A thirty foot dragon & laser-cut cakes - Vicky Video's visit to the UK Space Conference, Newport, Wales
This was my first ever space conference, and I'm still orbiting out in the Oort cloud a week after the event. I was accompanying Ray Stott of SpaceSpecialists, developing our new working relationship. The giddy high is only just subsiding, and my office is littered with souvenirs, posters, and business cards that I don't want to put away just yet.
I keep swiping through my photos and videos and scrolling LinkedIn to see images from the event, and myself and Ray were one of the last to leave the conference centre on the final day because I wanted to keep that rarefied space buzz going.
I've been doing local business marketing for twenty-two years, which involved helping shops, restaurants and hotels attract new customers. Although I'm very grateful for the work, and many, many free meals (ahh, the calorific life of a restaurant reviewer) the work wasn't challenging and I was getting restless.
I'd been reading a series of self-help books about the Law of Attraction and making money, and the central tenet in all was 'follow your bliss.' Do what you love and the rest will flow into place.
I've been hooked on space since I was old enough to cover my bedroom ceiling with glow up stars, much to the dismay of my mother, who complained they took three coats of paint to cover up after I left home for Uni.
So I pulled on my pressurised business suit, climbed into the cockpit...and took the bold decision to 'go into space...where no video blogger (to my knowledge) has gone before.'
After a bit of Googling about career opportunities in space, I was soon attending an ESA networking event in Manchester, under the wings of Concorde, hosted by 'globally ignored jazz singer' Alan Cross, ESA Business Applications UK Ambassador, North West and North Wales. Hell of a title, Alan, and one day I'll remember it in full.
During a guided tour of the plane, crammed into the tiny fuselage, not dissimilar to a washing machine with a thousand switches, I found myself sat next to a Mr Ray Stott, who apparently had the same ideologies as me when it came to marketing his training, recruitment and consultancy business with the almighty power of viral video.
A nuclear fusion of minds happened on board Concorde, and since then, myself and Ray have become close business partners.
In recent years, the song of space has been calling the UK ever-louder, with a massively thriving industry that is still not even cleared for take-off on the launch pad. It's still in its infancy. Now is the time to get in.
And I'm so grateful I decided to ditch the stagnant local marketing for a sector that's about to launch into the deepest blue, and never come back down.
Which is how I found myself cavorting under a thirty-foot high Welsh dragon, towering outside the brand new International Convention Centre, in Newport, South Wales. The UK Space Conference 2019 was the first event to be held in this vast, and beautiful new arena.
What a baptism. Joining thousands of other eager space cadets finally felt like coming home, and I floated round in Zero G for the entire duration of the event.
The surreal cosmic tone was set the moment you walked in. Roosting in the rafters of the towering lobby was Museum of the Moon: Luke Jerram's immense and perfect scale model – a visual impact that set the tone for three days of cosmic shenanigans.
Part two coming tomorrow...
Written by Vicky Video (Duncalf)
- Ray Stott - https://spacespecialists.com/