Platinum van robbery almost jeopardises OT Show grand unveiling
An extremely unlucky van robbery on Monday 19th November almost scuppered Yorkshire-based Platinum Stairlifts’ grand unveiling of its new ‘Ultimate Stairlift’ at this year’s OT Show, resulting in the loss of an entire exhibition stand.
For many in the industry, preparing for and exhibiting at industry exhibitions can be demanding affairs, however, for Platinum Stairlifts, the stress was increased ten-fold when its van, filled with all of its exhibition supplies, was stolen the night before setup.
Speaking with Platinum Stairlift’s Sales and Marketing Director Mark McNulty and Marketing Executive Danny Greenwood at the OT Show, the pair recounted the unfortunate and bizarre event to THIIS.
“We have developed a new product which we have put out and proven in the market called the ‘Ultimate’ stairlift. The idea was to unveil it at the OT Show and start generating awareness amongst the OTs, so we started a teaser campaign and really invested in the show, including buying a new exhibition stand for £10,000, to really make it look fantastic” explained Mark.
“We were running on tight deadlines and on Monday afternoon, we built up the new stand to test it and it looked great. We dismantled everything and put it away in the van, ready to drive down to the show on Tuesday and Danny took the van home and parked it outside his house so he could leave early to get to the NEC for setup.”
Whilst parked outside the marketing executive’s home, however, the TF Smiths van (license plate DX63 RGU) was stolen.
“At around half seven, my partner went to take the dog for a walk and it was there. I looked outside at 11:10pm at it was gone!” said Danny.
“Disappeared! I had bought a padlock for it and checked it three times to make sure it was secure because I was a bit paranoid about somebody breaking into it.
“We’ve informed the police and waiting to see how the investigation develops.”
As well as Platinum Stairlift’s new stand, the van also contained two of the company’s new stairlifts – including the rails, the carriages and the seats – a MacBook, marketing materials including literature and Platinum shirts, a new SLR camera and Danny’s change of clothes for the show.
Despite the disastrous news and faced with the prospect of having nothing to exhibit, Mark praised the resilience of his colleagues who worked tirelessly to put something together for the show.
“What has been fantastic is how the team pulled together on Tuesday to create the stand we have today,” he commented.
“On Tuesday morning, we thought, ‘what do we do because we have to take something?’ So we made some new rails to demonstrate the new stairlifts, left the office in the afternoon, arrived at the NEC at 6pm and worked non-stop until 8pm when we had to leave.
‘Considering the situation, it hasn’t been a complete disaster. We managed to put something together and look presentable and the team have been brilliant. Plus, if nothing else, it’s an interesting story to tell!
Taking place on the 21st and 22nd of November at the NEC, the OT Show and Therapy Expo brings healthcare professionals from across the UK to discover new solutions for clients and attend numerous educational, CPD-accredited seminars.
The company is urging anybody with information relating to the van or its contents to report to the West Yorkshire Police – Keighley.
See Platinum Stairlifts on stand E54 at the OT Show