|Posted by CAM-VIP on October 26, 2011 at 9:50 AM|
22nd October 2011 - UK VapeFest
5.30 am Time to get up! As usual I had left everything to the last minute,,,Jessica had done the packing but I had to clean the car out-ish, find the hotal booking confirmation, sort out the CAM-VIP stuff, find some kit to take, have a bath and so on.
7.30 am Set off to pick Tony2Stix up from Wath and then picked Sam Munro up from Wombwell train station just after 8 am. I knew I'd've forgotten something BUT it didn't matter at the time! Sam had been travelling from 9 pm the previous evening, straight through from Aberdeen - that is commitment!!!
8.05 am - 9.30 am A very straight forward drive down the M1, A42, M42, A5, A51,,,,arrived at The Moat House in Tamworth, fresh as a daisy
9.30 am - 11.30 am When we arrived, we were gobsmacked by the number of people already queuing outside the venue! It was a little bit cool but the company stood outside sooned warmed each other up. Whilst waiting to get in, we chatted away to people who we'd never met before as if we'd known them for years!! It was only the start of what would turn into a fantastic social event.
We eventually got into the upstairs room at about 10.15 and Jessica and I baggied a table as a CAM-VIP 'stall', set out the promo stuff and chilled with Tony and Sam for a few minutes - then the flood gates seemed to open and hundreds of people were milling around the vendors stalls, asking questions, buying stuff and trying stuff out. We had many visitors to our table and Jessica took it upon herself to become a saleswoman for CAM-VIP!
On the lead upto the ECCA AGM at 11.30, the people who had spent hours talking to each other on the phone/video chat finally met face to face. Rolygate, Westcoast2, Sam, Fiona and myself - the 5 people who were constant throughout the steering committee phase - The end of an era and the start of a better one was nigh!
During this time Kath (Doodlebug) and Jo (Josfubar) arrived and I spotted an opportunity to match two party animals together - Jo and Jessica - a match made in devilish Heaven
11.30 am - 1.00 pm It was time for the ECCA AGM, the part of the day I was so looking forward to getting out of the way. The lack of support from others throughout the steering committee process had got me so wound up that I was having a bit of a break down in the week leading up to this, resulting in some un-Rusty like behaviour which I apologise now to all the people it affected - SORRY!!!
One real gentleman came down to the meeting and really helped me start to enjoy the day - thank you so much wyrm1973 (Julian)
The meeting eventually went very well after interjections from Prof and Jim to get it back on track and the standing committee was successfully voted in. Special thanks go to Dave Hook and Tim Boniface for relieving me of my duties I really hope that the foundations of ECCA are solid and that the promotional ideas to expand the membership are acted upon in the near future - Good luck ECCA and fare thee well
1.00 pm - 4.30 pm Arriving back upstairs, the crush was even worse! It was time to relax for a while; Jo and Jessica were in full flow, no time for food as the raffles would be starting soon,,,I started to realise a couple of things I had forgotten in the morning - to eat and to get some money out of the bank! We were hot, thirsty and hungry BUT we'd have to wait, the raffles were starting
The raffles were a logistical nightmare for Wayne and the organisers, but they pulled it off with very few hiccups - some tables were extremely lucky and cleared up - others less so BUT everyone had smiles on their faces anyway because the atmosphere was buzzing!!
4.30 pm - 6.00 pm This was our break from the event - we had to check in at the hotel and me and Jessica got a taxi there with Zola, Siddy, Tony and Hobgoblin (Jono). Time for food and to get some money out of the mini-bank. Whilst Jessica was beautifying herself into party-animal mode, I headed to the moto part of the service station. £1.99 to use the cashpoint and £7.59 each for a Burger King! This was the only food that we would eat on the day,,,,it is a good thing that alcoholic drinks are also nutritious
We got a taxi back and headed straight for the bar
6.00 pm - ???? am This was great! People mingled, chatted and have a laugh over a few-ish beers, wines and spirits. The raffle for the Cube (thanks to Wayne and Graeme for the donation) raised £150 for CAM-VIP and ECCA and the auction of Jim's 'Rant Mod' raised an extra £60 for the CAM-VIP coffers - a big thanks to all who helped raise this money
After 9 pm, the drinking became easier and people spread out downstairs and to other places. The staff at the venue were brilliant even though the bar was starting to dry up. I met some wonderful people for the first time as well as some 'old' mates. Rawveg is another gentleman, he made Jessica feel special, and so did Tim Boniface with his purchase of the double vodka and coke - plus he gave me Barney the Gnome back who is now living in my garage Little Mick from t'Tarn came out of his shell after a few shandys and I had some great chats with Daz , VEJason, Gizwald, Jemima, Paula and many others.
Sam Munro left at about 11.45 pm to catch a train back to Aberdeen with the attitude of 'If it is going north, I don't care!' - I'm pleased to say he got home ok; that must have been a great adventure in itself!
We somehow got bar extensions, drifted downstairs and left at sometime back to the Travelodge. I cannot remember much after then apart from not feeding Jessica; something I regretted in the morning
The morning after A strange feeling of contentment and emptiness. We met some great people and had a fantastic time, but it was over until next year It was an event unrivaled by anything that came before. It showed us that there is a really strong vaping community out there and if we stand together like we did on that day,,,,no [email protected] can touch us!! Bring it on, MHRA, EU, WHO,,,,we are strong and we will whoop your @rses
It was very worthwhile from a CAM-VIP point of view because of the contacts we were able to make and the pledged support from numerous vendors. We just need to chase those up and hopefully the campaign will be entering a new era of growth!
Russell VR Ord
Founder of the Campaign for Vaping in Pubs
Categories: Spreading The Word