Off the top of my head, I think it was about 20 years ago since I was asked to operate a Jetpack at an exhibition at the NEC on behalf of Nestle. I was working full time, but thought the idea of wandering around with a backpack coffee dispenser sounded like it would be quite entertaining.
There were about 10 operators altogether and one lady whose role it was to oversee everything at the base station. She would fill the tanks with Nescafe, pressurise them and help the operators put on their Jetpacks and made sure they were comfortable before we set off. Being only 5’ 1” I was the smallest of all the operators and remember being pleased that I’d brought my heels with me!
I was surprised at how easy the coffee backpack was to carry because the hip strap meant that the weight was on my hips and not putting pressure on my back and pulling me over!
For our part, we were to mingle amongst the members of the public and give out cups of hot coffee. Other exhibitors would ask for a cup and in return would give out free samples of whatever they were promoting.
Wearing a bright red coffee dispenser on our back with Nescafe branding across the back and also the front Serving Pouch brought lots of attention. People were so friendly and chatty and I lost track of the amount of times I was stopped and asked how everything worked. We were all kept very busy and it was great fun.
When I would go back to the base station to have the tank filled with fresh coffee, I would chat with the other operators and compare comments we’d received throughout the day. For me, I think the winning one was a couple of men singing the Ghostbusters song every time they saw me.
I still like to put on a backpack coffee dispenser and serve tea, hot chocolate and coffee. The general public love the fact that they don’t have to queue to get a drink and, for me, it’s always good fun and a great way of looking for possible improvements to our products.