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The Ultimate Lingerie Tradeshow Guide – What to Know about Visiting Tradeshows?

25 Jul

For a while now I have been thinking of putting up my own guide for visiting tradeshows – mainly as a blogger but if you are interested in visiting one as a guest too, there might be some interesting points in this post for you. Or, perhaps you just want an insight to what it is like to be a lingerie blogger visiting tradeshows! In my post I will be telling you about the two tradeshows I have visited so far, Moda in Birmigham and SIL in Paris – and telling you the tips and tricks of visiting your favourite brands and making connections with them. Let’s get on with it then! *Disclosure: this post was inspired by an old post created for the Bosom Bloggers (an online bra blogger group I am still part of) site, which has since gone down and is no longer available on the internet. However, these are merely my opinions and views on the tradeshow experience and thus this post is by no means a copy of the original Bosom Bloggers’ tradeshow post*

Tip # 1: Meet other bloggers, if possible  I started visiting lingerie tradeshows, mostly Moda in Birmingham NEC centre, in February 2014. I was living in UK as an exchange student and thought I had the perfect opportunity to go and see my fave brands exhibiting and after all, it was only a few hours in a train or even a bus from Liverpool to Brum. The first time I visited I was completely alone, a little bit hesitant and intimidated by the big brands but luckily, got to meet a couple of other bloggers as well, Becky and Cheryl from Invest in Your Chest. I had always admired these girls and was ecstatic to meet them in flesh finally! They also gave me the confidence boost to talk to brands without hesitation and they acted as a safety blanket when I talked to other industry professionals (such as editors of Lingerie Insight!) and just browsed the show.

After that one time I was hooked and wanted to come back for another round of beautiful lingerie, and yet again, I was looking for a partner in crime – but also a place to stay at. To be honest, I am usually poor as fuck and I cannot afford any fancy hotels which usually leads me to booking a cheap hostel or asking a friend for a couch. This is how I met the lovely Anna from Bras and Body Image! We belonged to the same bra blogger Facebook group and I noticed that she was studying in Birmingham University – so it suddenly occurred to me that if I was cheeky enough, I could probably ask if she would accommodate me for a couple of night. Well, the lovely person that Anna is, she agreed to the deal and since then we have seen each other every six months over fabulous lingerie, huge cocktails and delicious pub food. Anna is a true friend and who knew we would like all the same things: pinup dresses, Disney (we went to Disneyland together last January!), Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, food and wine.

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Bitches slaying it in Paris! We cute. 

Tip # 2: If you are a blogger, register for a press pass (in time!) – This is vitally important if you want to have the advantages of sitting in the front row of the runway, taking pics at the show and using the press lounge. The rules and advantages that come with the press pass differ from show to show, but it is very common that you won’t be able to take photographs without the press pass. If you have a blog, you are automatically entitled to register as press, you just need to have an active website for it and a reason to visit the show (eg previewing the collections and taking pics for blog posts). The press pass is free of charge, but if you don’t have a publication nor a lingerie business, you will have to register as a visitor which costs a bit. However, if you are a true lingerie/fashion enthusiast, it is not a big amount to pay and it truly is a great experience.

As said, registering as press has its own advantages – sometimes it’s the way people treat you with the pass (champagne and strawberries!), but there is also usually a free press lounge to use during your visit. What the press lounge includes is a whole different matter though as that differs from show to show; personally, I prefer the Moda press lounge as it is more quiet but also filled with tiny snacks, Cadbury’s chocolate and free wine. There is nothing like a pre-show nibble and a taste of cheap wine! At the SIL show however, there were only a few mini croissants and orange juice, which were still a nice extra when looking for a quick snack. There were also fancy computers ready to be used if you wanted to blog on-site – but personally I wouldn’t suggest that if you want to see the whole show in less than three days.

The way people treat you as press depends entirely on the brand though – some see press as some sort of royals who need extra attention, some treat them as parasites who try to spread their designs for bigger brands to steal (which is absolutely not true, stop being paranoid!). Every now and then (usually the French brands) deny us from photographing the collections but the worst is the chilly behaviour towards bloggers – so to save you from too much regret, don’t even bother to try and get an appointment with those brands. They simply don’t deserve your time.

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Tip # 3: Make a plan and set up appointments with the biggest brands – It’s super important to know which brands you want to see and which you may want to see if you have extra time. At the beginning of the show there will be people handing out floor plans and brand guides, which are handy when you are trying to figure out an order to go by and see the brands you like. However, I would suggest browsing through the tradeshow website long before the show and trying to make a list of interesting brands before you actually enter the exhibition halls. This way you can save time and even make appointments in time for the show.

Email the biggest brands at least (eg Panache, Lepel and Gossard) and try to set up a meeting so you will be sure to talk to the brand reps about the collections. Many brands are super busy and with a big collection you will need time from half an hour to a full hour to review the whole collection and take pics of the models. Try to plan the meetings at a convenient time too, so not too early in the morning (if your train is late) or too close to the runway shows, so you can make it to them as well. Sitting at the front row of the runway is seriously rad even in a small show, so I strongly suggest you won’t miss that experience!

Tip # 4: Dress to impress, be polite and show real interest – Giving a good first impression is always important. I know in the first Bosom Bloggers blog post about tradeshows the writer says not to worry about your outfit as the exhibitors are far more interested in impressing the buyer, but I need to disagree here. Your outfit is something that catches the eye and also the exhibitors’ attention, so I wouldn’t overlook that. Two pinup girls browsing around the show is a far more interesting sight than two casual press members dressed in jeans and t-shirts! However, don’t gamble on your comfort too much – the tradeshow days are long and sweaty so don’t wear anything too thick or long-sleeved even in the winter as the exhibition halls get pretty warm throughout the day. Also, invest in comfy yet nice-looking shoes that will go with any outfit. You will be walking, A LOT.

In addition to looking sharp, I need to address something that may be obvious to some: shake people’s hands firmly, make eye contact and smile. Don’t spare your kind words on the collections! I don’t mean you need to be all brown-nosed and suck up to people, but if you really like something, say it out loud. It makes a good impression and will make people remember you as a nice blogger, not someone who is stuck up and just wants free stuff. However, if someone tells you to straight up write about their brand, you are definitely allowed to suggest a product review so that both of  you win. You don’t owe free blog coverage to anyone!

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Tip # 5: Load your camera batteries in time and have spare SD cards – This is something that Anna forgets at times, haha! But seriously, you need to have a full battery and a BIIIIG SD card for your camera as there will be pics galore even after just one day. On average, I take around 700 pics at the show in one single day, which is a lot. The catwalk show alone takes a huge slot in my SD card as I take multiple pics of each “outfit” and want to make sure the models look nice in the pics. Also be aware of you camera settings; the lighting in the tradeshow halls may not be the best and you may want to use manual settings because of that. I just learned to use mine, so I hope to take better pics next time!

Take too many pics rather than too few – you will regret not photographing that one set when you get back home! Also remember to take selfies and pics of other fun stuff so you will have some memories from the show other than just pretty undies.

Tip # 6: Take notes – This is my vice – I never remember to take a notebook and then I forget important stuff I should have written in my blog posts. This is something I will correct this time and I will be sure to take a notebook and pen with me to save all the important little details for you, my dear readers! Anna always takes notes and thus she comes up with more detailed Moda posts than mine when I concentrate purely on “ooh isn’t this pretty” sorts of things, haha! What is most important is to write down any new changes with the styles or new innovations the brands has come up with, so your readers will know what to expect from the upcoming season.

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Tip # 7: Hand business cards out like a mad man – First of all, get yourself a big pile of business cards that represent you and your blog the best. I still have business cards from autumn 2014 but they are pretty and do the job well. This is first and foremost a way for people to remember you – so design a card of your own with a pic/logo that can instantly be attached to you. I personally have a pinup-y pic of me with a subtle bra peek somewhere in there, but not a full-on lingerie pic as that would be too much for my taste at least. I hand them out to everyone new I meet at the tradeshow and sometimes to old friends as well, just as a reminder. They have been pretty effective so far – just remember to put your blog address and contact details on it so you can be found easily! Also, don’t forget to take part in all the post-show shenanigans, as those are great places to spread the word too in an atmosphere that is not too official (plus, MORE FREE WINE).

Tip # 8: Remember to email some of the brands after the show – So you have seen the show, enjoyed the champagne and strawberries, and you camera SD is full of great pics of your favourite ensembles. Don’t leave it that way and just post about the collections randomly. I would suggest emailing some of your favourite brands and thanking them for seeing you and showing you through the collection. They will appreciate it and thus be in touch with you when the time comes – perhaps they remember you raving about a certain set and will send it your way. Who knows! Keeping in touch with the brands is a crucial part of being a blogger and after they have put a face on your blog, it is so much easier to keep the conversation going.

Have you been to a lingerie tradeshow before? How did you like it? If not, are you planning to attend one sometime in the future? The next shows are happening on July 31st- August 2nd at CurveNY (New York), August 15th- 17th at CurveNV (Las Vegas) and August 7th-9th at Moda UK (Birmingham). If you are intrigued, please take the plunge and browse the show – you won’t regret it!

2COP Is Turning 3! – Signature by After Eden Giveaway

14 Feb

My last giveaway is co-hosted with another new acquaintance on the lingerie front is Signature by After Eden. I was very excited to get to introduce them to you here at the blog a few months ago and now I am even more excited to let you know that there is a chance for you to win some of their lovely lingerie! I have to note though that is giveaway is more for my fuller figured ladies – the Signature size range is 65-100 D-G in EU sizes so 30-44 D-F in UK sizes. The 65 bands are rare but they do have some so even if you are more petite, feel free to enter. Also, you can always enter for a friend if you cannot fit into their size range yourself 🙂 Signature is generously gifting THREE sets of lingerie so there will be three different winners drawn to win a complementary lingerie. How cool is that?!

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The prize is subject to availability. All giveaways are international and the winners will be contacted by email after the giveaway closes on the leap day, 12:oo GMT. Please check your spam folder in case you won! If my email isn’t replied after one week from contacting you, a new winner will be drawn. The link to the Rafflecopter widget is down below – please follow the instructions to enter!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b3aac76b16/?

Thank you so much for reading my blog and good luck in the raffle! xx

2COP Is Turning 3! – Playful Promises Giveaway

14 Feb

One of my new favourite full-bust brands is Playful Promises. The brand itself is not a new gal on the block but they came out with their first up to G-cup collection just in last November. I am loving the aesthetics and as it was one of the most talked about collection launches last autumn, I thought about asking Anna if they would like to give away one their DD+ sets. And she said yes! Also, PP has now added the FF-cups to their size range, meaning the range will now run much more true-to-size – how exciting! Playful Promises is giving away one of their Cordelia sets in the beautiful Absinthe colourway.

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The prize is subject to availability. All giveaways are international and the winners will be contacted by email after the giveaway closes on the leap day, 12:oo GMT. Please check your spam folder in case you won! If my email isn’t replied after one week from contacting you, a new winner will be drawn. The link to the Rafflecopter widget is down below – please follow the instructions to enter!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b3aac76b15/?

Good luck! (PSST! The link to my Facebook page has now been corrected, so please go and put that entry in with the previous giveaways as well! So sorry about that.) xx

2COP Is Turning 3! – Tutti Rouge Giveaway

14 Feb

Tutti Rouge is one of those brands that always manages to come up with the most fantastic colourways and unique prints – it’s a dream for a bubbly life-loving fuller-busted pinup like myself! Tutti Rouge was also the first invidual brand to have faith in me and send me a set to review – which I will always cherish as a huge honour. I have also been very impressed with the detailing and innovation behind their designs season after season, and I am happy to announce that Tutti Rouge has agreed to gift one set of their beautiful lingerie to a lucky reader.

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The prize is subject to availability. All giveaways are international and the winners will be contacted by email after the giveaway closes on the leap day, 12:oo GMT. Please check your spam folder in case you won! If my email isn’t replied after one week from contacting you, a new winner will be drawn. The link to the Rafflecopter widget is down below – please follow the instructions to enter!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b3aac76b14/?

Good luck, lovelies! xx

2COP Is Turning 3 -Cleo by Panache Giveaway

14 Feb

Another one of 2COP’s big supporter’s along these 3 years has been Panache. Panache is a massive British D+ (which actually now serves B-C -cup ladies as well!) brand that creates something for everyone – there is the classic mother line of Panache, then the sultry Panache Black, their gorgeous plus size range Sculptresse and last but definitely not least the hip and young Cleo by Panache. Cleo has always been a part of my bradrobe, usually in a form of the perfect-fitting cult bra Marcie. Today Cleo is gifting a set from their SS16 collection to one lucky 2COP reader!

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The prize is subject to availability. All giveaways are international and the winners will be contacted by email after the giveaway closes on the leap day, 12:oo GMT. Please check your spam folder in case you won! If my email isn’t replied after one week from contacting you, a new winner will be drawn. The link to the Rafflecopter widget is down below – please follow the instructions to enter!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b3aac76b13/?

Good luck! I have my fingers crossed for you. xx

2COP Is Turning 3! + Curvy Kate Giveaway

14 Feb

Hi everyone and happy Valentine’s Day! I hope everyone is enjoying themselves and having a great day loving their friends, spouses, pets and themselves! Just remember to show your love to someone 😉 I decided to show some love to you my dear readers (in addition treating myself for some new shoes, OH YAS!) and hold my annual blogiversary giveaways now when you are already (hopefully) drowning in gifts. And if you are not, let’s cross some fingers that you will win some now! Also, I really want to thank all of you for sticking along and making this my dearest hobby yet – I really do love you all for that.

My first prize will be courtesy of Curvy Kate – an all time 2COP favourite that has been a big stepping stone brand on my way in the full bust world, in fact the first one (as some of you already know). Curvy Kate offers an amazing selection of both very sexy and everyday girly styles at an affordable price – they are the brand so many young D+ girls start with an thus hold a very special place in my heart as well.

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Curvy Kate has generously promised to gift one lucky reader a set from their SS16 collection. The prize is subject to availability. All giveaways are international and the winners will be contacted by email after the giveaway closes on the leap day, 12:oo GMT. Please check your spam folder in case you won! If my email isn’t replied after one week from contacting you, a new winner will be drawn. The link to the Rafflecopter widget is down below – please follow the instructions to enter!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b3aac76b12/?

Good luck everyone and again, may you have the best of Valentine’s Days yet (I sure do!) ❤

#NotForYourPleasure – Fighting against Rape Culture

31 Jan

So, to be honest, I really don’t know how to start this whole post. It’s a topic that has been going around in the wonderful (and as you may notice when you keep reading, not so wonderful) world of internet. This January seems to be the month when people have started to speak up about sexual assault and violence, especially on the internet and social media, so after talking about the topic for a while, me and Charlotte from CurvyGirlThin (click to read her brilliant post!) came up with a idea of a mutual hashtag for this conversation – enter #NotForYourPleasure. I have to give credit to a few other bloggers though who spoke up before us – the first ones to post about this alarming phenomenon were Leah Shanks, Rolls & Curves, Rachel BeeGee and where I initially found the convo, Le Curvy Kitten. I also had Charlotte asking me for a quote for her piece on the matter, and we brainstormed together the hashtag to go with our posts – to say, this is not okay and we should not be putting up with this.

I started lingerie blogging pretty much three years ago; I was 20 years old, kinda naive and wanted to help women to find their right bra size and to give them an array of options when it came to well-fitting DD+ bras. Little did I know what it actually meant to model for your very own tiny little blog in your undies. At first, I did photograph my bras with a top on because I was so afraid what people might say about me – I knew slut shaming was a big thing and as someone still finding her way out in the world, I did not want to put myself out there too much. At some point though, I was left with a choice – would I be giving my blog my all or leaving it to what it was, my own little place in the internet. I have always been ambitious and when my life turned upside down about two and half years ago, I decided I would take the plunge and not care what other people might think about me.

I would be lying if I said I had encountered the same amount of sexual harassment in my three year of blogging as the ladies that came out with the matter about a week ago – I haven’t got rape threats, I haven’t received dick picks and the creepy messages have been far and few between. But it doesn’t mean that my few experiences don’t matter – I still have experienced my body and my blog being sexualised on a regular basis, whether it’d be porn-filled Twitter accounts following me or men emailing me about their fetishes – even women emailing to me about their lingerie fetishes! I have had my blog linked to a public online forum where the whole point of the conversation was to drool and wank over lingerie bloggers and try to peek their nipples through a see-through bra. I have had people impersonating me online, on Facebook in fact, using my bra pics in their profile and using it to do God knows what. So I have definitely had my fair share of harassment.

The thing that really baffles me all the time while encountering these problems is that WHY do people choose to target women in lingerie or even fully-clothed as something (yap, something, not someone) that are there for their pleasure and even think that we would be glad to receive such attention? There is ACTUAL porn online, there are cam girls, there are people who strip butt-naked on the internet either for money or for fun/ their own sexual satisfaction and I personally feel it’s pretty easy to tell if someone enjoys certain kind of attention or not(for example you can be pretty sure that on a porn site, the person on a web cam wants to be there or at least gets some money for it). But then again, these people who assault and harass us are not just looking for porn – they are looking to use their power over us, to use our vulnerability to violate us for their own pleasure. Because they are usually just pure dickheads and/or sadists who want to push their own “masculine power” and fantasies over us. Because, they simply can.

I have heard countless times that rape culture does not exist. It makes me so frustrated not only because these people shut their ears and eyes from what’s happening around them, but also belittle our experience as women who face these problems EVERY SINGLE DAY. If it’s not online, it’s there on the streets. It’s the feeling of not being able to look someone in the eyes, because you are worrying about giving them a wrong signal. And it’s so wrong! Cause no matter if I looked down or winked at you on the street, there is no way anything I do is an “invitation” unless I say that I actually want something sexual with you. Same applies to clothing: whether I am online or offline, wearing a burka or a lingerie, it does not say anything about my wants or sexual desires – I have a mouth for speaking, I don’t need clothes for it.

I don’t only encounter harassment online because of being a lingerie blogger – I am always hesitant to mention my blogging niche, especially to guys, as it usually gains some kind of an unwanted reaction. Finnish people are mostly quite chill about it – that’s how our culture is, we try not to show our emotions or reactions too much to other people – but as I lived in UK, I really felt some men found it easier to push my boundaries as I had already put myself out there in a way that is commonly seen as “sexual”. I am also terrible in uncomfortable situations like that – I try to laugh it off even though I am boiling inside. Some might say that I am doing a disservice to myself by not saying anything to those douchebags, but if you are a woman and have experienced anything like this, you know that it is also an issue of safety. Laughing it off is kind of self defence that is sometimes crucial when you don’t know if the harassment and/or assault is going to get worse after saying something negative to the person harassing you.

I am tired of being scared anymore. I am tired of people saying some girls “are just asking for it”. Cause well, we literally DIDN’T ask for it. People have words for expressing their desires and not me nor any of my lingerie blogger friends have ever put up a dating ad on our blogs or social media. None of us have said, yes please, send me dick pics and talk dirty to me. Wearing lingerie online does not say anything about us. Not even that we have a thick skin and can take the bullshit that comes with our beloved hobby. I could write a whole post about lingerie not even being inherently sexy or sex-related but that is a whole another topic, which is eg already addressed on the Lingerie Addict. Please read that article if you think otherwise.

If you feel like taking part in this conversation and telling about your experiences with sexual harassment and assault, especially online, we will be using the hashtag #NotForYourPleasure on social media from now on. Also, feel free to write a blog post of your own and leave a link down below in the comments so I can check your post out and promote it on social media. All experiences are valuable and need to be heard so we can tackle this problem so many women encounter on a daily basis!

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