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  #1  
Old September 6, 2007, 02:06 PM
Bea
 
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Smile I think I need a PUSH over the EDGE...Can you help???

I need some help here. I have this idea (I posted briefly on the subject earlier) to do a "welcome party" for all the newcomers into town. BUT I will go to other cities (other than my own) b/c they already do one similiar here due to it being a military base. (The idea goes something like this: I rent a large expo hall in a 100,000 city and sign up businesses to have a table there to meet the public & show their wares, they can give away samples, we'll have door prizes all day, pop, balloons, entertainment & maybe even some free food. Everyone will be invited via loads of advertisement.)

I wanted to wait to do it till the kids went back to school so I could have quiet to work on the phone. Now they are gone back & I have that time. Now I am SCARED. I'm scared b/c of what if. lol, I know that sounds a bit ridiculous, but it's really stopping me. Let me throw some of them out to you here & maybe some of you will have some answers for me here, ok?

What if the chamber of commerce (I'm marketing thru them...since I'm a stranger in town, I'll be a member there - that'll help) doesn't want a stranger coming in town & taking money from the businesses there & going out of town with it? (Ok, very probable. So I thought of giving a certain % of it back to them or the city...??)

Also, my spouse poo-poo's the idea. *I* like it on the other hand b/c people have FUN there AND make a lot of GREAT new business contacts!

What if no on sees the benefit there in that city? (I mean, b/c THIS city here, everyone knows, being a military base, has LOTS of people moving in & out...what if they don't think a "Welcome party for newcomers" will have much benefit to them THERE? Or do you think that will be a problem?

Yes, I can hear you now..."You're just scared"... Yes, I am. B/c I will face the "I told you so's..." from the spouse if this doesn't go. Unless, of course I don't tell him & just try it...lol..it's all by phone until I have to go there anyway.

I think those are my main fears. If people will buy, I KNOW I can do everything else. I guess it's just the buying/selling & "will they buy it" sort of fear going on here.

Can someone HELP? Thanks!

B.
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  #2  
Old September 6, 2007, 02:10 PM
Pete Egeler
 
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Default Re: I think I need a PUSH over the EDGE...Can you help???

Here's your help, Bea..

JUST DO IT!

Pete
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  #3  
Old September 6, 2007, 03:34 PM
Bea
 
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Smile Re: I think I need a PUSH over the EDGE...Can you help???

~lol~ I know, Pete, I know. That is what I keep telling myself, but...OK, well, what do you think about the one Q I had of "what if the chambers don't want to work with someone from out of town & they say no to it?" In your opinion how likely is it?

I have picked out 4 cities so that if the first says no, I won't have to search for another qualifying city...I just go on to the next on the list...Ok. Maybe I can just take the plunge.

But I also hate doing something not supported by a spouse, too.

Thank you for your help, though. I just wish it was that easy, lol!!
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  #4  
Old September 6, 2007, 03:57 PM
GordonJ's Avatar
GordonJ GordonJ is offline
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Default I think I'm on your hubby's side on this one Bea...but I don't quite know

what you are doing?

How do you make money from this thing?

When you say "sign up businesses" does that mean they PAY to be there?

When you say "loads of advertisements", what do you mean? Who is paying for it and are you targeting NEWCOMERS?

What about the door prizes, balloons and pop? Who's paying for it?

You like it. Have you fallen in love with a bad idea? I don't know.

It sounds very messy to me. RENT a big hall...have you gotten estimates? Do you know when they are available? What are the liability issues?

The local Chambers of Commerce have these things every year, for FREE...what are you offering?

Maybe I didn't get the first post or what the purpose of this is...now Bea, I could be wrong...I just don't see what you are trying to do.

The problem with JUST DO IT... is your time and expense... WHO are you asking permission of? The CoC of that city? Again, what reason do they have to work with you and HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY From this venture.

Please provide a more fleshed out idea, or I'll have to take hubby's side on this one. Thanks,

Gordon Alexander
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  #5  
Old September 6, 2007, 04:54 PM
Bea
 
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Default Re: I think I need a PUSH over the EDGE...Can you help???

Ok, thanks, Gordon.

This is what I needed - is for someone to look objectively at this thing with me. I'll admit, yes, I had so much fun (and saw so much money, lol!) that I did "fall in love" with the idea!! The tables start at $300 & go up, depending on how much exposure each business wants.


what you are doing?
It is formally (I have learned now after calling several chambers) called a Business Showcase.

How do you make money from this thing?

I would collect the money from each business as they signed up to become involved. I figure even if I got 10-20 businesses in at $300, that's $3-6,000. I could handle that & it would grow with time as it's repeated.

When you say "sign up businesses" does that mean they PAY to be there?
Yes, they pay to show off their wares to the consumers/potential customers there.

When you say "loads of advertisements", what do you mean? Who is paying for it and are you targeting NEWCOMERS?

I would pay (out of the profit) for newspaper ads, maybe trade out a radio station (in exchange for being there..just a thought...??) but radio station ads, fliers we could put up ourselves - I've done a flier delivery biz before, so we're set up for that.

What about the door prizes, balloons and pop? Who's paying for it?

I would also be paying for that...better count on this being a bit bigger than 10 booths... I see that now. At least 15 -20 or we don't do it.

You like it. Have you fallen in love with a bad idea? I don't know.

It sounds very messy to me. RENT a big hall...have you gotten estimates? Do you know when they are available? What are the liability issues?


The rent is $400 + insurance (call in, not returned yet) Not bad so far.

The local Chambers of Commerce have these things every year, for FREE...what are you offering?

I called the chamber here & although she is not very helpful, no one here or at the convention center knows about any type of business showcase for the city, pop of 113,000 people in the city, county of over 200,000. They do have a job fair coming up that I had to find out about thru the tourist center! lol, hard to believe the chamber said they didn't have info of any events in the area! I think the girl there is new.

Maybe I didn't get the first post or what the purpose of this is...now Bea, I could be wrong...I just don't see what you are trying to do.

Ok, well I hope I've helped to explain it here. Thank you for your help, Gordon!

The problem with JUST DO IT... is your time and expense... WHO are you asking permission of? The CoC of that city? Again, what reason do they have to work with you and HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY From this venture.

I don't have to ask permission, just to make sure it's not a duplication. That & I want to be a chamber member in order to have a better "in". That can come by a fee that I pay.

Please provide a more fleshed out idea, or I'll have to take hubby's side on this one. Thanks,
Oh, no, Thank YOU, Gordon!
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  #6  
Old September 6, 2007, 07:04 PM
Phil Phil is offline
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Posts: 1,857
Default Re: I think I need a PUSH over the EDGE...Can you help???

Bea,

Getting into the Trade Show business and even the smaller scale Home Expo business is Not an easy business...

It takes Serious planning, Hard work and Money... Some are Successful... Many are Not for the Show promoter and the Exibitor... Been there done that...

Do some Serious research... Attend & Study existing Trade shows and Home Expos for awhile...

In fact Going to Trade Shows to Find Specialty products...

And running/twisting a Marketing Service... Join Venture brokering for Trade Show Exibitor's is an Idea to Seriously consider...

Here's a couple Great resources to get you Thinking...
http://www.exhibitoronline.com/
http://www.tsnn.com/

See if you can get Dien to load a couple of these Archives back to Life...
There's Gold in the missing Archives!

http://entrepreneurshotsheet.blogspo...1_archive.html

"One Of The Best Trade Show Secrets I've Used And The Cost Is
Almost F r e e":
http://clicks.aweber.com/z/ct/?ZM4Aijxw03M7SZWAsHi2uA
Tips To Get The Most Out Of Trade Shows:
http://clicks.aweber.com/z/ct/?YwrNRecXNh1TDWW_w1rDRQ

Phil
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  #7  
Old September 6, 2007, 09:30 PM
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GordonJ GordonJ is offline
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Location: West Palm Beach, FL
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Default OK, now I get it. Now you can JUST DO IT...maybe.

Do you have a checklist Bea?

What "deposits" will you lose if it DOESN'T happen?

In that size of city, you'd think getting 20 Businesses to participate would be a piece of cake...however...

They start thinking about man hours, expenses, costs...so your job would be to sell them on the benefit of participation...

Depending on the businesses, you could point out that ONE customer could have a LIFETIME VALUE to make it all worthwhile.

If it were me...I'd secure the hall...knowing I might lose the deposit if I can't pull it off. But without a place, you don't have any show, right?

Consider the time, how much leeway...what else is happening, holidays, potential snow storms in some areas...and conflicting events...so the city you have chosen would have an events calendar, or the CofC would have one...check on it. Maybe you can coordinate it with something that is happening.

In my little city of about 100,000 there is going to be a Christmas Tree lighting...and the whole day has planned activities. IF I were wanting to attract families, I might consider renting a hall nearby this event...if it is freezing cold and snowing... maybe the families will want to escape for a while.

I know there will be Ice Skating, Santa will show up, the mayor lights the tree at 5 pm...and then another skating show. This day's events begin in the morning...

See Bea, I'm thinking about the traffic. Would these people be a good target for the Showcase. It could dovetail nicely with the city's planned event and I cash in on their bringing people downtown.

So you want to set a date. Secure the hall. Have some sort of theme, or "reason" for the event.

You'll take the hall and layout the floor plan on paper. How many could you get in if each had a 3 by 5 table or a 10 square foot "booth"...

HOW could you make it more...give a bigger size for 1.5 x the money... for example.. I get 10 square feet for 300 bux, but I get 20 square feet for only 450, a SAVINGS OF 150 dollars...that is how I'd consider selling the space...have an upsell.

OK. Say you get the space and it is in a location people are not afraid of...in some cities, even smaller ones, there are areas that people don't want to go to for events. If this isn't a problem, consider parking and traffic flow.

So you have a spot picked out that is conveniently located. You sketch it out, create a mock up ala Don Alm...to show to the prospects. IF you offer corner locations or other prime space, you might get a premium for that too.

Does the place allow you to bring in food? If so, a popcorn vendor works nicely or ice cream person...who charges a small price and you pay him/her for the event. FREE is even better.

Can you save some time by hiring the local high school cheer team to decorate it the night before for a couple hundred bucks?

Anything that frees you up to sell the spots.

WHY would a business want to get a table? If I did this, I'd probably target families and not new people...not enough family events...and you'll find a lot more businesses who would prefer to get families than a new person...the exception could be the professionals...but even then, they'd probably like mom and dad and kids all in one place.

But if you are thinking Welcome To _______ then the question I'd ask you would be:

How are you going to get the new people in town to come? How will reach them? What is their incentive for taking time out of their day to come and listen to a bunch of sales pitches? Which is what most people think of when they hear business showcase...isn't it? I could be wrong.

Bea, I'm not DOWN on the idea, I just want you to give it careful consideration. It could be a gold mine. I don't know.

Just take the time to think through everything. Get a checklist started. IF the event is 120 days out, what do you need to do right now?

At the 90 day mark, 60 days, 30 days, 15, 10, 9, 8, etc.

The place, the tables, the table skirts, chairs to sit on, electrical outlets?, coat racks or lockers.

Chairs or tables for people to sit, food?, or just a "cake" and punch...plates, forks, napkins, cups?

What is your budget. IF you get 300 per at 20 that is 6k right? Would 150 cover your expenses? Leaving you with a 3k gross profit?

What about signs, set-up and tear down, check in for vendors?

The more details you have figured out, then you can simply spend your time on the PITCH...getting the breakeven number as fast as you can...would that be 15? If so, go get 15 to commit, with their money.

If you can't reach the breakeven number, you can always give their checks back...and you'll be out of pocket just a little.

I'm not trying to discourage you Bea, if anyone has ever spoken to me in person or on the phone, this is what I do.

I ask questions. NOW, there are times you just have to DO IT as Pete said...but it has been my experience that a well thought out and planned DO IT works better (sometimes) than a jump in the deep end and find they drained the pool.

OK. Find a place and see if you can get a "tentative" commitment for the place, say for 14 days before you have to really get it or longer if you can. Then you swing into action and get in the faces of the businesses you want to participate, and I'd start asking for the checks right up front...and hold them until I knew it was going to happen.

But that's just me, fair enough?

Go get em Bea.

Gordon

PS. And DOCUMENT your every step, problem you encounter, unthought of happening or question..so the next time you do it, you'll have a successful template to follow. After 2 or 3 you could have regular EVENTS that DO make you some substantial coin...and that should get hubby's attention, ya think?

Last edited by GordonJ : September 6, 2007 at 09:38 PM.
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  #8  
Old September 6, 2007, 11:05 PM
Bea
 
Posts: n/a
Smile Re: I think I need a PUSH over the EDGE...Can you help???

Very good. I like it.
I think the biggest thing (amongst all of it - it was really good!) is the see if you can get a tenative hold on the hall for that date. I think I can, b/c I will plan it 2-3 months in advance. I did find out they require one MILLION in insurance when you rent the hall. That's a nice chunk of change for the participating insurance company for a 6 hour trek!! LOL! Wow.

Quote:
After 2 or 3 you could have regular EVENTS that DO make you some substantial coin...and that should get hubby's attention, ya think?

Yes, I do think so!

Thanks, the both of you!

Bea
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  #9  
Old September 9, 2007, 01:24 AM
Cornell Cornell is offline
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Default Considerations

Considerations that haven't been mentioned but that will affect your bottom line and that need to be accounted for in your pricing...

Floor map of the facility and breaking it down into booths and aisleways, and then prior to the event and exhibitors moving in marking off each booth section on the floor with the proper sizing....that is if you aren't supplying booth partitions...in most shows each exhibitor's area is cordoned of with 3 walls either of hanging curtains or solid material...the exhibitors in most cases count on these for backdrops and hanging displays. You might want to inquire if the hall has these available...if not you will have to rent them. Either taping or setting up is partitions is going to require a few helpers.

Also some exhibitors may want or need electical outlets...you will have to supply the cords to their booth...again have to inquire if the hall has these available.

You are going to require at least 2 security people...one for the entrance just to keep things under control and keep out any undesirables and troublemakers, and another for the entrance that the exhibitors will be using to enter and exit the building before and after the show.

Depending on the time of day the show is, most exhibitors will set up the day and night before, and you will need overnight security on the premises.

You will also need a couple of maintenance people during the show, for spills, to attend to ehibitors needs, etc..

And after the show it all has to be cleaned up...garbage, electrical cords, partitions down, plus whatever the hall specifies.

And in renting the hall .....Make sure their is sufficient parking...all the exhibitors will need spaces and some may have trucks, and not just cars....as rule of thumb 50 exibitors will require 75 parking spaces....and you need adequate parking for those coming to the show.


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