Saturday, March 15

NEC Outdoor Show Report - Sat 15 March - Mid morning

If I thought Friday was hectic, Saturday set out to prove that was merely a taste of things to come. More stands to visit. Some revisiting with follow-ups after sleeping on information already provided.
And of course the UK Outdoors Blogger Convention 2008 ® meet-up; And later a get together of the Wildcamping E-Petition Campaign supporters to review progress and talk strategy and tactics.

Plus whatever else turned up as the day progressed. Phew - this was going to require A Plan.

Naw, sod that. Just take it as it comes and as I find the best way at such events, Go With The Flow.

The Saturday sun dawned bright and early, had a brief look around, then decided to go back to bed for a lie in, leaving the weather from midday onwards an endless downpour. But remained dry as Darren and myself arrived at the NEC car park, the overflow parking already coming on stream.

It was clearly evident that there was a huge increase in visitor numbers today making progress between stands interesting at times. Yesterday I could pick my destination and easily drift from stand to stand. Today it was more a case of joining in with a mass of humanity streaming past to gently bump along with the tide. Pausing as small cliches of friends met up, joining eddies forming around those intent on holding mobile phone conversations in the middle of the walkway (get out of the way dummy!) and an occasional surge forward as the show's pinch points were navigated. Usually near the free food stands for some reason.

Early in the day I took advantage of the Press Office Wi-Fi to post some show feedback before once more diving back into E-Petition activity. After all there were another 3,000 leaflets to distribute, and a check on those already out on stands to monitor the interest level. The votes on the E-Petition site will be interesting to monitor over the next week or so, to see whether the leaflet drop has had its intended effect, and how the great outdoor public take to the issue (and looking at it the latest total it seems to be a positive outcome so far as it nears the 800 mark) Time will tell.

A visit to the Bushcraft display, organised by Bushcraft Magazine gave me the opportunity to discuss the Wild Camping E-Petition with Simon, the magazine’s editor. And with it a mutual recognition that there is much complimentary ground that touches on both our outdoor communities.

Another new contact made, and once again a positive and open minded individual interested in communicating their own particular love of the outdoors wider. We outdoor folk are such a positive and friendly bunch on the whole. As for the magazine - it's small but growing steadily - and from what I've quickly flicked through so far not to be confused with any ex-Para/kill-it-cook-it-eat-it brigade. "For Living Life Outdoors" is the strap line with an admirable variety of topics covered. A fuller review to follow once I've given the magazine the due consideration it requires.

Blimey - is that time already? Off to the UK Outdoors Blogger Convention 2008 ®

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