the show summary

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Don on 24-09-2007

Wow!  The show was an incredible event.  Six months of planning and organizing paid off in a big way with our consumer products show last Friday.  We had over 345 people in attendance and so far the feedback I’ve received from the customers and prospects has been overwhelmingly positive with praises and accolades with everyone wanting to know when the next one will be held is 2008.  Same feedback was received from all the 43 exhibitors present which confirms I was on track with my plan.

When this project began last February I begin writing an expectations chart based upon exhibitors, customers, and dealership expectations and best case scenarios from each viewpoint.  By meeting as many of these expectations as possible I determined that the show would be successful barring any unforseen complication.  Although my company had done these shows prior to my employ they had not planned out beyond inviting customers and vendors and feeding them barbeque.  Not that there is anything wrong with that but in my opinion they were missing a tremendous opportunity by not selling products and services.  The point is to increase your business and this event affords the exhibitors a unique opportunity to sell and demo product directly to the buyer, user/chooser, end-user. 

Today I counted not less than 34 dozen pens just from one exhibitor that was sold.  We sold furniture and janitorial products and my survey cards from the attendees were loaded with examples of products the customers didn’t know we had.  That fact also highlights some other issues that need to be addressed.  Overall, the event was a huge success.  The tab for the event will probably come in at over $13K of which over 98% was paid for by the exhibitors and our ad space that was sold.  We also gave away over 50 door prizes and our meal was fabulous.  We continue to receive calls today from people still excited about the show and wanting to buy products they saw at the event.  I sincerely appreciate all the work from my committee members and the support of our staff for helping make the event a great success.  I could not have done it without their valuable help and suggestions. 

Countdown to showtime

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Don on 19-09-2007

After six months of planning, research and strategy sessions with my committe members our consumer products show for office products is finally here.  This Friday is the big day.  My last head count exceeded 420.  My goal for our team was 300 so I am obviously very pleased.  I have marketed the event heavily among our staff, customers and exhibitors.  I have never planned an event like this before but I have attended over the past 20 years so I drew much out of my previous experiences, good and bad.  This is more than just a show for products, it is a prime opportunity to write business orders.  I was shocked to learn that this company had never attempted to write business in their previous shows.  I saw this as a huge opportunity and promoted this with our exhibitors which obviously maked them happy because these manufacturers reps want to sell their products.   It also affords them a unique opportunity to interact with the end-user.    I decided early on that I wanted the show to be more about meeting customer needs which entails much more than just office supplies.  Customers and business people want to have fun.  Many corporate clients use sports themes for corporate events and team building so I wanted to let our customers know that our efforts to meet their needs go far beyond traditional office supply companies.  I have always networked with clients and other various contacts so I could provide information and services as needed to my customers.

I have tried to consider everyones needs and expectations for the show since I have been an attendee and exhibitor to dozens of high and low profile events so I understand what people want and need to accomplish at these shows.  My event committee has been an asset and I appreciate everything they have done to keep the show on track and on schedule.  I have exhibitors coming in from Texas, Minnisota, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Michigan.  I sent out customer invitations via snail mail, e-mail and with product deliveries.  I also made an conscious effort to communicate regularly with our exhibitors to let them know how our planning was progressing and what our customer feedback and expectations were.  I received numerous accolades from the exhibitors about this as it seems other event planners don’t provide this kind of information.  It has really helped bring on more exhibitors that I really planned for and it has helped to meet the financial needs of the show.  I have been surprised how expensive an event like this is with the projected sum total coming in at over $12,000.  This has really been a lot of fun I hate to admit.  I could probably do this for a living as it really keep you on your toes and I have gotten to talk to a lot of new exhibitors and manufacturers.  I’ll include a pic after the event is over and I am recovered!  My gratitude to all those who have helped make this event a success.  Thank you!

The show goes on

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Don on 11-09-2007

I started planning a consumer products table-top show last February.  At first I thought I could have it in May but a friend who organizes many shows advised me to allow at least 6 months of preperation and planning.  I thought she was nuts but I’m not foolish enough to ignore the advice of people I trust and respect.  I took her advice to heart and set my date for the end of September.  Well, the show is going to happen on September 21st and I feel like I’m about to give birth!  I have never planned an event like this but I have attended many, many shows of this type so I knew what my expectations were and I have experienced many likes and dislikes regarding my past show experiences.  This gave me a clear direction I wanted to go and I had already began writing what I wanted to show to accomplish.  The show is for our customers and prospects and it is designed to show and sample various products and services that our company offers its customers.

Many of our suppliers, manufacturers and wholesalers were quick to join us but quite a few had to be prodded, some much harder than others.  Overall I’d say we had about 95% of our invited suppliers accept our invitation.  Those that declined need to remember that we have detailed memories about their lack of support to us and our customers.  We can buy their product somewhere else!  We had a few surprise suppliers that asked to join the event when they heard the news about it.  I welcomed them with open arms.  Most of our exhibitors have been eager to help and some have been especially helpful and generous.  Kudos to our first call wholesaler United Stationers, they have been outstanding and I am very grateful for their help and contributions to our event.  These folks have really come through and they have reps coming from all over the states to be a part of our show.  Hewlett Packard, amoung others has also been a great help and I could go on to list the other 45 suppliers, manufacturers and others that have stepped up to make our show a real success.

We are expecting over 300 current customers to attend for lots of free samples, new product demonstrations and a free lunch buffet at the 5-Star rated restaurant at our hosting facility.  I’ll be taking pictures and will share more details of the event and how the planning went a bit later.  So come back and visit soon!