We did our first expo in seven years and here's how it went:
It's been a while, a very long while, since we did an in person event. Between being pregnant or having a newborn and then COVID, it's been a while since I even had the space in my life to do an in person event. Starting again, I know something local would be a great way to begin again, and the Long Island Marathon was just a 20 minute drive from my house, I couldn't have picked a better place to start.
Being in person and taking the shop out "into the wild" was such a fun time! I was so excited to be out, meeting people who already follow us and hopefully getting a few new fans.
There was a lot of planning on what to bring, how to display everything, and the logistics of setting up between cars and kids. Here's a breakdown of the weekend and the prep/post of what we did.
Not sure what to bring, how much, how we wanted the booth to look, we started with some racks from IKEA and shelves we took from the office, also IKEA. Knowing everything had to fit into our cars, albeit large ones, the traveling and loading of all our setup had to be manageable. Wire hangers will definitely be upgraded before our next expo. I had to order new signs as we just did a brand refresh, and
What to Bring
This was another area we had no idea, which designs to bring, how many of each, etc. Long story short, we brought way too much. Our online best sellers were not the same as what the expo best sellers were. Grabbing a few sizes of all our designs, and swopping up all our styles off the shelves was definitely overestimating what we needed. It also made it super overwhelming to go through our booth, with so many designs it was hard to focus on what the best items to purchase were.
On the other side, our race specific designs we underestimated the demand for. We'll be better prepared with inventory for the next race, learning curve.
It's been so long that none of our phone plug-ins worked (any of our credit cards swipe devices), apple has updated the ports so many times, not thinking about this, we went to set up all our checkout equipment and none of it would even plug into our phones. Thankfully some of the apps have updated and tap to pay was an option, although sometimes not reliable. Updating our checkout system for a faster easier option will definitely be our priority before the next expo.
Overall I say the expo was a huge success, it's so important to be out and meeting people, watching people interact with our products, both the designs and the fabrics. It's also incredibly fun to talk to people who I've only had conversations through a screen with. I can't tell you how much I loved doing this, I lost my voice by the end of the weekend but it was well worth it!
In the future, yes that means we'll do more expos! I will do the following:
- Narrow down what we offer, keep it race specific with a few favorites and best sellers mixed in.
- Get a better way to display our designs so you don't have to flip through raccks to see what we offfer, maybe a t-shirt board? An ipad with the collections? I don't know, this is tbd and I can't wait to brainstorm the perfect solution
- Update my checkout process for quick and easy payments.
- Figure out an easier way to set up and break down the booth, honestly post expo my office may never recover, haha.
- Include more signage around our booth, more images of our brand, more price listings, just more in general.
Overall the race expo went great! It was so fun to meet everyone and talk to people, be in person, and not behind a screen. The Race Awesome team was amazing! If you haven't run an event with them check out all their races here. I will search them out for any of our expos in the future, such a great crew to be apart of their event.
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