Custom Fabric Maps Unique to any Adventure

Unique to any adventure

We were selling unique designs but learnt a whole lot about export from DIT

“SplashMaps make custom maps unique to any adventure”, made an easy enough message to share with gift market customers who ponder Christmas 2018 at Spring Fair.

We were there to expand our UK sales, building upon our Trail, Tour and Riding maps and extending the whole idea to export markets in the USA, Italy, Germany, France and Switzerland.

5 days deprived of sun-light in the artificial conditions of the NEC and among 22 halls of gifts could turn anyone slightly bonkers.  But thanks to the Department for International Trade we were in great company.

Guerrilla Marketing?

Waistcoats were just part of the campaign

Guerrilla marketing covers a broad spectrum.  There’s no doubt in my mind that success at the show is in attention grabbing.  This goes way beyond a smart stand and an ad in the magazine.  In fact, due to all the late decisions on the stand, we were pretty much reliant upon Guerrilla marketing to boost our trade.

Dressing the part was important.  At any one time a SplashMaps waistcoat clad person would man the stand while another would refresh leaflets at the various coffee stands.  The waistcoats always attract interest and start conversations.  The ties and detailing on the cuff-links and buttons then goes on to delight and before you know it, you’re back at the stand with a bunch of appointments.


Guest of the DIT: Susan Hallam advised us on the US and British differences

There was learning a-plenty with a packed programme of talks and workshops geared toward exporting courtesy of the DIT.

With Emma whose Quirk game is available on Kickstarter now!

But more than this, we were 14 creative businesses from the South East, all with different experiences.  I learnt enough about others’ businesses that by the end of the week I was able to pick potential customers out of the crowds and drag the right ones to our neighbours.

Selling Map Gifts

Fixed maps and personalised ones are now an option for catalogue businesses

Our story is of 5 years defining completely new-to-market ideas for survival and the outdoors, then a pivot redefining SplashMaps as Map Gifts.  So many visitors to the stand had seen the Dragons’ Den appearance and some recollected the crowd funding. All of this made great starting points for conversations.

Our offer

Our offer was tailored to attract new and unique businesses and ride on the trend of customisation. Christmas had shown us our most popular formats, and this year it was the personalised Toob.  So, we pitched the price of exclusive custom map designs a lower than our standard popular destination maps.  The plan is to encourage more of the country to have their own unique SplashMaps available at key retailers in their own custom packaging and featuring their own stores.

Closing on the stand is much easier with a price list that highlights great deals on the most sellable lines.

For the first time we offered both a full price of existing products and an accurate price list for all size, fabric and format variations.  The result was a much more confident pitch from all on the stand and prospects and customers satisfied by what we had to offer.  The price list here:

Stock items for Spring Fair-2018_02_08

Non Standard and Special product prices 2018_02_02


The concept of washable, wearable practical maps is always growing; finding new markets is easier at events like Spring Fair!  By the end of the week we’d secured a number of new sales and prospects across catalogues, private galleries and museums. We now have the introductions we need in the overseas markets and plenty of inspiration for product and service development.  I’m looking forward to the rest of the training and services the Department for International Trade can offer!



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