Attended the Fashion & Lifestyle Exhibition || Health & Fitness Expo for the first time the weekend at Event City Manchester run by Samia Ansari & Aisha Ansari of Ansari Goc LTD. It was between attending The Clothes Show Birmingham & The Fashion and Lifestyle Expo Manchester but after comparing the two and seeing Manchester as being much better for promotion & a different target area we trusted the organisers and decided to head up and attend.
I’ve never done anything to this scale before, usually keep everything low key & affordable without taking too much of a risk, After speaking to organisers and hearing Boohoo.com & Elle Magazine were in attendance it was a perfect opportunity and too good to miss as could really make a massive difference to the models I have on my books…. So we booked in!
Once we agreed to attend we asked about stock, how many people were attending? Would 200 tops be enough? Would 500 tops be enough? I was told they would all sell out within the first couple of hours by the organisers so we made sure we had extra stock ready for the mass of people!
Friday finally came and we arrived in Manchester after travelling through horrible conditions to find our space wasn’t what we expected.
We had actually travelled all the way to Manchester and paid out £2,000 for a piece of carpet, When asked what to do by organisers as we had no table, no rails as we had planned to have a rope going across the stand hanging off various items but there was no body to the stand, we was offered a table for £15.00 & a chair for £10.00 to borrow or we could go to Argos in the Trafford Centre. In the end we agreed to go out and buy furniture to make our stand more appealing, We headed over to the Trafford Centre to find the nearest Argos was actually in Salford 20 minutes away from the venue however the journey took just over 2 hours after trailing round various stores.
After setting up we drove all the way to home to Staffordshire which took over 2 hours making us get home at 1am, We packed a case and headed back out at 4am having just over 2 hours sleep. Upon arriving in Manchester everywhere was really quiet & our models arrived to share the stand with us over the weekend
By 5pm on Saturday most of the runway shows had been cancelled or delayed leaving visitors angry and complaining, I went into the organisers office with a parent of one of the models to offer help & support as we had more than enough people to help out with our stand, We offer support to aisha & samia for help with the runway, flyering, anything at all free of charge as we didn’t want to be surrounded by negative energy all weekend.. Samia & aisha was greatful for the support but we was then told not to worry as ELLE magazine & 10 Celebrity Guests were to attend on the Sunday and it was going to be way better than today’s experience.
After leaving the office many people had already packed away leaving empty spaces and the show being on till 8pm we decided also to write the day off and leave early as we trusted these people and everyone gets issues!
Sunday arrived and by 12pm there had been NO Footfall for the Fashion & Lifestyle Expo and surrounding stall holders began to get annoyed and start packing up despite this being on till 6pm. It then became clear Elle Magazine& Boohoo were never really going to attend neither were the other leading high street retailers, After getting no footfall from the stand we decided to flyer all of the chairs in the fashion show area to be greeted by angry guests asking why the show again was cancelled at 12pm, So again myself and one of the models parents went back into the office to see if we could help fix their disaster before everyone left & we lost £2,000 for the weekend. W e sent half of our team with leaflets to flyer the Trafford Centre and the other half to flyer outside the venue to bring in more crowds.
We offered Aisha & Samia to use our models for the runway show as the original agency could not keep to their promise, We offered promotional models to flyer the event, To speak to stall holders and put together outfits for the runway and help every stall holder get promotion.. We had solutions and they said ‘You paid by bank transfer nobody will get their money back, Elle Magazine cancelled they are based too far away, if you want to go then go we can offer you a free stand next year’. So that was that we couldn’t find an agreement and now they had the money it was clear that they didn’t really care. We went back to our stand to do model scouting & to talk to one of our franchise directors about upcoming work and left things at that.
A couple of minutes later in mid conversation with one of our franchise directors about an upcoming collaboration project I was taken back into the office with one of the models parents by Aisha. Once we were in the organisers office all staff, security and volunteers who were in the office at this time were kicked out, All the doors were locked and fire exits closed. We were asked to leave The Fashion & Lifestyle Expo as we wasn’t welcome or wanted. We then asked why we were being asked to leave as we would respect a vaild reason but we were told that we wasn’t allowed to talk to other exhibitors and we will be escorted off the premises (even though at this point we hadn’t spoken to anyone) and we stood there blankly as the whole situation was so random. Then out of nowhere Samia stood up and told me ‘I’m going to smash you f**cking face in” and had to be restrained by Aisha out of nowhere, we still hadn’t responded to the fact we were being escorted as we were in that much shock. Aisha then told us we would be escorted out. (We wasn't)
When arriving back to our stand we called 101 for advice and was put through direct to 999 as our safety was at risk, as we started packing away all our stock a group of people formed around the organisers office of Health & Fitness Expo in groups of atleast 50 to 100 banging on the door to be seen.
A small amount of exhibitors (36) managed to get their way into the organisers office and demand a refund for the stands they have been misssold.
We managed to capture this on video as they left the building.. (Queue photos on twitter by @josh_peers
Then the Fashion & Lifestyle Expo came together to complain and queued up outside the organisers office and things began to get a little bit heated after the organisers began abusing the exhibitors. Bobody-builders were then paid to protect the organisers as people were demanding answers.
The police then arrived in force and the exhibition was shut down & the organisers vanished. One of the organisers claimed to have some sort of panic attack and an ambulance was called to treat her, We was then told by police as the assault on me happened in the organisers office where there are no cameras there is no grounds to file a complaint! However one arrest was made following racial abuse and a fine was given.
Now as exhibitors we are all left in the dark, we probably won’t ever get a refund for the money we have lost and it’s been an emotionally draining experience. It has put me in an awful situation with my business as I invested way too much into attending this event after all the false advertising and promises. Aisha & Samia exploited SME's to their advantage and created false advertising and misrepresentation of the Fashion & Lifestyle Expo & The Heatlth & Fitness Expo and now are in hiding as many of us would like answers.
Throughout the whole experience i did not want a refund, abuse or a scene i wanted to offer my services FREE of charge to help stop this from happening however i am no longer willing to co-operate after being assulted and i am awaiting more advice to take the assult further.
Many exhibitions are working tirelessly to put things right and set up collaborations to create something positive out of this experience.
See the organisers response here:
Organiser Samia Ansari featured in the press-
Former England boss Steve McClaren cheats on his wife for a second time with the woman who also had an affair with Sven Goran Eriksson
For all media enquires contact:Chloe Avon – email@example.com (Exhibitor)
Madeline Morgan - firstname.lastname@example.org (Exhibitor)
Press Release Available on Request.
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