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A World Book Day adventure in Munich

15th March 2017

Last month I asked our Organisers if I might be able to join them at a World Book Day event and immerse myself back in the magic of this very important and busy season.

My first response was from Nicky Powell, award-winning New Organiser and new Team Leader, who asked if I wanted to join her at a book fair in an international school in Munich. Within three hours of receiving her emails I'd booked my flights and accommodation - this was exactly the kind of event I was hoping attend,  with the added bonus of being able to learn more about 'how schools work' outside the UK. Nicky and her Mentor Susan Jane Alexiadis also added a team meeting to the itinerary so that I could meet their teams and have some valuable conversations about facebook, recruiting and 'building a school book fair culture'.

The book fair itself was text book. A perfect example of how to involve the school and, through their support and involvement, ensure that every child enjoyed the event. Themed around a pyjama day, even the staff were in their night attire. 

Nicky had promoted the fair superbly plus some parents had volunteered to help on the day.

We hadn't even unpacked our display and already the children were poring through our books with huge delight. Teachers brought their classes down to the fair in an orderly fashion (well, as orderly as primary-aged children can be when they're begging to be first down the stairs so as not to miss out on a book they had already spotted).

I cannot fault Nicky’s management of the event – she was perfectly set up to sell on the day as well as ready to take payment for extra orders (with a delivery date already agreed) or write up wish lists for mum or dad’s final approval. There were even some cunningly-used prize draw slips for those helpful parents and support staff who were asking just the right kinds of questions. :)

As I mentioned in my last monthly message, for all the wonderful and different ways Usborne Books at Home Organisers manage to put books into children's hands, there is nothing more special than being swamped by a gang of little ones as they dive onto your stand and clutch their new favourite book ever to their chest. 

I even confessed to feeling a bit emotional as our once-beautiful display rapidly depleted in scale and neatness with each book sold.

A celebratory evening at the Hofbräuhaus to congratulate ourselves on a truly rewarding day (over 3200 Euros in sales!) allowed us to continue conversations about English as an Additional Language and many other considerations regarding our schools business outside the UK. However so many similarities were evident in our team meeting the next day as talk turned to creating a book fair culture, managing a business page on facebook, recruiting and how to be an inspirational and copiable Mentor.

For me, this was one of the most exceptional trips I have made in recent years – connecting myself to what it is we (you) actually do and seeing first-hand the difference it makes (the school had one of the best stocked libraries I have seen in a long time and a teaching staff who ADORED Usborne & placed such value in what we offer - thanks to Nicky, Susan and Sharon, Nadja & Jacinta). 

And whilst I have many notebook pages of European ideas to work through, actually the most remarkable thing (and yet unsurprising thing I suppose) that I take from this adventure was that the confidence to put the right book into the right hands can change everything. And no international border can put a stop to that.

Remember – myself and other members of the USBAH team are always keen to attend more events (not just schools and not just in Germany) so please continue to send in your invitations. If we can, we will. Help us to support you better by letting us experience first-hand what it is that you love about Usborne.

Tags:world book day