I love my job - well most of it anyway - and it's no secret that I love going to the trade and consumer Baby and Toddler shows. The first big show of 2014 is at Excel and runs from 21st - 23rd February inclusive. I would recommend that any parent-to-be (or parent with a baby) at least consider visiting one of these shows. It's a place where you can see everything under one roof - research everything you need - and everything you don't need for that matter. And Excel is no different - I highly recommend that you visit!!!
So - what's different to visiting than doing your research online I hear you ask? For me, as a Mum and as an 'expert' in the industry - there is nothing better than seeing a product demonstrated professionally by someone who works for the company (just go and watch the demonstrations of the Joolz or Silvercross pushchairs to see what I mean). There is nothing better than hearing the story behind why a company was set up (check out Image Dei). There is nothing better than seeing the enthusiasm behind a company and meeting the owners (pop over and see the guys at Bababing!). I love the fact that you can see a wide range of changing bags all under one roof, something to suit every taste and budget (from Bibetta to Mia Tui to MaByland - some you will have heard of and some no doubt you won't). There is nothing better than matching your lifestyle to a product that you need (or want). I LOVE it!
Each of the shows that I visit, I tend to spend a few days at the show - but as a parent this is not necessary. However, unless you live locally then it is worth considering spending a night nearby - there is plenty to fill a full day I can assure you. At Excel, there are various hotels in and around the area but if you are going to make a weekend of it, it is worth considering a hotel a little further in to London to give you more opportunity to make the most of a two day break (and if you can make it a romantic break without the children then so much the better!). I have always found Crowne Plaza Hotels to offer a good deal and offer a good standard of accommodation - take a look at Crowne Plaza London - The City which is near Blackfriars Station - pretty centrally situated for The London Eye, London Bridge and St Pauls......and if you do have to take children with you, then they stay for free and eat for free which is always a bonus.
I am really looking forward to going to Excel - it's lovely to meet parents and parents-to-be (I am often stopped in the aisles and asked for pushchair advice) - and it's great to catch up with friends I have made in the industry.
If you are wondering whether to visit The Baby Show at Excel or have any questions, let me know below and I'll do my best to answer them of course!
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