In this business, marketing online using social networking sites and ad space will only get you so far. To really make an impression with your audience, you need to take them on face-to-face.
OMUNKY did just that on May 13th, where we participated in our first vendor show. It was a green event show hosted by Becton, Dickinson and Company. A couple of months ago I received a large order from a stranger (which always makes my day, btw). This was during the blackout in my town, so I had to contact the customer to tell her that I couldn’t ship the package out until I got my power back. She was very kind and completely understood. In her reply email she told me how much she loved my shirts, and asked me to be a part of an upcoming eco-friendly show her company was hosting. I, of course, said yes, and that’s how it all began.
I really had no idea what to expect when I drove to Franklin Lakes, NJ to take part in this event. I brought my shirts and belts and some promotional items. I didn’t want to go too overboard, because I didn’t have a clue how the set up of the show would be (what my table location would be, how much room I had etc.).
The location of the event turned out to be pretty sweet. It was on the bottom floor in an open sun-room surrounded by 3 floors of offices and walkways. People were watching us set up from the second and third floors like a CEO overseeing development of company products. Every now and then one of the site coordinators would come up to either greet us or ask us questions about how we were setting up.
The show was supposed to start at 11:30 am, but we had people wandering over to our table as early as 10:50. The tables were set up around the room so people were circling around to visit everyone. We were the only clothing vendor at the event, so it was interesting to see what people were picking up at the other booths. One of them was giving out baby trees! I know!
It was a little slow at first, people felt like just walking by rather than stopping to find out what OMUNKY was all about. Every now and then curiosity would get the better of them and they stopped to feel the shirts and ask questions. A few of them bought shirts right there on the spot, others took a sticker or card and said they’d be back after they went and got their wallets.
About an hour into it people started making their way over to our table more frequently. We had a lot of curious visitors. Sure this was a green event, but it was one meant to educate those who wanted to live greener lives, and work in an eco-friendly environment. It didn’t mean they were super knowledgeable regarding green products. Everyone expected my shirts to be made of bamboo, and were really impressed when they learned that all my promotional items (including my large banner) were made using recycled paper. Bamboo…pfshhh!
My first sale came 20 minutes into the show. It was such a quick purchase. She came, she saw, she paid, and she vanished from site. Like a little consumer ninja! It felt great to see the expressions on my buyers faces when their shirts were professionally packaged and handed to them. Most of the people there bought shirts for their kids. I think this will be the one case where parents can definitely pick up clothes for their children. 🙂
Sadly, the show went by really quickly. In a blink of an eye, it was time to close down. I really wish it could have gone on a little longer, but it was only for a couple of hours. Our neighbor, who sold eco-friendly lunch bags came over to check us out, but aside from a couple visits, most of the vendors kept to themselves. Hopefully they will be more friendly at future OMUNKY shows.
Well the first live OMUNKY event was a success in my books. I cannot wait to do the next one. Stay tuned for more info!