It was a bit of a rare event to actually attend a Trade Show for ourselves - mostly we'll provide ice sculptures of logos at really competitive prices for other companies attending a trade show but this time we were asked to display and chat to anyone that may wander our way. The fact that it was in Scotland was a bonus since I was keen to promote the fact that we'll deliver there and it seemed to me like a win win for us. The fact that John from Eventit http://www.international-confex.com/ was also very persuasive helped smooth things and before we knew it we were packed up with 6 ice sculptures, a 2 metre ice bar, lighting, drain trays and tools including the essential chain saw.
Thursday 17th saw an early start after dropping off my 7 year old at school for the run up to Edinburgh which was an easy run- finding the EICC loading bay however was an entirely different matter although we had time in the bag which saw the first 2 ice sculptures on display allowing me time enough to set up our stand for the evenings launch of the first Scottish events trade show in 10 years!
It amazed me.- the whole buzz of the EICC though it's the same in any exhibition hall - the expectation of what is to come- the nervous energy behind the cool business exteriors of those exhibiting knowing that the cot of the stand has to be recouped in just a short 2 or 3 days.
So how do you draw customers to your exhibition stand- or rather how were we going to do it?
For us and having seen what our customers had done previously it wasn't too tricky- putting something on display that was going to last the day was the first rule so nothing too ornate- ice sculpture will last for an entire day and beyond in ambient temperature usually 20 degrees if the design is simple. So we place an ice bar there as we'd done a few times with Denplan - it would draw people to the stand and avoid the awkward moment mid afternoon when the will is flagging to go fishing in the aisles- you know that forced smile to a stranger behind which is hope and pittiful fear of rejection.The ice bar did it all for us- sure enough we chatted all day- I wasn't there to chat to other stand holders and frankly there wasn't time- people wanted to touch it to check it was real ice and since they happened to be standing in my space it was an easy opportunity to share a drink and a chat. Letting them know that since they'd made it into my space all by themselves, I could do the same for them when they took a branded ice sculpture for their own event.
I loved the time in Scotland - just getting out and meeting the crowd that came to Eventit was amazing- it reminded me of why we do what we do.