Tuesday, May 23, 2006

National Stationery Show Mayhem

I have two days of the National Stationery Show under my belt and so far, so VERY good. The difference in this year's show vs. last year is really phenomenal for me. (Here is a pic of my booth during set-up in case anyone is wondering what the heck these booths look like. I'll update with final booth pics later on).

It's all really brought home the idea that its super duper important to stay on people's radar. Last year, I was the new kid in town and this year I have a bigger line, a bigger booth and some major press which all helps to contribute to our visibility.

Without getting into major specifics (I'll try to do a detailed rundown later on) here are some highlights:
*On my first day I made $500 more than I did the entire show last year
*Met a fab editor from Modern Bride who I did not get to meet at the Top 25 Trendsetter awards dinner last week.
*Wrote an order of some of our new goodies for Rock Star Wedding planner Mindy Weiss
*Have a great opportunity to get our products into a major department store
*Met a ton of great reps who all seem to be ready to engage in a battle royale for our lines.
*Met someone who could be instrumental (and has expressed interest) in setting up a licensing deal with a MA-AH-JOR chain of retail stores.

My fave stationery show story thus far, (and yet ANOTHER example of how important it is to go for it in business and in life) happened on day one. I was standing in my booth chatting with a rep who really did not interest me at all. As my eyes are glazing over, I notice out of the corner of my eye that I see the editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Weddings duck in, grab an info card and duck out. I felt like I was in the middle of a Seinfeld episode. Did I seriously just miss an opportunity to talk to one of the most important women in the bridal industry for some chump?! I had to take matters into my own hands. At that moment, biz partner happened to walk back to the booth. I grabbed our catalog, grabbed a biz card and high-tailed it up the aisle to track her down! I found her a couple of booths up and waited patiently for her to emerge and then I pounced. I introduced myself and apologized for not getting a chance to chat with her. I gave her our catalog and biz card and best of all she said "I really love your stuff!" I mentioned that I would be happy to get samples over to them of whatever they need. Of course, after returning to my booth and slowing my heart rate down to a reasonable beat, I decided that Monday morning I'm going to send over a beautiful package of ALL of our products (sample request or not) along with a fab handwritten note. I was super duper proud of myself that I did not let this opportunity slip through my hands and encouraged, again, by the power of actually going after what you want and getting it!

I hope the show is super spectacular for all of my other blog friends who might be there and can't wait to do a full rehash when everything is over and my energy stores have been rejuvinated.


Ulla said...

I saw your booth at the show, and really enjoyed it! Congrats!

Funky Finds said...

Your booth looks fabulous! Sounds like such a success. Kudos!

i *heart* paper said...

Oh, Erica. I'm so HAPPY for you. I'm jumping up and down!! What an amazing first day. That's darn right, Miss Darcy Miller. Make some room in that next issue for Paper Bride!!

Crafty Synergy said...

wow! that is so wonderful! congratulations!

Dear Monday said...

that's so cool about your first day. your booth is super cute too!!

mk said...

Very inspiring! Walking around the show felt overwhelming and my sister and I wondered whether the NSS was really a worthwhile goal, but your encouraging post reminded me that it was, congrats!

Angela said...

Sounds almost overwhelming, all the amazing progress that your business has made in the past year, its just wonderful! Sounds silly, but it makes me want to cry tears of joy for you!

You should be proud of yourself that you have been so courageous and willinging to stand up for your business, like you have. Kudos!!

Staying tuned for more exciting news....


Erica said...

You are all so fab and sweet! Thanks a million for the kind words. If I can do it, anyone can do it, so keep pushing ahead everyone!

joy said...

hi erica, your experience from this year sounds wonderful. it was so nice to finally meet this week and fun to see your booth. congrats again on all the success!

Kelly Bristol said...

Erica! Hooray! I am always happy to read/hear of an exhibitor's success, but can I say I'm also proud of you? Is that allowed? I remember meeting you (Learning Annex...2004) when you were in your research phase! You have really invested your all into your company (as it should be!) and it shows! Congratulations on your success this year - and happy follow-up with all your fab leads! Keep us up to date as you continue to create great product and grow your company!! PS I love the running down the aisle story. I should tell you the one about the hip-check I witnessed an exhibitor pull on a very wanted buyer one time! Funny, but it worked! Congrats again!