A Day in the Life Working at The Game Fair

The Game Fair 2024 is rapidly approaching, and for us, as a major retailer of country clothing and footwear, the Game Fair is one of the high points of the year, which takes hundreds of hours of planning over the preceding 6 months. For the Game Fair Blenheim Palace has always been the very best location, so after a 10-year gap, the return to Benheim Palace for this year’s Gamefair is very welcome. This year we’ve once again been planning with our major brands including HarkilaSchoffel and Barbour to launch new ranges at the show, ahead of the Autumn/Winter 2024 season. By the time we actually get to the show days, it a case of praying the weather suits and making sure the finishing touches to the months of planning are all in place.

Build Up

We pack up the lorries on the Monday ahead of the show and arrive on site on the Tuesday for three hard days of setting the stand up. Fixtures and fittings go in first, then the clothing and footwear follows, and finally the finishing touches are put in place so we are hopefully ready by Thursday afternoon so we can recharge ready for the Friday rush.

5:30am: The Calm Before The Storm

Sleeping in the marquee tends to lead to waking early, a good plan if you want to avoid the queue for the showers. Show days always start with a fully cooked breakfast off the barbeque (a tradition not to be broken), and a quick coffee, before the real works starts.

7:30am: Final Preparations

By 7.30am the show ground is already starting to buzz with activity. We start getting the front of the stand opened, setting up displays out the front (if weather allows) and triple checking all the technology is working (broadband and phone signals are always worries).

9:00am: Gates Open

This is when the real fun starts. Over the three days of the Gamefair we’ll see thousands of like-minded people in a very short time; it’s a great opportunity to showcase our company and the brands we work with. There’s normally an early rush of shoppers on a mission: they’ve come for a specific item and they want to get it before the item sells out. Day one of the shows is always fascinating as you get to see the punters’ reaction to new styles. There’ll always be winners that you quickly know you under ordered (two years ago we sold out of the  Schoffel Exeter Jersey on the first morning). This year I’m really looking forward to the launch of the  Seeland Hillside Tweed range, which I think is a fantastic quality product at a great price.

10:30am–2.30pm: Peak Time

By mid-morning we are into full swing: the tills are hopefully starting to ring and everyone is busy talking to customers and restocking the shelves as spaces start to emerge. We generally have about 15 to 18 members of our own team and representatives from brands such as  Hoggs of FifeSeeland and Barbour on the stand, and at peak time this still doesn’t feel enough!

3:00pm: Afternoon Activities

Trading will continue to be brisk until late afternoon, but once the initial rush is over attention needs to be turned to preparation for the following day. Thinking about what has worked and what hasn’t to juggling things around and make improvements for the following day. Any spare hands turn to replenishment and straightening up of displays to keep things looking good for the expectant Gamefair crowd.

5:00pm: Winding Down

By late afternoon, the pace begins to ease. Some visitors start making their way home, and we can start to unwind a bit. It’s also time for someone to start prepping dinner for the troops!

7:00pm: Closing Time and Debrief

Around 7pm the front goes back up on the marquee and we settle in for a well earned drink, some food and a debrief on the day.

10:00pm: A Well Deserved Rest

Time to get some shut eye for a few hours before doing it all again for days two and three. I’ll always sleep well after a show day. The Gamefair is without doubt a lot of fun and the Game Fair at Blenheim Palace is particularly special. Let’s hope the Gamefair 2024 lives up to the expectations, and we very much hope to see you at Blenheim this year. We will be at stand M2430 on Gunmakers Row, so drop by to say 'hello' and shop our best Game Fair discounts and special offers. 

If you're getting ready for this unmissable event and are wondering what to wear to The Game Fair 2024, take a look at our selection of suggestions for Game Fair outfits here