Part Two: Sunday, Day One, the show begins
I woke surprisingly early on Sunday morning, the first day of the ETO Show 2014. The doors didn’t open to the public until 10.30am, but Julian was going to be at the stand at 8am in order to make sure everything was perfect. I arrived about 8.45am, leaving my partner Sable in bed and minnie getting ready. Walking around the corner from the hotel to the NEC expo hall I mentally prepared for the day ahead. I felt excited but not nervous – this was the ETO Show after all and it feels like family being with all the familiar faces and great contacts in the industry that I talk to regularly.
Even more surprising than the early wake up was the fact that I hadn’t thought to grab breakfast or a coffee. I paced around the coffee bar until they opened, feeling not quite ready to face the day until I’d had my usual morning fix of caffeine. Once that was done, I really was ready. Vic and James arrived, so did Sable and minnie. Half ten came around in a flash and all of a sudden people were absolutely pouring through the doors ready to see the industry’s best loved as well as brand new to the market sex toys and adult products.
Our stand, The Cara Sutra Collection Ltd on E4, was packed out almost instantly, regardless of the fact that we were at the back of the hall. In the first couple of hours I don’t think you could see the carpet back from our stand for quite some way! It was fantastic. Being one of the 30 (if I recall correctly) brand new exhibitors this year, people were obviously intrigued with everything new to the market and my Fantasy by Cara Sutra beginners’ bondage kit certainly ticks all the boxes. Without going into full on sales patter, many of the comments reflected positively upon the fact that it’s not black, silver or grey, and quite obviously wasn’t following in the footsteps of the 50 Shades of Grey boom like so many other ‘bondage beginner’ kits and products have done.
Our very first visitor placed an order – and it just snowballed from there. In the stand next to ours, E2, were Carnal Creative – a new company who I was delighted to discover is combining the many talents and skills of good friends Nina Saini and Lee Schofield! On the other side of our stand were the fab Revel Body. I loved their first product, and they have taken some feedback from customers and reviewers on board and have a second version of the Revel Body about ready to send for review. I will report back as soon as I have had a proper play, of course. Meeting with the ever-lovely Robin Elenga once again after our first connection in Erofame last year was delightful, and we discussed the new product plus much more over a needed coffee just before midday.
Bloggers popped along to the stand as well, to say hi and to collect the widely chatted about goody bags I’d prepared. First up was Emma Whispers from Dirty Little Whispers, and her lovely man, Play with Changes. Gritty Woman was nabbed by me as soon as she came over and had a goody bag sent her way. Wandering around the hall, who was that standing before me but Ruby Goodnight, who I’d met first at Eroticon back in March – but this time with The Mrs Goodnight. I wish I had run back to the stand to grab goody bags for both, but hopefully they popped by later on and were given a couple. Ruby looking gorgeous as usual with an eye catching corset on and those boobs. Wow. I kinda needed a posture collar on so that my conversation & eye level remained polite.
The day absolutely flew by in a torrent of familiar faces as well as putting faces to names I talk to regularly via email or social media.
Here’s just a few of the people I remember; if I leave you out I’m sorry! Poke me and I will add you in. My memory is not what it used to be. Or maybe it is.
Dale, Lee, Paul and Jonny from ETO Magazine and ETO Show
Bev from Clonezone
Leigh from We Vibe
Paul from ID Web (Sexshop 365)
Kerri from LELO
Sam, Kate and Symon from ABS Holdings / Simply Pleasure
Tony from Net 1on1
Adam and Monika from ThatPosition
Pip from Love Pleasure UK
Andy and the outrageously sexy Hella Rude from Electrastim
Joe from Belle de Soir
Rach from Inspiring Sexuality
Sam and Stephen from Love Life Products (Cascade Vibrators)
Lovely ladies from E-Stim and Mister B
Jane from Creative Conceptions
The maker of the Tease board game, now with new Tie & Tease game developed with Dom Signs and Molly
In the sparsely furnished Bloggers Corner (seriously, that place needs comfy sofas, power sockets and refreshments!) I was delighted to find Mel from Voluptasse. We met at the ETO Show last year after she starred on the TV programme Happy Families, and we’re really good friends now. It was fantastic to have tight hugs and exchange news and anecdotes.
I really enjoyed catching up with Will from Doxy Massager and his lovely ETO assistant Charlie Z. The new product which is still semi ‘under wraps’ and not quite ready to launch yet is amazing. Seriously. I want one now. Good for the boys too, if you’re brave enough. Right, I’ve said too much. As usual the wonderful Doxy Massager was on display in various colours, with a Hitachi Wand available for comparative purposes. A board filled with reviewers’ comments made up the back of the stand, while a second table showing a 3D presentation of the Doxy Wand on a screen grabbed attention from the other direction.
I must have headed over to the Give Lube stand about 8 times before I could actually reach Nigel and his lovely lady to give great big hugs and catch up on a bit of face to face chat. Did you know they have a Cheeky Wash Toy Cleaner now? I didn’t! I was reassured it had only been delivered a couple of days earlier so I forgave Nige. Looking good.
The stand was packed with the new products Cheeky Weekender kits (reviews here) and the Noir Lube (especially for black skin), as well as familiar favourites and best sellers such as the Aqua Gel, Silicone+ and the flavoured raspberry and cherry lubricants (reviews here). The Cheeky Wash and Wipes were there too.
One of the biggest highlights of the day (literally) was meeting up with my good friend Dom Strap On (find Dom Strap On’s website here) once again, and her huge cock Dave! I also met her Mistress friend, Miss Erika (find Miss Erika’s website here), who is equally gorgeous and naughty. The two Mistresses obviously enjoyed stalking the ETO Show halls, scaring everyone in sight with cackles of laughter and posing for photographs with various strap on cocks in strong leather harnesses from Kinky Monkey. The people at Kinky Monkey are very friendly and certainly know what they’re talking about when it comes to leather strap on harnesses as well as some great quality leather restraints.
Like I say, the day was over in a flash of hugs, kisses, chatter and intermittently going back to my stand for meetings, to talk to interested visitors and traders and quickly downed coffees. At about 4pm I made my goodbyes as it was time to get ready for something very exciting happening in the evening…
Update 4 July
Pussycuddle (website TBA) have been in touch with a link to a fantastic video they took going around the show. It’s great! Take a look:
14th July 2014
Additional photos from ETO Magazine, July 2014 edition