Trade shows. I have been on both sides of the booth. As a vendor and a patron. Every year I do at least one trade show for my small business – “Amanda’s Pet Sitting”. I find that if the shows are promoted well, despite the type of event it is, that a good turn out is usually expected. Seeing as I work primarily with four legged companions, it’s always a blast getting to interact with the people in my community and spread the word about alternative home based pet care.
Perhaps it is because of my own connection with them but I find attending trade shows as a guest, just as much fun! At these local events you get to meet the smaller businesses – the ‘ma and pa shops” that truly care about their customers….because they are their neighbours! The owners and employees don’t represent the big corporations. Their blood sweat and tears helped to define their business and it is really a thrill getting to see the unique products, services and people behind some of the best businesses offered in my city.
I was preparing for my next trade show this summer, ‘WoofaRoo’, when I thought to myself “Hey, I wonder if Windsor has any health or fitness trade shows?” A quick Google search got me my answer. We do! In fact it was in about 7 days!! Good timing on my part eh?! Tickets were super cheap, so I jumped on board right away. I hadn’t heard anything about it from any of the popular local media outlets so I had a suspicion there might not be too many vendors and it might not be the biggest and best show around. But maybe that’s a good thing. If you have ever attended a “wedding expo” you’d know how insane these things can get. Seeing as I knew I would be attending alone, a smaller crowd would surely be less intimidating and the businesses might be able to give me more one on one time should I have inquires.
I was right. About 10 tables and just a handful of other people walking around when I showed up. But I was also right about the sorts of businesses that were there. Plenty of the small guys, but the really passionate ones. A boxing style gym, supplements, home delivery healthy meal services, clothing companies etc. I got to so many of them! Once it was noted that I had come through a pretty big weight loss transformation, I should have been the one with a booth! Quite a few people wanted to talk to me about the specifics, even more so than what I get on a daily basis. Makes sense given the atmosphere and theme of the day, but I wasn’t totally prepared to be as bombarded as I was. Interest is always flattering but sometimes I can feel like a side show act. There was one guy who’s mouth stayed agape the entire time I was talking! Besides feeling a bit “on display” I really did enjoy myself and meeting some new fitness friends. There were many local businesses and services I didn’t know existed. I think sometimes you don’t really know what you’ll find unless you go looking for it. I am happy to have that part of my world expand.