Now I have to be honest with you and say when I first heard that there was going to be a spring version of the famous Cake International Show at the NEC in Birmingham I was a little apprehensive, unsure if I really wanted be involved. I was invited to demonstrate at the show and share my experiences and cakey knowledge with the audiences. I thought about the invitation for a couple of days and then decided that if they were offering a spring version of the autumn show with the added attraction of combining it with other crafts, then I was definitely in. Crossover crafting is very close to my heart and I feel we can all learn from each other no matter what our crafting medium is.
The organisers never promised that the spring show would be the size of the November show however what they did promise was that for the price of your ticket you would have access to the other two crafting shows that were running at the same time, more than value for money in my book.
The traders, demonstrators and exhibitors here at the first ever Cake International spring show were rewarded when the fabulous Mich Turner MBE cut the ribbon officially opening the show, the crowds flocked in, a steady stream of visitors all day. There were approximately 300 competition entries by my estimation and I felt there were many new faces competing, dipping their toes into the competition arena for the first time. A good showing of entries across the board I felt, although I was surprised by the small number of sugar flower entires compared to the November show.
Shopping was very popular with a good selection of trade stands present, the added advantage of the crafting shows through the interconnecting doors meant that I actually started my Christmas shopping early and restocked some of my paper crafting supplies. Across all three shows there were some lovely displays by cake decorating collaborations, quilting groups, art studios and many creative gatherings of inspirational pieces, I found them all fascinating.
Many of the regular faces were seen demonstrating on their stands with people like Marion Frost and Karen Davies buried behind banks of observers eager to ask questions and see the latest products demonstrated.
The whole event was very friendly and welcoming, for those who mentioned that the show was smaller than they expected I’d like to remind them that “from small acorns large oaks grow” and that the November show was once this size.
For me it was a resounding success, I feel this is a new show that will be in our calendars for many years to come. The devil on my shoulder keeps nagging that maybe there are now too many cake shows in the UK, and yes that’s possibly the case, but as history shows us only the good ones survive.
I look forward to next year and seeing how much this baby has grown in twelve months.