by Lissa, Marketing Assistant
Going to shows and expos has always been a true adventure for SmartPak. Murphy always seems to rear his ugly head at some point in every show. The trip to Equine Affaire in Massachusetts was no exception.
It all began at 7am on Wednesday. Michael, Karen and Katie and I left the SmartPak office with the trailer in tow and headed to Springfield to meet up with Emilie, Becki and Anna. We met at Booth F in the Better Living Center, took out our pre-designed floor plans, and got to work! Grid wall was erected, banners were hung, and boxes of inventory were being unpacked. For a while it seemed that the booth had been taken over by Webkinz!
Set-up took some time, (it always takes longer than we think it should) but in the end everything looked fantastic! By 8:30pm we were ready for a good meal, warm place to sit, and enough rest to start Thursday with a bang! This is where Murphy came in. A great idea in theory, except that our truck (with trailer attached) wouldn’t start. We tried jumping it, other friendly vendors tried jumping it, and there was no luck.
We called reinforcements and AAA was on its way. Michael and I sent everyone else to dinner, and waited for the tow truck driver to arrive. He hopped out of his rig,
hooked up the cables and tried to juice it up. Nothing! “Have you tried jumping the other battery” he said. “What other battery” Michael replies. Who knew that our truck had two batteries? Five minutes later, we were up and running! So Michael and I didn’t get the warm seat at dinner, but at 10:30pm, bed was looking pretty good! Moral of the story: Don’t leave the trailer lights on when setting up for a tradeshow!
Thursday 9am sharp, the doors opened and our booth was filled with customers. Some were there to see what cool, new products we had, some to ask us questions about supplements for their horse, and others to peruse the catalog or grab a free treat sample. Murphy was back on Thursday and had infested our registers to give us issues throughout the day, but we knew that Bill from IT was coming the next morning to save the day!
Bill showed up early Friday morning, assessed the register situation and we were ready to go! The doors opened, and the crowds poured in. We celebrated our SmartPink and SmartBlue Charities, by offering a discount on the products, which proved to be a hit once again. It’s always great when you know that 10% of your purchases are going to
a good cause (Breast Cancer Research or Equine Aid Charities)! We had a great day all around. What could be better than hearing a customer walk by the booth and say “SmartPak, we love SmartPak!”, or “I don’t know how I ever lived without my SmartPaks”! By mid afternoon, our inventory on Outback jackets and Life is Good products, among other things, was dangerously low! So we called up good ol’ Molly in Purchasing and she saved the day! She was able to get the products we needed and bring them to us since she was working the weekend anyway!
We rolled through Saturday and Sunday with Murphy no where in site!!! Woooohoooo!
As Sunday came to a close, we packed up pretty quickly and headed home from another successful year at Equine Affaire MA. What were we thinking about on that ride home…….what else but getting ready for our next show and keeping Murphy at bay. Winter Equestrian Festival here we come!!