This year’s LASA meeting in Birmingham seemed somehow bigger and better than ever as did the brand new Datesand stand. Once the team had completed the set-up, Datesand was suited and booted and ready for the first session. The first afternoon was steady as always and the all-important trade reception on Tuesday evening went really well.
At various times during the exhibition days and evening sessions Nicky, Nilgun, Jonathon and I were busily engaged in great conversations with friends from the industry, old and new. Lasa is always a wonderful opportunity to catch up with people we haven’t seen for a while, hear from them about their lives, as well as their work of course and let them know about new developments at Datesand. The days flew by as always but the meeting was really informative and we thoroughly enjoyed the great conversations and the company.
Our new stand, full as it was of exclusive products, samples, literature and Datesand representatives of course, proved to be an attractive hub for fellow attendees. This year we were joined for by Theo Feldmann the Managing Director of our German Distributor Zoonlab. For Theo, relatively new to the industry, it was an ideal introduction to our UK scene and a really good opportunity for him to meet with UK industry professionals as well as other suppliers.
The Janet Wood Innovation Awards products were most certainly the stars of the show on our stand. These great examples of good, practical enrichment ideas put forward by industry professionals and turned into highly saleable products really caught the eye. They sparked interest and conversation as well as orders and requests for samples and no doubt will have inspired others to come forward with their own innovative ideas for this year’s ongoing global competition
The trade stands were particularly impressive this year. The commercial exhibition seemed literally to have taken over the conference centre looking bigger, brighter and more professional than ever. This seemed to us an excellent showcase for just how far we have come as an industry.
As the second day came to a close, people hurried to get ready for the gala dinner night! Upon entry to the dining area we were greeted with a glass of prosecco. The Datesand table was hosted by Nicky, Jonathon and I and we were joined by colleagues from Imperial College London, Liverpool University, Manchester University and Oxford University. It was a fantastic group of people who together made the night even better and at one point had Nicky crying with laughter!
After dinner the award ceremony took place recognising individuals’ accomplishments and their positive impact on the industry. With the awards over, the band appeared and set about raising everyone’s spirits even further. Nicky and I put our dancing shoes to good use as usual whilst Jonathon watched in despair from a distance. The night sadly came to a close and we slowly moved from the bar to our rooms, ready and raring to go for an early rise and the comings and goings of the final day.