02 October 2013

Philofaxy London Meet Up - 27th/28th September 2013 - Part 1

This was a meet up with a difference. Originally, we had been invited to attend a private evening with Filofax UK at their Conduit Street store, this had been discussed months ago and a date was arranged and people had applied for the limited number of places. Sadly, events caught up with us and the Conduit Street store closure announcement put a stop to us being able to have the event at the shop.

However, with the foresight of Sharon at Filofax UK and in discussion with me, we quickly rearranged the evening and instead it was held at their offices in Burgess Hill. I can't thank Sharon enough for ensuring we were not be disappointed. On the contrary, when we saw the amount of effort that the whole team had put in to welcoming us to their offices at Burgess Hill, we were thrilled.

For those of you not familiar with the geography, Burgess Hill is about 40 miles south of London and about 10 miles north of Brighton on the south coast of England.

With only one flight per day from Poitiers to London Stansted for me, the timing of our visit had to be very carefully planned.

With almost regimental precision the troops, sorry I mean Philofaxy fans, assembled at Victoria railway station at 5pm on Friday, like a 'flash mob' appearing from all corners of the station to the prearranged meeting point. I then disappeared to the ticket office and came back with a stack of tickets that looked like a pack of cards!

We boarded the train and filled about a third of one of the coaches. It wasn't long before organisers were appearing out of bags and being shown around the carriage whilst other iPhone using passengers looked on with amusement.

It didn't seem to take us very long to get to Burgess Hill, we all trooped out of the station to be greeted by a couple of large taxis which took us to the Filofax office.

We had a big welcome from Sharon, the Head of Marketing Services, who showed us into the building where we picked up our name badges from reception and led us up in to a large conference room on the first floor, where the rest of the team greeted us.

The room had been laid out with a picture wall with a selection of pictures from recent blogger challenges, including my winning entry for the setting the summer scene challenge.

You will also notice a large selection of old catalogues on the shelf at the bottom of the photo, I'm looking in to ways we can collate their content to make them available in some sort of searchable format.

Continuing the heritage theme,  an arrangement of older organisers were also on display.

Yes, that is one of the limited edition 75 years anniversary duplex organisers in the wooden case, very nice too. I could have spent many minutes looking through all of these, but sadly there wasn't quite enough time available.

Then moving around the room we came to a wall with all of the current range on display in all colours and sizes. You will see those in some of the other photos.

Sharon then introduced members of her team who were present:
  • Lauren - eCommerce Manager Filofax UK
  • Kym  – Website Content Executive
  • Nike  – Marketing Services Manager
  • Julia  – New Product Development Director
  • Jess  – PR agency Account Director
As you can see from the photos, the atmosphere was very relaxed and informal with plenty of discussions and questions asked and being answered around the room and also in a brief open forum.

Some ideas and suggestions were made about how to enhance the much improved website which everyone present agreed was a big improvement over the old site.

Sharon gave us a brief update on developments since the change of ownership in the last few months, a lot of exciting things that we couldn't be told about just yet, but all very positive developments.

Small groups of people peered over Julia's shoulder to get a sneak preview of some design ideas for possible future products on her laptop.

I finally got to meet Kym and Jess who I am in regular contact with for new product press releases and photos and for submissions to the community area of the new website which Kym looks after. 

We also enjoyed some light refreshments and drinks, my champagne glass never seemed to get fully empty before it was topped up again. Funny how that happens!

Sharon suggested a group photo of us all at one end of the room, so I handed over the camera to her for this next photo.

Sadly, like all good things the evening had flown by and we had to bid farewell to our new friends at Filofax, but not before they gave us each a goodie bag.... after all we had been good...

There was lots of hands diving in to bags and lots of excitement to discover what was in each one... I discovered a Flex note book, a Flex cover, a mini Filofax pen, a few other goodies and a discount voucher to purchase some goods of our own choice off the Filofax website... I placed my order today...

Whilst we waited downstairs in reception for our taxis back to the station I started looking for souvenirs... !

Don't panic.... I was given the sign which was a nice memento of the evening.

Even waiting for the train back to London you can see organisers were still out and being shared..

So about 9 hours after leaving my home in France I finally said good night to everyone and went for a long sleep in my room in the Holiday Inn.

It had been quite an evening, I can't thank Sharon enough and all of her staff for making us so welcome and for such great hospitality. I believe they also enjoyed our visit as much as we did. Let us hope that this wasn't just a one-off and maybe we can do this again and maybe a bit longer next time too.    

So that was part 1... part 2 of this epic meet up will be along a little later with details of what we got up to on Saturday...


  1. A great post Steve and some fantastic photos as well.

  2. Wow, looks like a lot of fun. Great photos...

  3. It sounds like you all had a great time and how nice of the filofax staff to make the meet up such an event!

  4. Well done to Steve and the folks at Filofax for making a memorable evening. Everyone obviously enjoyed themselves. :)

  5. Gutted I wasn't able to go to this!!! Glad you all had a great time, what a wonderful opportunity to talk to the Filofax team.

  6. Wonderful, Steve. I wish I could have joined you all.

  7. Great post!!Oh,yes...we had a lot of fun!!!BUT...next time I will wear my sneakers ;o))

  8. Wow how fun! Thanks for sharing! Would have loved to join in on that adventure!

  9. Great post! Sad I couldn't be there, but your account of the day made me feel a bit like I was there. Great picture of you all! Glad you guys had a great trip.

  10. Great post -- what a fun day!! Lovely to see so many pictures!

  11. I wish I could have been there! What an amazing experience to go to Burgess Hill, meet the Filofax team, and see all those great organisers! Looks like a great turn out. Someday, I will get to experience it for myself too!!!

  12. Thanks Steve for arranging a fantastic Meet-Up. Your photos really captured the essence of the event. It was great to view all those products, meet the Filofax team, yourself & Philofaxy gang. I'm looking forward to the next London meet up ;-)

  13. Looks like a great time was had by all! Wish I could've been there too :)

  14. Looks like a lot of fun! Wish i could have been there--but it was great to connect names to faces!

  15. I'm so jealous! It looks like it was a lot of fun. Glad you all had such a great time!