I actually wrote this blog a year ago as I was preparing to leave for Las Vegas. I didn't post it for some reason, but stumbled across it today - and it's relevant to those of you traveling to Orlando in a few weeks!
WRITTEN OCTOBER 2007
Last May, I was convinced by someone I used to like (just kidding, sort of) to set up a booth at the NAR Expo in Las Vegas. She convinced me it would be fun and that she would handle all the details - all I'd have to do is show up.
Okay, I agreed to do it. New experience and all...good for the soul.
So, I've devoted the better part of the last six months to preparing for this convention. Just show up? HA!
What was I thinking? I'm an introvert and I love my naps. I've never even been to a convention or trade show of any kind. So, tackling a 25,000+ attendee gig is a bit overwhelming for me. But y'know what? I'm really excited about it! Something tells me I'm gonna have a LOT of fun and that it will be a life-changing experience.
From what I hear, all 4,000 of us exhibitors are going to try to sell you something, get your contact information or give you our krap (as I affectionately call the free pens, bags, magnets, etc.)
Please be kind to us.
We are spending HUGE bucks and committing an ungodly amount of time to creating a great show for you. I can only speak for myself, but maybe this will give you an idea of how HUGE those bucks spent are:
- $3,200 for the privilege of showing up
- $6,000 to RENT a custom designed booth (mine is fabulous)
- $2,500 to ship it and set it up
- $75/day to vacuum my booth (union rules prohibit me from doing it myself)
- $115 per VISIT to my onsite storage locker (gotta pay union dues to get someone to unlock it for me)
- $300 to set up three electrical outlets in my booth
- $1,100 for Internet access
Of course, this doesn't include the production and shipping of any product to sell at the convention or travel expenses or gawd knows what else that will come up between today and November 12. Just yesterday I spent another $6k on something - I don't remember exactly what it was. I'm in a daze.
EPILOGUE - WRITTEN TODAY, OCTOBER 22, 2008
Exhibiting at the NAR convention was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, physically, emotionally and financially. The total tab was over $30,000 and the toll on my body, mind and spirit was incalculable. I doubt all exhibitors face the same challenges I did, due to my utter lack of experience in such things, but even for the Old Hats, it's a tough week.
So, as you're wandering thru the halls of the tradeshow, take a moment to smile at an exhibitor and if his or her product intrigues you - let 'em tell you about it.
Thanks for listening.
The Exceptional Agent Project is Live!