Birmingham NEC: the biggest classic car show of the year, the largest turn out, and the most eagerly anticipated. With Classicline approaching its 30th anniversary this coming December, we wanted to do something both different and memorable- something to involve all ages at the show. So that’s exactly what we did.
By 9:30am Friday morning, the stand was ready. Signs were hung proudly, and our team stood ready awaiting the masses that were held behind the double doors. There was only one thing missing: Star Wars. Now, it may seem farfetched, and it was a pretty bonkers idea- but some of the best ideas come from a little insanity. Whilst we are always serious about our job, and our insurance policies, we are also serious about having a good time- especially at an event like this! So what better way to bring people together in the lead up to the new Star Wars’ new film, but to have Darth Vader, Chewbacca and two Storm Troopers supporting us? They certainly attracted a lot of attention! From the word go, the minute the mascots turned the corner heading for our stand, there were countless heads that followed. Things certainly started as they meant to go on! It was a mass of organised chaos, and we loved it. There was a constant stream of people queuing for photos, handshakes, high fives, selfies, group photos and videos. It was pleasantly surprising just how many people wanted to get involved with our stand and our representatives, once they learnt that Star Wars were with us (we were suddenly very cool.)
Storm-troop the stands, Darth-invade the car clubs and Chew their ears off!
The day’s agenda was as follows: Storm-troop the stands, Darth-invade the car clubs and Chew their ears off! It was a brilliant day, made even better with a team who acted as our own personal conversation starters. All day we reaped rewards for the bold statement, and were constantly engaged in conversation and therefore networked with almost everyone in the building.
I found myself being roped in to the activities, holding the banner for Classicline in promotional photographs, had the privilege of meeting some of the Car Club Organisations chairmen and representatives, as well as some vehicle owners with their bespoke and highly sought after classics. Action shots with the Star Wars team were the centre of the day’s comedy in my opinion!
One of the great things about these car shows and events is that they will never feel like work, you will always learn something, or meet someone, that you will remember
One experience that has stuck with me personally was meeting the owner of the Aston Martin ‘Atom’. It seemed pretty apt that when we went on a walking tour with our own cast of Star Wars, that we stumbled upon the Aston Martin stand, with the before-it’s-time Atom from the 1940s. Of course, our Star Wars team collared the owner and got him involved in some photos and further highlighted its science-fiction-like appearance. It was a talking point, and one that for once that day didn’t revolve wholly around the new star wars film, or insurance, but on the history of Aston Martin, and just how advanced we were back in the early 40s. One of the great things about these car shows and events is that they will never feel like work, you will always learn something, or meet someone, that you will remember.
Another poignant moment for me was seeing the families getting involved in the shenanigans that were taking place on our stand. Admittedly, car shows and car insurance are not things that will really appeal to anyone below the age of sixteen and so they won’t show much interest when they attend them; but by having the mascots it almost obliterated this divide.
Suddenly it was even more of a family day out and children were involved in talking to our staff, and tugging the arms of mum and dad for photos. Credit where credit is due, we had the opportunity of working with such an enthusiastic team (‘Derby Darth Vader’), who never dropped their characters or their spirit whilst with us. With them in tow, combined with our teams’ own determination to network and reach out to people, it was constant entertainment and fun.
In summary, the first day was such a huge success due to taking a big risk. Our unusual way of networking through the use of humour (and a film we all know and love) acted as an ice-breaker and a great way to promote our company’s ethos. We are as serious about insurance as we are about people.