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To Boldly Go... learned to think bolder

Next week (Thursday 26 April to be precise) we are attending Kent's largest Business-2-Business Exhibition: Kent 2020 Vision. I've been visiting this exhibition for years now, but this time we're manning a stand ourselves (scary!). Not just a simple stand, no, we decided to have one of the largest ones (stand EE3 = 6 meters wide). That's bold, not? (but not the reason for the title)

Preparations for the exhibition (marketing materials etc) started roughly three months ago (I am a Capricorn, like to be 'prepared - sometimes into the extreme) during the monthly lunch-meeting with our business consultant and good friend Richard of Burns-Waring.

Now Richard had been urging me for months to write a special booklet on our specialised flooring ranges but I had always placed that on the back-burner (double Dutch English fears etc). No escape this time.
With help from Printing.Com Danny we selected a square 12 page booklet (we are not an ordinary wooden flooring shop, so our booklet shouldn't be ordinary - thank you, Richard) and I had to set myself a deadline to have text and pictures ready end of March. Danny made life very easy when I finally emailed him my efforts (PDF-file with white background was transferred into our creamy colour background, pictures checked on sharpness and everything re-sized from A4 to square, all in no time at all) and since this morning we are the proud owners of 1000 wonderful and (also according to another BNI-member) professional 12 page square booklets.
(Bold? yes, but not the reason for the title.)

Another new marketing 'prop' for the exhibition was suggested by BNI-member Medash Signs: a 'roller-banner'. Imagine a light weighted aluminium casing which 'pops-up' into a 2 meter high, bold coloured banner with company name and large pictures (so sharp!) making us 'stand-out (over) - the-crowd. Banner arrived last week and it is a jewel! (I promise to make pictures of it all next week).
(Bold? yes of course, but still not the reason for the title)

Beginning last week I'd send out 125 invitations to our so-called ADDS-group to visit our stand next week. (Side-note: originally I had named this group ARIDS - double Dutch English again - and hadn't bothered to check if there was a typical English meaning to this acronymBurns Waring - Canterbury and Maidstone - the best business consultants around of ARchitects, Interior Designers and Self-builders. That didn't sit well with Richard, who explained to me that is means barren - not really what you want from this group of potential long-term costumers. ADDS on the other hand, well, self-fulfilling prophecy we hope.)
Last Friday I'd planned our monthly lunch-meeting again to discuss the last issues for the exhibition: how to make sure enough visitors would be willing to leave their details for further follow-up? The 'standard' business card box (and win a bottle of wine in our draw if you drop your card in) came to mind.

Not good enough in the eyes of dear friend Richard: be bold, think big and become big.
His bold suggestion: offer your ADDS-group a large incentive not only to leave their business card behind for follow-up, but also to request a quotation for one of their projects immediately (or within a specific time-period). Large incentives for ADDS-people means discounts. Eh.....ouch? (oh well, exhibitions do cost money, so why not add to it? - that's what I thought)

It became even bolder: what is Wood You Like promoting during the exhibition? Well, us of course, with our quality products from our quality manufacturers. So.....?
(I could really hear, even see that question mark hanging in the air)

this weekend I'd sent out a bold friendly request to our manufacturers to help us with this promotion. What kind of reply you think came back Monday afternoon?
Being bold 'pays', thanks Richard (owe you another lunch!)

(Any Architects, Designers, Developers or Self-Builders reading this? Come and see for yourself what we can offer you next Thursday during the exhibition. I promise it's not the normal bottle of wine!)


Stuart Baker

Karin, good for you! Here is wishing you all the best with the exhibit, your marketing, and your business in general.

You put a wonderful spirit into your work.

Stuart Baker

Mark Goodyear

Karin, what a wonderful case study of marketing for a specific event! Are you going to make the materials available as a pdf? I'd love to see them.

Best of all, though, is to hear your interior monologue. You are doing all of this for the customers. Sure, you have sales goals, but through this narrative it became clear that your primary goal is service. Good service always leads to sales.

(My floors are stained concrete by the way. Do you work in South Texas?)

Karin H.

Hi Stuart

Thank you for your wishes. I will take some pictures during the Exhibition (if and when I find time) and will post them here.

Karin H.

Hi Mark

:-) I hadn't really seen this as a case-study Mark, funny you should say that. Well, not funny, more typical, as in 'we all read in it what we want - need - see' funny.

To me is was more a modern-style testimonials to three wonderful companies I'm fortunate to work with. (added after published: I will try to find a way to write it into a workable PDF-file - after all the Exhibition dust has settled)

And I guess that you (as editor for writers) hear my 'monologues' in my writing ;-) (Thanks for the compliment in this)

Sorry not to be of service to you on the 'flooring side', East Kent is as far as we go I'm afraid. Better ask Stuart if he knows someone in that area?

(Talk about blog-networking ;-))

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