09 November 2011

Your Family Arts & Crafts Expo @ Emperors Palace
... a very uncomfortable experience

{4 to 6 November 2011}

My special friend Michelle once again flew up from Durban to come and help me for 3 days at the Xpo. Its the third time that {Doing Life} exhibited at this Expo. The previous two times it has been in the Centre Court at Emperors, but this time the organisers EventX could not secure a November date with Emperors and decided to host the Expo in a tent located in the parking area at Emperors. The exhibitors were promised that the tent is of world class standard and fully air conditioned.

It was the worst exhibiting experience we have had and hopefully we will never have to endure such a horrible experience again. On Friday there was a constant strong wind and the whole tent were rattling and shaking, causing a defining noise which made it nearly impossible to talk to potential clients. On Friday, the aircon outlet, in the form of long plastic bag tubes with holes linked to a machine outside the tent, dit not work at all. The heat was unbearable. This aircon outlet was only fixed during mid day on the Saturday. Needless to say, the gimmicky aircon did not make a difference at all and we were uncomfotably hot for the duration of the three days.

Arriving at 6:25am on the Friday, all the furniture we have paid for in full in July 2011 already were not at our stand and we had to wait until 7:45am to arrange this with Emperors security. And this after I sent an email complaint to the organisers after it happened at the previous Expo as well. I was told that the organisers cannot guarantee that all the furniture will be at our stand as they cannot police other exhibitors pinching our tables during Thursday-setup.

Not once during the 3-day Expo did any representative from the organisers, EventX, came to our stand to enquiry whether everything was in order and whether they could assist with anything. 2 days after the Expo the organisers had the odacity sending out the following general email (not even addressed personally to each exhibitor):

"... Dear Exhibitors, I would like to extend our sincerest apology for the weekend past at the Creative Arts and Crafts Expo with a Christmas Twist.

Firstly, we were not given a choice with EmperorsPalace to use the Centre Court in November, so our next best bet was to use a marquee in the parking lot, which to your surprise actually cost us more money than Centre Court Rental itself. The infrastructure, air systems, carpeting etc, normally all comes part of the venue hire, but in the marquee this was all an additional cost for us. For those of you that know our company it’s important to note, that there is absolutely no reason why we would want you to experience a bad show with us, because as long as you are happy and pleased with our expo’s it ensures us that we will have your business again next year. Nothing was spared in terms of the marketing this year, and in all honesty, there is no explanation as to why we had less feet, it couldn’t have been the marquee because the public were aware of it.

We can only apologize for the unpleasant experience we may have caused you in the marquee, and we are looking at a number of ways in which we can make it up to you going forward and return to a good long standing business relationship with you.

Rest assured that we will never host the expo in a marquee again, and should Emperors decline our booking in the main hall next November, it may be better for us not to host the show at all. July Expo will carry on as normal, and we will do everything in our power to re-establish your trust and faith in us as organizers. My sincerest apologies,..."

Apologies for the wining, but I just had to get it off my chest. The good news is that {Doing Life} wil be exhibiting at Hobby-X 1-4 March 2012.


  1. What a pity you had such a bad expierence, really with not much regret from the organisers. Glad you will be at Hobby-X next year. The Art and Crafters in this part of the world really do need these shows, as do the exhibitors to show and demonstrate their goods. BUT I think some people who rent out venues and organise are getting a little bit greedy. A little profit is better than no profit at all.

  2. What a time you have had, but that stand is stunning!

  3. Ek styem saam, jou stand lyk pragtig. Het julle baie besoekers gehad? Was dit die moeite werd na al die elende?

  4. Ek wou nog se die fotos van die kinders op die blog is te pragtig.. regte poppies

  5. I wish I could visit you there!


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