This morning, I worked the Preble County Expo. For the Art Association’s Booth. Basically, the Expo is designed to promote and market the local businesses and their products. The Chamber of Commerce is the organizer / sponsor.
Usually, there are probably between 90 and 100 vendors…. and it brings in more than 1,000 attendees. They have food there for sale, and giveaways, and such. And most booths have freebies. Pens, lanyards, mugs, notebooks, magnets, key chains, candy, and on, and on. People love the freebies.
Now, to me… the Expo is pretty much just like any Preble County Parade… but in reverse.
Let me explain. Take any parade here. Like the Pork Festival Parade. The “attendees” line the streets. They sit in lawn chairs… and on curbs, and wait.
Then the parade comes by. And in the parade, there are lots of floats. Many of the “floats” are pickup trucks, with signs of businesses on the doors. The signs say “Joe’s Home Repair” or “Happy Times Landscaping”… or it could be an organization… like “The HIT Foundation” or “The Preble County Art Association.”
As the floats pass the people lining the streets… the people on those floats throw out the goodies. The freebies. They toss out pens, lanyards, mugs, notebooks, magnets, key chains, candy, and on, and on. People love the freebies.
So there you have it. The Expo is the Parade in reverse. In the Expo, the “attendees” are moving about. The attendees go past the businesses, who are in their booths lining the aisles.
And in the parade, the “attendees” sit still in their lawn chairs, and the businesses, in their booths called floats, pass them along the always. In both cases, people get a lot of freebies. And by this point, we have ascertained that people love the freebies.
I guess it is a win-win for both sides of the coin. The business get their advertising “out there” to the public. And the public gets the neat-o bottle opener, or the coolio wrist band.
We didn’t have any give-aways at our booth. No free stuff. No one stopped to say hello. I thought maybe people wanted a marching band, like in the parade. So I did my best imitation of a marching bad. I think I totally nailed the tuba and the trumpet. At that point, people started walking way, way, WAY around our booth. So, I tackled three people, and made them take pamphlets.
I wonder if they’ll ask me back next year.
And as for the rest of it… well. Such is life.
One minute you are a float in a parade, and the next minute you are a booth at Expo. Handing out the freebies.