Step Inside a World of Stories - the London Edition
26th March 2020
On Wednesday 11th March, we celebrated the winners of the London edition of our Step Inside a World of Stories incentive with a fabulous day at Usborne Publishing in London.
A huge congratulations to Mary Cusens, Alison Faulkner-Luke, Natalie Hilton, Katy O'Reilly and Sarah Singleton, who got their 2020 off to a flying start by achieving their personal sales bonus (£1,200 or more of personal sales) in January, earning entry into our prize draw.
Despite current events meaning that we couldn't spend our day at the 2020 London Book Fair as planned, we certainly still delivered on our promise of rewarding our Achievers with the opportunity to step inside a world of stories...
Our day began with our Achievers doing just that, as they met Usborne's Publishing Director, Jenny Tyler. The morning's round-table style meant that the enthusiasm in the room was infectious – not only were our Organisers transfixed by Jenny's many wonderful stories and anecdotes, but Jenny was also keen to hear from them about their experiences of bookselling at their events. After all, our community of Organisers are Usborne's "secret weapon", spreading the shared mission that children need books from the very beginning!
Before we knew it, it was time for lunch – and one more surprise for our Achievers – when we were joined for three delicious courses at the Bleeding Heart Restaurant by none other than Peter Usborne himself!
Peter also joined us for our afternoon of celebrations, as we returned to his office to brainstorm new title ideas with Jenny. The bookshelf-lined walls clearly inspired our discussions – we'd barely had chance to take a seat before ideas started flying around the table from all sides! Our Achievers reflected on the demand they have experienced in their own businesses to provide some invaluable insights into market trends.
As an extra-special treat, Jenny also gave Mary, Natalie, Katy and Sarah an exclusive first glimpse at some very exciting new titles in various stages of development – the cherry on top of a day filled with wonderful books, and inspiration for the next chapters of our Achievers' own Usborne stories.
It's wonderful to see the impact that these incentives have on Organisers and their businesses - we're frequently inspired by their motivation and drive as they challenge theselves to meet the criteria for qualification and achieve incredible things along the way.
While the world's current climate means that we haven't yet been able to celebrate the Achievers of the Italian edition of the Step Inside a World of Stories incentive, or the Achievers of the 2019 Achievement Awards and Travel Incentive, as planned, we can't wait to rectify this and celebrate together once it is again safe to do so.
What were our Achievers' highlights?
"It was an amazing, fabulous day that I felt very privileged to be part of – entering Usborne HQ and seeing all the books and artwork was a real 'wow' moment. The highlight of the day was undoubtedly meeting Peter Usborne himself. The group of us brainstorming ideas for new titles just stands out for me!" - Mary Cusens
"What a day! It gave me such a great insight into the many different aspects of Usborne Publishing. This has allowed me to feedback to my amazing team – I want everyone to experience the same buzz! Seeing Peter's reaction when I responded "Yes, definitely!" to his question of "Do you think we ARE making a difference in schools?" will live with me forever!
I really did come away with a spring in my step. Thank you for the best day ever – it was definitely my top Usborne highlight so far!" - Sarah Singleton
How did our Achievers ensure that their names were entered into the prize draw?
"I carefully restocked the titles I needed after Christmas and made full use of the January sale! I always hold my own home sale and cake day in January, and also visit some of my local toddler groups to give them the opportunity to grab a bargain. Finally, one of my regular Ready, Steady, Reads was moved to January from the end of last year, and I managed to get it finished by the end of the month. I was still surprised to have my name pulled from the draw!" - Mary Cusens