Press trip to Amsterdam
Earlier this week I attended, along with seven other UK journalists, a press trip to Amsterdam so that I could meet some of the driving force behind one of the most innovative baby and child transport companies ever, and learn more about their new arrival.
Let’s get one thing straight, Bugaboo are like pushchair royalty. In fact, earlier today at a meeting in Brighton it felt like I was sitting in a metaphorical ‘bee hive,’ with Bees all over the place. Red ones, blue ones, black ones and even a pink one. It’s all about Bees, Cameleons, Gekos and Frogs when you enter the world of Bugaboo. And come spring, they’ll be adding one more string to their bow in the form of a Donkey. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s time to check out brand Bugaboo.
The Bugaboo company was founded by Max Barenbrug, a father and design student from Amsterdam who spent 15 years perfecting their flagship product the Cameleon. After he graduated he brought to market what was an earlier version of this unique pushchair, named the Frog. It was later modified into the Geko and then most recently adapted into the popular pushchair named the Cameleon. Interestingly enough, Bugaboo employ over 800 people worldwide, yet only sell two pushchair products (the Bee and the Cameleon.)
At the restaurant
The latest project that the company is set to launch is the Donkey, a convertible pushchair that’s a mono, duo or twin. It’s unique selling point being that with the click of a few white buttons it can go from carrying one child and your shopping to two children of different or the same ages. The Donkey has been carefully designed to carry “kids, kids and goods.”
Here’s a few reasons why the Donkey is set to big BIG in 2011:
- It’s the only pushchair that you ever need to own as it can convert into a side by side double to use for when your next child arrives.
- It’s the slimmest, luxury side by side pushchair on the market (74cm wide)
- It can carry one or two bassinets (for 0-6 mths) or seats (6 mths – 4 yrs) in any combination of forward or rear facing positions.
- It’s the only pushchair on the market that can take two car seats side by side
- It can turn back into a mono pushchair in the matter of a few seconds and is the width of a Cameleon.
- You can carry more shopping than in the Cameleon and access it from standing position.
- You can fold it without having to remove any bassinet / seat units if you don’t want.
- It can take a third child with a wheel board.
Aside from being one of the first in the UK to test drive the Donkey and be given a full workshop on its functions, Bugaboo had planned a great trip for us. Some of it I can’t be reveal until March, but here’s what I can say…
I’m trying out the Donkey for the first time, it’s in Duo mode, but you can’t really see the other seat because it’s hiding behind the bassinet
We stayed in the famous Lloyd hotel
The hotel is located in the heart of the trendy Eastern Docklands, just a five minute tram ride from Central Station, with views over the water and a beautiful South-facing terrace. Each room is different and some even have a swing!
Here was my room with the flower power carpet
We dined in the heart of Amsterdam
To get a taste of the culture, we dined at an organic restaurant that catered brilliantly for vegans! The food was fantastic. Bugaboo reserved the entire place for the 6 course meal, where we mingled with the team and also other journalists from the USA, Spain and Amsterdam. We enjoyed insights from the CEO, chief designers and the marketing director. Unfortunately the founder, Max, was ill and couldn’t attend. The Bugaboo team took it in turns to rotate tables.
We visited Bugaboo HQ
It was a pleasure to be invited along to where all the magic happens. The building resembles the colour scheme of their black and off white cameleon! It had lovely interior which was brightly coloured and modern. We caught a glimpse of the new fabrics for the Cameleon and Bee before being introduced to the Donkey for the first time.
Me with the Bee and Donkey Chief Designers and the CEO of Bugaboo
Aernout Dijkstra-Hellinga, Chief Designer, introducing us to the concept and telling us how the Donkey came about
Some of the international journalists at Bugaboo HQ
We attended the Bugaboo International Press Day in the centre of the city
It was amazing; the theme was white so they put on a spread of white food. I did some interviews and learnt more about how the Donkey works. We were presented press packs that were tucked neatly inside Bugaboo Bags. They are very kindly arranging me a Bugaboo canvas bag as I don’t wear leather.
I had a whistle stop tour of Amsterdam on foot
The UK Manager took me and one of the other journalists on a quick tour of the city, which was interesting to say the least. I’ve not been to Amsterdam before so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. It was good to get out and see some of our surroundings. The thing with press trips are that you could literally be in any country in the world and not see any of the culture if you don’t get to sneak out.
The company was great
I was surrounded by lovely people. The other journalists were fun and Gemma and Simon who arranged this trip were excellent hosts making sure that we were in the right place at the right time. The Bugaboo team were very warm and welcoming too.
The flights were hassle free and quick – thank god!
At about an hour each way, the flights were speedy. It was my first time leaving the country without Leo, so I’m pleased that I didn’t feel too far away. I’m going on a press trip in March and will be taking Leo with me. You’ll hear why very soon…
Check out my personal review of the Donkey, also coming soon…