I thought you sold sweets?

Yesterday was a first for us with our OpenSure hats on: we sponsored the CanHave Three Counties Centre launch, with an exhibition stand and our Technical Director, Kevin, delivering a seminar on the benefits of open source for business. Our preparation really paid off, but as always there are things we’d do differently next time. Looking forward to next time already as we had a great day, met lots of people and learnt loads.

We had a plum exhibition spot – thanks Martin! – and sprinkled our table with fluffy sheep, sweets, Ubuntu CDs and Bumbles balloons. Bumbles in Leominster helped us out with sweets and a few accessories to promote our pick’n’mix – it’s the place to go for old fashioned sweeties by the quarter, smart chocolates and all sorts of other tempting things. I think we overdid it as several people said they thought we sold sweets! Sweets were definitely the order of the day and we were all swapping and trading like schoolkids.

The day flew along. I’d expected ample time to blog and tweet as we went along but beyond a momentary breather for the odd tweet I didn’t have a free minute. We were really delighted with the level of interest in our stand, to the point where we got to look at just one or two of the others as we were being nabbed all the time. Hugh & Alex of Cartridge World were  a great find, and being opposite Patrick and Kim from C3Tactical was a gift. Incidentally guys we’re gutted we didn’t win the draw for the free day’s shooting, and after all that pick’n’mix too!

(The silly glasses weren’t my idea)

I think everyone was ready to wind down a bit from 7ish but despite being so hungry I was ready to sink my teeth into the table, we had to earn our supper by doing a quiz. Kevin, myself, Hugh, Chrissie Broadhurst from EasySpace and Alison made up ‘FiveStar’ – believe me, it was better than the many Easy…-themed suggestions – and we were awesome, just missing the top spot by half a point, tchuh! Our knowledge of the finer points of Cheltenham rugby club let us down. Food at last after that (I embarrassed Kevin and had offers of multiple plates and helping hands to carry all the food I’d stacked up) and something from the bar, and a last chance to chat to anyone we’d missed.

The evening wound up with a prize draw – we won two tickets to a champagne buffet on the Forest of Dean railway – and a word from Tina of the Noah’s Ark Trust. It’s a very emotional subject, especially at the end of a long day, and some of the statistics Tina gave us were quite shocking – 53 children a day in the UK lose a parent, and 80% of boys excluded from school have suffered a bereavement. Clearly their work is vital and we’re delighted that Noah’s Ark Trust is CanHave’s chosen charity this year. We got home tired but happy but would do it all over again like a shot.

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