Monday, February 25, 2013

pool tradeshow recap



I spent all of last week in Las Vegas for the POOL tradeshow.  Overall, it was a good experience.  I met a lot of awesome people and made a few good wholesale deals which never would have happened if I had not put myself out there and exhibited.

I had a goal to break even on all I spent {booth fees, hotel, food, etc} and that didn't happen.  So, I immediately felt like a huge failure.  I guess I naively thought the orders would just roll in and that did not happen.

I killed myself getting ready or the show, so I was beyond exhausted.  I was in the cash and carry section which meant that I had to have plenty of product on hand to sell right there.  I made about four of each item in my line, which was just ridiculous.  Every bone in my body was aching by the time we arrived in Vegas.


The first day of the show was SO slow and my confidence went down and down.  We stopped for dinner on the way back to our hotel room and my husband asked me the question "what woud you do differently if you did not have my salary to fall back on and all you had was the money your business made?"

I thought about this for a few seconds and decided nothing.  I give every bit of myself to my business.  I eat, sleep, and breath {Acute Designs}.  It truly takes up a majority of my life.  I sometimes don't know what else I can do or where I else I can pull from to make this business better.


I continued to reflect on Neil's question and went into day two refreshed and more confident.  I realized that this business of mine has grown from not even existing to a profitable and fulfilling venture.  I did that.  It was my hard work and literally my blood, sweat, and yes, sometimes tears, that got {Acute Designs} to the place it is now.  There is no reason why I cannot take this business to the next level.  So, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and had a much better time the next two days.


I could not control who will buy and how much they will buy, so I decided to focus on what I could control.  

I made a lot of connections with other designers and buyers and received a ton of good advice from those who had exhibited in past shows.  

So many other designers told me that orders often roll in after the show, once the buyers have time to go through all the line sheets they collected throughout the week.  I passed out line sheets like it was my job {because it is} and am positive that a few of those connections will turn into future orders.

There were some tough moments throughout the week but I am happy with the way things turned out.  There is no sense in dwelling on what could have been.  All I can do is move forward and try to be even better the next time around :).



11 comments:

  1. It was great to meet you and your booth looked great! Sorry things didn't go as you planned but the first trade show anyone ever attempts is usually disappointing. :) There's only room to go up, right?

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  2. Your display looked amazing! I'm proud of you (is that weird?) for taking a leap of faith and going to this. It's something I would be terrified to do. I'm sure more orders will come in soon. My aunt is a buyer for a shop and she goes to these all the time. They rarely place orders at the shows, it's usually in the few weeks following. Your work is so beautiful!

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    1. thanks so much liz! also, that's really reassuring to hear about how your aunt always buys after the show. I heard that from so many buyers and sellers :).

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  3. I am so proud of you for putting yourself out there. You work so hard and I am sure it will pay off Gina! I am so glad that your husband pointed that out to you! Go easy on yourself these next few days-- you deserve it.

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    1. Thanks Erika! I took almost the whole weekend off :).

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  4. Way to go gina. Keep on keepin' on.

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  5. Keep being awesome. And thanks for being so honest!

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  6. Catching up on my blog reading here and this is such a great post! I think we all have those moments where we get down on ourselves. And usually it's a loved one who helps a realize we should stop feeling bad and realize how lucky we are. ;]

    Glad your 2nd day was better. Your booth looked great! xo JA

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  7. I'm a small business entrepreneur too. I do a lot of art and craft festivals so I know what it feels like to have a "bad" show. You start to doubt yourself, your abilities and your product. I find that sometimes I am my own worst critic. It's so very important to employ the attitude of "dust yourself off and get on to the next adventure" As long as you have passion and drive, despite the bumps in the road, you will get where you want to go.

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  8. I resonated with this too. I put so much time, energy, love, and hope into my small fashion business and it does not always reap a large reward financially. But like you said, YOU built that. Nobody can take that away. Right now it's a rough time for America economically in general, but you do still inspire people to try, and you DO it, and good things WILL come. Even though I am making less money this year than last year, I try to see it as a vessel to inspire people with nonetheless, and I think the Lord will bless that.

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  9. Do you want to rent booths and displays at a trade show? Just try using Nimlok Trade Show Displays for the purpose of exhibiting your exclusive range of products, and get ready to answer the queries of the interested people and grabbing the opportunities of enhancing sales.

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thank you so much for your comment! i read and enjoy each and every one :).

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