The National Running Show 2021
The Secret Whispers Team have had an amazing weekend at Farnborough International for the National Running Show South. We are all absolutely shattered but it really was amazing fun and so good to get back out and talk to women and empower them to take control of their own health.
Many people were curious and interested in us, our Kegel Weights and our CupIT’s which is brilliant! We love to speak to curious people and explain all about us, what we do and what we stand for and of course about our fabulous products. As well as curious show visitors, we also got the chance to speak to some of the show's VIP celebrity guests, but more on that later...
All ready to go at Secret Whispers HQ we set off in the van, loaded full of goodies for the stand and of course plenty of Kegel Kits and CupIT’s ready to head off to their new homes. We made good time and arrived at Farnborough Exhibition Centre ready to get cracking on the stand. It’s so interesting to see the behind the scenes of large scale events like this, hundreds of people running around like little ants putting up stands and laying down carpet.
After a couple of productive hours the stand was up and looking fabulous ready for the following day. We headed to our hotel home for the weekend for a bit of rest and recuperation before the busy weekend ahead
Up and raring to go we had a team talk over breakfast then we were off in the van, heading to the Exhibition centre ready to hello all those smiling faces. A few last minute bits and bobs to sort on the stand then the doors opened and show visitors began to flood in.
Our stand was such a good position in the show! Right up by the Inspiration Stage where lot’s of great speakers (myself included ) got up and shared their wisdom throughout the weekend. We were also right next to the travelator (picture below) which was good fun watching people try and get to the top. One of our favourite speakers of the day was the wonderful Julie Creffield with Too Fat to Run. Julie is a bundle of positivity and her blog, The Fat Girls Guide to Running is such a warm and supportive place.
We spoke to so many brave women, some of whom we’re so relieved to actually share about their troubles after keeping it to themselves for such a long time. “I’ve never seen anything like this before!” was something we heard a lot this weekend. After a great day of sales, chatting to customers and watching the speakers on the Inspiration Stage we packed up the stand and headed back to our hotel home. After being fed and watered, we bedded down for another big day.
Sunday was an even bigger day than Saturday because I was up on the Inspiration Stage in the afternoon on the ‘Women’s Health in Running’ panel, the first ever of it’s kind at the National Running Show, so I was feeling the pressure a little!
We readied ourselves for the day again then began greeting and chatting to the show's visitors. It really is so comforting to know that you can be a listening ear to these women and their problems, some of whom have never told another soul of their struggles with pelvic floor weakness, leakage or prolapse. We also spoke to many men at the show, some of whom we’re curious partners who came with their wives and girlfriends to the stand, others who were there alone and came to take leaflets and kits home to their partners.
At 1:30 I was up on the Inspiration Stage with an amazing panel of women Jude Palmer (look her up, she's one crazy hard running woman), Emma Brockwell (a fabulous women's health physio and runs an all women's running club, is an author and has a great podcast) Dr Amal Hassan (sports and exercise Medicine Consultant... A lovely woman who you need to look up).
We talked about all the questions women have... "Is it just me who leaks when they run?", "Am I the only one in my mummy group who is leaking?", "Is this Normal?" “Exercise after pregnancy?” These conversations are needed. Last time I was at the National Running Show, they found out how massive bladder leaks are to many women and how many give up running because of it. Then I finally met the wonderful amazing woman Maria Elliott who is the founder of The Mummy MOT in person and loves my Secret Whispers Kegel Kit.
Another highlight of the day was that I met Jo Pavey MBE again. She is a British long-distance runner and a World, European and Commonwealth medallist. A fabulous woman who really inspires me and so down to earth. She was the host of the show this year along with Danny Bent (he did say that what I was doing was very interesting too) Jo Pavey said to me - "Congratulations Julie. I've loved watching your business grow. You've done so well. Love what you're doing" (YES, she has her Secret Whispers Kegel Kit). I almost fainted...Praise from Jo Pavey! Last time I followed her till I could eventually speak to her. It took a long long time But if anything I am patient and persistent.
Then before I knew it, it was 5pm and the show was all over. Do you remember what I said about the hundreds of people setting up like little ants? Well they take it down much quicker than they put it up! By the time we left they were well on their way to being done. Really is so interesting to see how it’s all done. The van was all packed up and we began our journey home. A little less energetic than on the way there.
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