We had a great time at the AAA Trade Show- Game On! yesterday! Met lots of great people, and got to hand out tons of yummy candy.
Crazy story on how this all came together– we actually DID NOT have a spot at this trade show until the DAY BEFORE! Weeks prior, we had reached out to the event coordinator about getting a booth- but was met with the news that they were sold out and working on adding more booths. We ended up agreeing to go on the wait list.. 1 week had passed… no word…. 2 weeks.. no word.. by the third week, I’d given up on the idea of attending my first ever trade show. Josh asked that I reach out just one last time to see if we could squeeze our way in. Doubtful in the mind but hopeful in the heart, I emailed our point of contact – she told me we were 2nd on the list.. this was around 10 AM. At 11 AM I got an email stating that a booth had just become available!! So exciting! Without even checking where the booth was we took it right away. This is where the chaos began- as we werenot prepared at all to set up a booth and load in had already begun that day. The event didn’t start until 1 PM the next day but the vendors were to be there loading in the day before, putting finishing touches on their booths the morning of- access was granted at 10 AM and you had to be ready by 10:30 AM the day of the event. The problem was I was stuck at home waiting on a package and Josh was out at a job- neither of us available to go in and get set up- all we had were some customized M&Ms for the event weeks ago but stopped any further pursuance as we didn’t have a booth reserved.
So, we began the hustle- Josh went to the location of the event (Cobb Galleria Center) to get us registered. While he was there, I called in to get an idea of just what was required of us for a proper booth. They told me we needed floor covering the booth – – immediately I was like what?! Where am I going to find an 8×10 carpet just hours before a trade show? Luckily, they had a vendor there ready to provide that carpet (THANK GOD) so I called them, got a carpet AND a table (cause we fancy) and made that payment. All the while, I’m texting Josh to see what he wants, where he wants it, etc… even though he is already busy trying to get our credentials in line. The morning of we met at the office at 8 AM- thankfully our point of contact for the event allowed us access to the center at 830 AM so we’d have more time to get set up. When I arrived at the office, Josh was shuffling things around and getting the M&MS in boxes.. he had some other marketing tools (banner and pop up flyer) that he had ready for the day– he also found some cool glass jars to put the candy in –I was rather impressed! Off to the Galleria Center we go!
Once we got there, our booth had the carpet and table already laid down- we started setting things up and checking out other booths for inspiration incase we go again.. as we’re looking at our booth we felt it looked a little barren and we also forgot chairs so we decided to take a last minute trip back to the office to grab a few things as well as stop and check in on a property we’re working on right now — more details on that awesome job in our next post! As we’re going to the office, we needed to get cups to put the M&Ms in so Josh dropped me off at Party City. I don’t know who decided to make Party City the way it is but if you have OCD like me- Party City is the best place ever. They have everything sorted by color and it’s every compartmentalizing office manager’s dream. Anyway, so I go into Party City with some money and we had decided on three things- more candy, tape, and cups. I got the tape and cups but struggled with which type of candy… eventually I settled on getting the giant gum balls because I LOVE how they look and they balanced us out with having one sweet/sugar candy and one chocolate. I also got airheads and some chocolate coins to add more flair to the table. Then, because I’m a lady that loves to shop, and I can never just get what I came for, I found a cool scoop for the gum balls and some awesome blue confetti to add to the table and give it that extra sparkle!
Back in the car- onto the trade show! Feeling like we’re a little more prepared, we arrived and got set up.. the table was really coming together! I was so excited as this was my first trade show- we also had a contest going to win $500 to your next paint job, such an easy sell as Sloan Painting & Designs, Inc. always does an impeccable job on their paint and Josh is a master painter with his special finishes . Alright- so I set out the banner, the business cards, the flyers, the gum balls, the m&ms, the air heads, cups, and chocolate coins and all I had left was to spread the confetti- I carefully opened the bags and strategically sprinkled on the table, then on the carpet… and had to make sure I didn’t go over board because I love sparkly things. Just a little more sparkle here and there and I was done! Just in time for Josh to come back from moving the truck and seeing the finished product:
I was really proud, he was really proud. The day was shaping up to be really cool! There was an energy in the Galleria Center of excitement mixed with nervous energy- the vendors were pacing at their booths as if prepping for the speech of a life time- the bartenders were getting ready– the doors had been closed to allow the public to form lines. As all the property management company representatives waited outside a silence had come sweeping through the center… as the clock drew closer to 1 PM the tension built and as the clock struck 1 the doors opened and in came a flood of happy faces !
Josh allowed me to leave the booth to go check out everyone else’s and admittedly get some free candy- I had such a good time meeting new people and learning about all the different businesses that can help make a property the best it can be… it really takes a village people! After a few hours and a long day I packed up with all my goodies and went home.. this was a great memory for my first trade show and I can’t wait until we can do it again! Until next year, AAA trade show !