a minimum order and you only pay for what you send.

So we work later, give you boxes and don’t have a minimum order.

We might be worth bookmarking or you could leave a comment here, tweet us or pop an email to daniel@bookfairvans.co.uk.

Youn ever know what’s going to happen in the next four weeks.

Daniel is our head of last minute, exhibitions since the early 80’s veteran, trained counsellor and Swiss army knife carrier. Loves driving through France because people avoid the motorways, hates paying to cross boarders just because they have a tunnel dug through a mountain…..

 

The last Minute World and Exhibiting at Book Fairs, a clash of Cultures?

It seems to us at the BFV that the world moves at such a pace today that everything is happening at the last minute.

We all work within that culture, deadlines are shorter, decision processes are squeezed and as for budgets, well let’s just say they are under more scrutiny that ever.

How does that world compare with the process of exhibiting at a book fair?

Show organisers don’t waste time contacting you after their last event to book you for the next one; discussions over what to show in terms of new product and how to get it ready run on in a seamless process from fair to fair. As for booking your meetings with the right people when do you start, when can you think about stopping?

Then there’s the hotels, flights, stand layouts, graphics, and dinners out with clients, your team, the boss, your contractor and anyone else you’ve forgotten. So many of these tasks need a form, email or phone call and everyone needs it sooner than seems possible otherwise you might miss then or find the price has changed.

At book fair vans we suspect that after moving house or office taking your team to an exhibition hall ranks up there for stress and anxiety. When it comes to getting your last minutes books dummies, presenter, catalogues or graphics to the stand we believe that you deserve to stay in control of your time.  Many firms offer low cost delivery to a hall but what’s the real cost of that in terms of time and what else could you get done and shipped?

We don’t ask people to be ready days or weeks in advance and we don’t need a form from you. If it helps our collections are happening on Friday 19th March, we arrive in Bologna on Monday 22nd during the morning and deliver to your stand.

If it makes sense to you tweet with us, leave a comment or email thebfv@bookfairvans.co.uk and tell us how you think we can help, we'll be delighted to hear from you.

 

Travel in Hope.

We like to help people and we really like to help people.

There is a feeling here at book fair vans that it's human nature to help each other, so when someone says they have a problem getting what they need to a book fair at the last minute, we're happy to hear from them and do what we can to help.

Travelling to Bologna is a big draw for the team, after a long winter the chance to cross the Alps and head south for some early spring warmth and sunshine, does create a buzz. I'm sure my colleagues will post the odd piece or two over the coming weeks. In anticipation of this I've put together a short list of quotes on travelling, in the hope that we all have an easy journey to Bologna.

The first one has already crept out but it's worth seeing again because it's elegant, ties books and travelling together.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine.

There are plenty more to come but do feel free to share any that you know. Drop them in to the comments box, tweet them to us @thebfv or email to thebfv@bookfairvans.co.uk.

 

Posted on August 31, 2013 .

Ready for Bologna, me neither!

I’ve just about managed to put the Christmas decorations away, remember a few birthdays, get flowers and card for my valentine and produced pancakes last night. Then this morning I had my first Bologna meeting and it seems to me, and everyone else attending, that it is creeping up unnoticed on the rails like a Grand National sweepstake pick.

The fact is that the doors will open on 23rd March for 4 days, we should all thank people like Sarah Pakenham for making sure we didn’t get a 3 day fair and London follows on 19thApril, so by the time we all get home, catch up with that huge pile of work that will be waiting for us, it will be time to head to Earls Court for 3 days.

Still I suppose it means that spring is on its way and if we all close our eyes and wish hard, it will be in full flow when we arrive. It will make a change from snow, ice and grey skies.

Now where did I put my sunglasses……?

Have a great time getting ready!

 

Late booking: What's the cost of flying to Frankfurt?

Over the last week I’ve spoken to quite a few people about their run up to Frankfurt and I have to say I’m delighted to hear that the vast majority are progressing well and remarkably do not sound too stress. What I was surprised to hear is that a reasonable number of people have not booked a flight yet.

Being a last minute kind of person I’m comfortable with not doing that when it’s my money but when it’s the company that I work for it worries me a little, after all going to a trade fair is a big ticket item.

So what can you do to make sure no one melts down when you put your expenses in when you get back from FBF10?

A quick look at British Airways, BMI and Lufthansa site shows that prices for the popular departures a Tuesday 5th Morning and early afternoon with inbounds on Saturday 9th in the morning are already getting expensive. I checked the following prices around 17.30 GMT on Thursday 9th September 2010 using www.britishairways.com www.flybmi.com and www.lufthansa.com.

BA prices are up to £375 outbound in the morning as a Club Europe fare and inbound between £269 and £401 again Club Europe.  

BMI prices from £115 to £279 but with no flight after 09.45, returns are £269 with only one flight not sold out at 08.25.

Lufthansa show a grid of prices starting at £222, clicking through reveals a range of options on flight time that can see the costs rise to £564.

 

That’s the best I can do with snipping and as you can see I no graphic artist but I have to admit the different ways of showing prices makes it a little difficult to check and compare.  I found a site called Trabber www.trabber.co.uk I could have used skyscanner.net but prefer the layout of Trabber,  which seems to make the process of checking and comparing a lot easier. A simple front screen and then a long list of options that you can adjust and book by clicking through to your chosen airlines site.

1 of 2

As you can see this search is showing 707 results and you can refine and reduce to your heart's content. I didn’t remove the stops options as the flight times are pretty good and I would still make it in to the hall before 4pm. I know that changing isn't the greatest fun but the cost difference is quite something.

While we are talking about cost doesn't it seem time to change the pricing model that airlines use, whether I book early or late I still cost the airline the same amount to fly me to my destination. In fact as a late booker you are paying a higher price and subsidising everyone else who booked early. The only difference is I've kept my money and the airline doesn't get to use it weeks or months before I travel.

If you've found a way to save on your plane tickets do share in the comments box below and of course if you feel moved to feel free to comment.

Daniel is our head of last minute, exhibitions since the early 80’s veteran, trained counsellor and Swiss army knife carrier, loves driving through France because people avoid the motorways, hates paying to cross boarders just because they have a tunnel dug through a mountain. Email him at daniel@bookfairvans.co.uk