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Ahhh, another Spring PR London Open House done and dusted – the best ever, with the biggest haul of London-based journalists we’ve ever managed to tempt out.  How we love these events and showing off our clients’ latest gadgets but how challenging they always seem to be.  This year’s was no exception with the highest number of curve balls ever served up – good job we’re used to it really isn’t it?  Here are our five to-live-by qualities for a great Open House. 

QUALITY NO. 1:  Check, check and double check

We’ve done this kind of thing plenty of times before: hiring a desirable venue in a trendy part of London, inviting key journalists, hauling our clients’ products to the venue to be visually dissected by the great and the good of the media world.  The venue might change, the products definitely do change and the journalists may be different but never, never ever, have we left things to chance.  We check and we double check.  Which is why when our courier decided they couldn’t be bothered to deliver our eleven boxes to the venue by 12 on the day of the event and instead sent us an email at 4pm saying that the boxes had been returned to depot to be delivered the next day, we were ready for it [we’d been chasing since non-delivery at 12].  A strongly worded telephone conversation with a legal sway saw the courier company commissioning a van especially for our eleven boxes and delivering on time, albeit inducing a work pace akin to gold diggers in the gold rush.

QUALITY NO. 2:  Always approach these things on a full stomach

Lunch may of course be for wimps but here at Spring PR we treat it with the respect it deserves.  Those slicked back hair-types of the 80s would rarely have got down on their knees to unpack boxes or put mannequins together in record time.  Doing all this on a carrot and the whiff of a low fat chocolate bar just doesn’t cut it [we know all too well].  And don’t think that because there’s a wealth of food at your event you’ll be fed because you won’t you’ll be too busy.  And you’ll watch with longing as your 50 or so guests dig into goat’s cheese tarts, gourmet burgers … oh and they looked so good …

QUALITY NO. 3:  Say yes to an offer of help

If someone offers help we always grab it with open arms. Lorenzo – one of the venue staff - was in fact help personified and was particularly good at squeezing the sides of a cardboard box together so that the flaps would meet and we could tape them up.  “Can you do your squeezy thing” we would call to Lorenzo “Oo she’s likes my squeezy fing init” he would say with a cheeky grin.  Then, with a caveat, “There’s two things I don’t do, married women and drugs”.  Ok we thought, just do your squeezy thing, we’re not looking for you to marry us or snort drugs off the boxes.

QUALITY NO. 4:  Be persistant

Running for the train with just three minutes to spare is a heart-pumping experience.  High heels makes the task just that bit more challenging but of course, we all thrive on challenges.  When we reached the train red faced and panting with the exertion we knew – we just knew – that our reserved seats would be taken.  Two of the people in our three seats kindly moved.  The third was a little more difficult.  With big hair and an angry face, this 20-something young man had an air of intimidation about him.  When first asked to move he ignored us, when asked to move again, he acknowledged us and told us there was no ticket on the seat “init” [two ‘inits’ in one day].  On the third approach he suggested we move along the carriage and gave a nonchalant flick of his hand to indicate the direction in which we were to walk.  On the fourth approach when we declared that he really wasn’t being very fair as there were three of us and one of him he looked us in the eyes with his angry face and his abundant hair, and waited a tense, prolonged moment before picking up his things with attitude and stomping off.  Persistance, you see, really does pay.