Monday, 1 September 2014

From Perth to Adelaide

We wrapped up Perth that night and made plans to get me to the airport nice and early as I was due to go on the stage at the Adelaide Boat show at 1100

I arrived to a wet and windy Adelaide and found a cab to get me to the show grounds, I arrived at the gate with more luggage than you could poke a stick at, trying to maneuver 2 suitcases, a tackle bag, a laptop bag, a camera bag and an 8' rod tube is not a lot of fun on your own no matter how many wheels you cases have.

I gave Steve the SA sales agent a call in the hope he was near by, lucky for me he was inside and offered to lend a hand. In true chivalrous fashion he sent his awesome wife Helen out to help. Nice handball job hahahaha. I was not too sure what to expect at the Adelaide Boat show as I had not been to one before and although a lot smaller than the Melbourne show that I had just been to it showed signs of a good show.

We were located in one of our retailers stands, Tacklebusters had a cracking set up with their retail store with exhibitors lined around the outside, we were one of the exhibitors displaying the wares of Gladiator Tackle and the brands they represent. Knowing I did not have a heap of time up my sleave I headed staright out the back to set up my gear after first finding the coffee maker. Coffee done and gear set up I was introduced to Lea who was looking after the main stage. I ripped a USB copy of my presentation off my laptop and handed it to the bloke looking after the technical side of things.

To try and sum up this setup it was incredible - A prime mover truck with a trailer that has a built on giant screen, a cat walk and a stage. The mob was called Rod Train Promotions and they have got this thing down pat.

I had enough time to wander around and catch up with some folks, the guys from Premium Fishing were over from Melbourne as was Sean Clancy from BLA a few other familiar faces to greet and a quick smoke it it was stage time.

I started the first talk with 3 people seated and I think they were just on their phones or eating lunch hahahaha but  within a few minutes we started to get a crowd, this was the quietest day at the show and things were looking promising for the next 2 days. I finished off the talk and headed back to the stand until I noticed that there was a bikini show on the cat walk so I had to head back around just to make sure I had not left anything behind (thats my excuse and I am sticking to it). We hung around the stand for the rest of the show, well the lollies and chocky's kind of kept me there but it was great to keep me going till the end of the day. We called it a day and Steve and Helen whipped me around to the hotel where I could get a bit of sleep for the next 2 days.

Day 2 comes around and I was supposed to be up and at em fairly early but as per normal I left everything till the last minute and got up late, a quick shower and it was time to get working again. I was picked up from the hotel and made the bolt for the show grounds again a good sign was a gathering of people waiting to get in, we rushed to the stand to get set up and the people started coming in.

My first talk was due at any time so I sorted some gear and headed to the stage, like yesterday there was only a handful of folks sitting around the stage area, I started my talk and before long the sign I was hoping for was a full house. Almost all seats filled with bums and people actually involved in the talk. I could not have hoped for better, I had learned from yesterday that the fashion parade was going to follow me again so this time I took a bit longer to pack my gear up.

After the success of the first talk it was decided that I would do another in the afternoon which came as a surprise but more than happy to help out. Similar results followed the first talk and it was great to see some interest from the Adelaide folks. We finished the day on a good note and decided to head out for a feed with all the other folks working at various stands around the show. It was good to catch up with some familiar faces in a social format rather than all business.

The next day followed the same trend, I managed to get 2 talks in on the day. We did have a little issue with the person following me trying to cut the talk short so he could capitalize on the crowd but I made sure everyone knew I was going to talk for as long as I needed to so every one got as much info as they could from my talk and talk I did. Here is a tip for those folks in the future - dont try and but in on the guy with the microphone or he will take the crowd back to his stand.......

I was asked to do another quick talk in the afternoon but we had simply run out of time. My flight was leaving at 1630 back to Melbourne which was good for 2 reasons, I got to see my family who I had only seen for a few days in the past 3 weeks and also it meant I got out of packing up the stand, win win.

I finally got home at 2000 that night and slept for what seemed like a week, only to find I was heading to Sydney on a 2 day trip the very next day. Planes, trains and automobiles - getting sick of them all but love catching up with the folks when I get to where I need to go.

More planes! Perth bound.

So the Melbourne Boat show had come to an end, I had 24 hours to get my gear sorted and head to Perth.

Ryan Thipthorpe from Oceanside Bait and Tackle was kind enough to invite me over to do a couple of squid talks for the folks in Perth. This was our second trip across the nulabor to talk squid but it had been 2 years so I was keen to mix it up with the Perth locals.

Perth is a great squid fishery and had been one step ahead fo the rest of the country until recently so I was keen to see what changes had come since my last visit. Perth being a few hours behind us it meant that I did not have to wake up at the crack of dawn for the 2.5 hour flight, departure was at a gentlemanly hour of 0930 on a Tuesday morning.

Being in Perth was a 2 prong job so to speak, not only was I there to do some squid talks but it also gave me some time to cruise around the stores with the sales manager of Gladiator Fishing Tackle to see what was happening in the WA market. Its funny how a couple of hours in a plane can change the whole tackle market but it is a very different one to the one I know here in Victoria. Was good to get around and see some new stuff in some new places.

After a full day of visiting stores a quick stop back at the hotel for a shower and to grab some gear and it was off to Ocean Side Marine and Tackle to run the squid talk. We arrive with only a short time to spare and it was good to catch up with a few familiar faces from friends I had met along the way on facebook and through various other forums. Ryan was kind enough to offer up a rod and a few squid jigs as a door prize so after me babbling on for a bit a draw was conducted and a winner was decided. Absolutely shagged after a big day we stopped by a pizza shop and ordered a couple of pizza's a Family size for me and a small for Neil, I think Neil was a bit shocked to hear that my order was not being shared with him.

With another day of store visits we headed back to the hotel for some much needed sleep so we could do it all again. We woke up to another perfect Perth morning full of sunshine and blue skies, oddly enough it was record wind and rain storms in Melbourne, my local pier was washed away with the weather, where I was standing though you would never have known.

Back to Oceanside for another talk. It was nice to have Shane O'Reilly along with his camera to film the night (just waiting for some permissions before we can share it)Shane has been an important part of promoting squid fishing in WA and is a cracking bloke to boot, he was the guy kind enough to do a video review of the DRESS Titan handle for me. The night went great and again Ryan had another rod to give away and another happy customer walked away with a new egi rod.

All up it was a great trip to Perth as much as I would have liked to get some fishing time in, on this trip it was just not possible, I am only young though so I am sure there will be ample opportunity to get over there again to do some more with some of the other cool folks I have met visiting the stores.

Massive thanks to Ryan Thipthorpe for the invite and for being a gracious host, its always good to meet more passionate people in this industry - thanks mate.