Our first trade fair experience was an interesting one. Preparing for the event before hand saw us frantically trying to develop the product so it would be ready for sale. It was speed vs quality. We decided our product wasn’t ready and took the decision not to sell but to gain further user feedback and the emails of interested future customers. There were a series of lessons we learnt from the fair that we’ve taken into our company to further develop our product.
In getting ready for the fair we realised the flaws in creation and that process of making Runeys needs to be changed. After the second layer of silicone is added the wooden panels have a tendency to rise making the bottom layer thicker and the top layer to thin and breakable. In order to secure the wood in place a small amount of silicone would need to be poured over the wood so it is barely visible then once dry the actual pocket layer can be added.
However the not only is the second layer problematic but the process as a whole is flawed. Although we had a vast amount of positive feedback about the colours, patterns and the unique nature of the material silicone however people either didn’t get what the product was about (it’s concept) or disliked the use of silicone for this product and thought a different material would be more effective e.g. Fabric. This leaves us with two options; keep the silicone material and change the product or keep the product idea and change the material.
After speaking to potential customers at the trade fair it became apparent that users were worried about the long term effects of using the product on one shoe. Long distance runners worried that the weight, even though it is light, would cause differences in their gate over time.
As is stands currently our team is undecided on the path forward but have put the tools and internal deadlines in place to know that before the next trade fair we will have a finalised and functioning product.
As for the trade fair display and design, our packaging consisted of black pillow pockets with our logo added via a sticker. These were practical and simplistic for the first trade experience however the logo colours and design clashed with the product it’s self and it was suggested that we unify the colour scheme and develop the aesthetics of the packaging. As for the stall, we kept it very simplistic and minimal, we had a demonstration shoe and a series of other colourful Runeys on display alongside. This provided potential users with an incline to the visual range of our products. It was suggested to us that we have some form of graphics, showing keys going into the shoe pocket to help in establishing its function from a far clearly.
Part of the problems that arose during the trade fair we identified to be caused by a lack of teamwork. The conducting creative collaboratively module aided us in recognising and changing previous negative team behaviours that had prevented us from working effectively together. Previously being to focused on our own goals and poor communication methods meant we did not work as a singular module with various divisions of speciality but as individuals with minimal regard for the priorities of the group as a whole. This wasn’t just one of us but all of us and by being taught the theoretical side of factors that influence teamwork enabled us to be self reflective and identify our flaws as a team.
Overall the experience highlighted the areas we need to improve but also re-established and motivated once again to collaborate as a team.