Trade Fair + Celebrate Enterprise this Thursday

Thank you, all, for a fantastic day on Saturday. We are all very proud of what you have managed to achieve on the day, and I am extremely proud of the level of responsibility, dedication and overall maturity displayed on the day.

Our final trade fair is taking place this Thursday 10 March, 12:00 – 16:00, INDOORS at the Student Union social space at the Penrhyn Road Campus. You will be exhibiting using your box structures. We have ordered some longer bolts and I will bring some screwdrivers – please let me know in advance if you need anything else.

We will finish trading in the Student Union space at 4PM and move to Penrhyn Road JG2002 for the Celebrate Enterprise event starting 16:30 where you will continue trading.

Winning teams from the Saturday trade fair will be announced during the Celebrate Enterprise event – the event is compulsory for all 26 teams.

It is going to be another long day so to make sure you have time to rest and prepare for the Mock Dragons’ Den on Friday, there will be no morning class for MACE on Friday.

Please let me know if you need anything else for us to provide for Thursday.

We’re almost there, troops!


We are taking over Kingston’s Ancient Market Saturday 5 March 10AM-5PM

This week we have been working with Yashar Sadeghi, who has been helping you take your trade stands to the next level, in preparation for the Ancient Market trade fair on Saturday 5 March.


The brief you were given is based on use of ordinary cardboard boxes. With only a day to go – please keep in mind this is an exercise in simplicity.


There are three main reasons behind this decision:

Availability. Modularity.  Customisability.

Boxes allow for an economic way of building up from the ground level to the desired height, whatever that may be for your particular needs. Whether you have a requirement for horizontal planes upon which to place your product or vertical planes that can be populated with graphics or used to hang your product, you can find a suitable arrangement that can accommodate these needs. They are lightweight and collapsible which makes their transport a far less problematic proposition that other materials. Given their dimensional consistency they can be stacked and/or arranged side by side to create numerous configurations. Most importantly of all their materiality and their relatively low cost allow you to experiment with customisation. Boxes can be modified with readily available tools: knives, scissors, spray paint, paint roller, paint brush, vinyl film, sticky tape, glue, cloth, needle and thread, etc………….. use your imagination. (No, really: USE YOUR IMAGINATION!) And this is the main point really: this is an opportunity to do what normally costs other companies thousands of pounds for an unbelievably small fraction of the cost.




stand 01 AND stand 01 ORTHO

stand 02 AND stand 02 ORTHO

stand 03 AND stand 03 ORTHO

stand 04 AND stand 04 ORTHO

Stand 04 example illustration


It is important for you to understand that these configurations are not arbitrary. Try to identify the design intent behind each of these arrangements before making a decision. In other words, you must consider whether your needs would be better served by having more:

Horizontal planes

Vertical planes

Vertical planes at eye level

Horizontal planes at counter height

Horizontal planes at waist height

Horizontal planes at knee height


Consider the pros and cons of these features in relation to what you need to exhibit and the implications for the kind of interaction you want to have with the public. Think hard about the possible design opportunities each and every part of arrangement might afford you. I refer you to our discussions on the design toolkit.

When trying to decide I have always found that a good technique to use is to try to avoid beginning your sentences with “I like this one because…” but rather with “I think this arrangement is particularly suited to us because….”. You must force yourself to focus on the justification behind your decision.



You will be setting up your stands in collapsible gazebos in Kingston market square. All teams have the same space allocation of half a gazebo. You will need to arrive on time to help Kingstonfirst rangers erect the gazebos.

The stands are allocated on a first-come first-served basis. As well as the choice of stands the first teams on site also gets to choose (within reason) how they wish to orient their stand within the space. Be warned, being late can be very costly!



For the majority of you this will represent a major design challenge. Embrace it, and have fun.

You should think about the various elements that will make up your stand beside the boxes. Think in terms of what needs to be added and what needs to be taken away. You will be given plans of the various configurations which you can print out. You can use the printouts to flesh out your ideas by sketching directly onto the plans and annotating your sketches. Think carefully about the positioning of the various elements whether they are products, graphics, props, etc… Think about how you wish to apply any graphic elements to boxes.

Don’t forget: less is more!

You might find that picking a colour pallet will help you keep things under control. Pick no more than 3 colour/textures. You will probably have to accept that you will not be able to coat the exterior of the boxes completely. It’s OK! Use the cardboard as part of your scheme.

Please don’t forget that there will be compulsory elements such as Kingston University and Young Enterprise logos.



You will be given the opportunity to take the boxes away so that you may work on them prior to installation on site. Look after them. Don’t bend the cardboard as this will crease the card permanently. Number your boxes in your sketch and mark the actual boxes accordingly so that you will not get confused about their positioning.

Once you have finished with decorating your boxes you should pack them for transport to the site. I suggest coating them in some plastic sheeting (e.g. bin liners) to protect them against dirt/rain. Remember that getting boxes wet will destroy them!



Given that the lightweight nature of the boxes that make up the stands, some form of ballast is necessary to stabalise these structures.  Each team will need to bring with them at least 15 Litres of plastic bottles (preferably empty). The ideas being that empty bottles are lightweight, collapsible and therefore easy to carry to the site where they can be filled with water to weigh down the structures. This week at least we can ensure that you are all well hydrated!



8:00 Students and lecturers arrive; set up (I will be there 7:45 latest)

10:00 Teams start selling

11:00 Judges start judging

13:30 – 13:45 Judges announce winners: Best Product (£60), Best Stand (£60), Best Sales Team (£60), Best Company (£80)

17:00 Clear up

18:00 End


On the day, I will collect £10 from each team. This money will go towards cash prizes, awarded in 4 categories:

Best Product – £60 prize

Best Sales Team – £60 prize

Best Trade Stand – £60 prize

Best Overall Company – £80 prize

 All winners also receive Young Enterprise certificates.

Let’s smash it, troops!

Trade Fair next THURSDAY – Instructions!

Kingston University Young Enterprise Trade Fair

Kingston Business School Atrium

Thursday 28 January 


And the fun starts now:

On Thursday next week, 28 January,  you will be presenting your products to the public for the first time. The purpose of the trade fair – beyond the obvious – is to prepare you and build your confidence for the Kingston Market Square Trade Fair in March.

This trade fair is COMPULSORY for ALL students – 26 teams (undergraduate + postgraduate) will be participating in the trade fair. 

On the day, I will collect £10 from each team. The money will go towards cash prizes, awarded in 4 categories:

Best Product – £60 prize

Best Sales Team – £60 prize

Best Trade Stand – £60 prize

Best Overall Company – £80 prize


It will be a fun day with lots of learning to take on board, so make sure you prepare:

  • Have you got your product ready? Packaging (if applicable)? How will your customers take your product away? Have you made a team trip to assess and consider the implications of the venue?
  • Promote, promote, promote – what will you do between now and next week to let everyone know there is a trade fair going on? Where will you promote? How? To whom? Promoting your own business? Promoting the trade fair? Consider how MACE team effort could benefit you all. If you don’t promote – who will you sell to on the day?
  • Talk with mentors! Use their knowledge and experience…
  • How much is your product? Bring plenty of change… and a money box too. Who will look after the money? Make sure you are recording your sales and keeping your books in order. I will be recording your sales week by week – and the winning team will be announced just before the March Dragons’ Den.
  • On the day, be there on time – 10AM – as you need to set up. If you’re late and not already trading when our judges start their rounds, you are sabotaging yourself.
  • Don’t forget to be plain awesome and smile.



10:00 sharp Arrival, set up

10:30 Start selling

11:00 Judges start judging

13:30 – 13:45 Judges announce winners: Best Product (£60), Best Stand (£60), Best Sales Team (£60), Best Company (£80)

13:45 Clear up

14:00 End

Alternatively, you are welcome to stay to trade until 16:30.


Any questions? Please post them under this post as comments so that the whole class can learn from them. There’s no such thing as a stupid question, so ask away!