Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Day At The Tradeshow

Whew!  I spent weeks agonizing over my "tradeshow debut" only to have it fly by on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

First off, I just have to say that I implemented almost every tip that was suggested here by all my cyber friends and it made all the difference in the world.  The candy...the slideshow...the giveaway...the various guys are pretty smart!

The adventure started Friday evening when I stuffed my van full and headed to do the set up at the gym.
This is what awaited me....I had to work my wonders in this 10x10 space!  {Overachiever was my photographer for the evening}

After about an hour and a half I had something that resembled a real live photography booth ~
Here's one table that just had photos on it, and that's a canvas on the big easel...

I set up my giveaway table at the back in the middle. Anyone who wanted to enter the giveaway or grab some chocolate had to at least 'come inside' and take a look!

On the other side I had more photos along with some examples of my products...Christmas cards, greeting cards, accordion books (my favorite!) and I had my trusty Mac at the very end of the table playing my animoto video for the world to see~

So Friday night when I left I was feelin' pretty good about the whole thing...the video played perfectly, everything was in their place and I would hang my banners first thing in the morning... Saturday morning comes alive with rain, rain and more rain!  I spent way too much time on my hair
trying to pull off the "artsy, hip" look, which I mentioned doesn't come naturally to this exhausted mother of 4:)  After making 4 trips in and out that morning trying to carry my umbrella and all my junk, my hair was windblown and wet, and my mood had completely tanked!

When I finally make it to my booth I realize that the hangers I had for my banners are way too small to fit  over the top pipe.  My tanked mood goes even farther into the I grab some safety pins and do the next best thing.  Hey, at least they're up.  

Then I plug my Mac back in and try to start my video loop.  It shows nothing.  NOTHING!! 
My dvd is nowhere to be found on the screen and I can't find it anywhere in my system, it won't eject, NOTHING!!  I spent about 20 minutes trying to act calm while my booth neighbors are watching when inside I'm wishing I could simply walk away and crawl back in bed:)  Having an income is so overrated...

Then, in a glance, I see that the video that I've been trying to find inside my computer for the last 20 minutes is sitting on my other table, safely nestled in it's case.  I hadn't even inserted it in my computer!
Do these kind of things always happen at events like this??

After I stopped freaking out and the crowd started filtering in, I actually enjoyed myself a lot.  The main attention getter was definitely the video would catch their eye, they'd watch for a few seconds, then scan the rest of my booth to see what it was all about.  I don't know that anyone stood there and watched the whole thing but it did the job and caught their eye.  And it was so noisy in the gym that the music wasn't even an issue.  I could have had the Barney theme song blaring and nobody would have noticed!

What made my day extra fun was having my BFF's with sweet are they for giving up their Saturday to stand in a gym with me and eat cardboard pizza?

I got to talk to a ton of people thruout the day and had some great visitors too...

...this little gal kept me company for a while...

...and these girls were tons of fun...

My crew even stopped by looking like homeless vagrants and spent the afternoon swiping every free handout they could get their little paws on...yes, their father let them dress themselves that morning!

When it's all said and done I had a great day and learned a LOT!  I was able to talk about photography and photo editing with all new people and that's always a good day in my book.  Was it worth the time and investment? I don't know yet.  I guess I'll have to see how the leads work out this year.  Ya never know until you try.

I do need to address one very important matter that I learned about tradeshows.  If you're going to be standing on a hard gym floor for 8 hours it's a really good idea to wear sensible shoes.  I know this because I DID NOT wear sensible shoes!  Instead, I wore these...

Yep.  Black, leather, knee-high, stiletto heels.  

Would I advise anyone to wear these all day?  Nope.

Did I look better than I usually do in my everyday, soccer mom, sensible shoe wearing outfits?
You Betcha:)

Thanks for all your suggestions/advice/honest feedback/and everything else!  You helped make my "big day" so much better and a great memorable experience~

Stay Tuned...I'm gonna tell you all about those accordion books and why I love them!



cynthia gayle said...

From the looks of it, you did a FANTASTIC job!!!!! I hope it brings you plenty of work!!

Oakstream Photography said...

LOL...well look'n HOT is always a PLUS..hehehe! Do you want to be comfy or hot..hehehehe! Great looking booth! Awesome work!

OUR WILD ZOO! said...

Just found your site- I LOVE your blog and your photos are simply amazing. I'm a wannabe photographer and I could learn a lot from you- your textures are outstanding. Keep up the great work!!

Traci said...

You and your booth looked super! Hope you get lots of business!

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