In a bid of shameless self-promotion this week I exhibited at a local small business trade fair.
The actual plan to exhibit had been in place for a few months now but Thursday was the actual event, although Murphy`s law intervened a number of times the day was a success.
The fair itself wasn`t until the afternoon which, I thought, would give me enough time to get a few last minute things done and arrive at the venue with more than enough time to spare, I`d packed the car the night before so didn`t have that to worry about, the only things I needed to do was collect some materials for basic cordage and have some pictures printed, this was Mr Murphy`s second intervention (I’ll mention the first later), 5 of the machines at the supermarket had broken down and the only one left had a long queue to use it, luckily it was only 10 am and I still had 4 hours to go…unfortunately no because of the backlog I had to wait nearly 2 hours to get my pictures, time enough to get a coffee.
With 2 hours left to go and having only half an hour’s drive to get the venue, at least according to the sat nav I still had plenty of time and so decided to nip back home quickly and collect my cordage materials, that done I set the sat nav and left, 34 minutes to get there and it was 1pm, I had 25 minutes once there to set the space, easy…. no of course not, Mr Murphy had decided to come along for the ride. I was directed through a town to the dual carriageway, on to the dual carriageway, off the dual carriageway and back through the town I had just been through! I knew there was a reason I didn’t trust sat navs, fortunately enough the venue was near a town that I knew quite well anyway so headed off in that direction.
I made it to the golf club that was to be the venue with about 20 minutes to spare, this still gave me enough time to set up and also talk to the organisers, which brings me to the first instance of Murphy`s law, in the week prior to the event the organisers had sent me an email asking for my business name, business logo and website address, which I duly sent, however when I went searching on their website under the exhibitors section I discovered that not only was the name of my business wrong, they had spelt forest with 2 r`s, but also the website address which took people to the living word bible church website, I did wonder aloud with them how many potential clients I had lost because of this error, (the poor quality logo was my fault and I don’t blame them for that), within minutes of this discussion with the organisers both the name and web address were changed but I still wonder how many hits I missed out on.
5 hours of fair lay ahead and with this being my first one I had no idea what to expect, a short wander around the hall revealed that I wasn`t alone however and found that a few of the exhibitors there were newbies as well, interest in the stand was steady and a number of people were trying their hands at getting a spark from flint and steel, all eventually successful. About an hour into the fair I was approached by an outdoor education company and asked if they could utilise me for some bushcraft sessions at their sites, to which of course I said yes and at the same time proved to myself that this was the money i`d spent on the stand. The only downside to the whole experience was the music system, after 3 hours of the same music I was I had brought something with me to throw at the speaker.
Although the fair had cost a lot of money, it has potentially paid for itself in the contacts I have made.