You are a walking brand ambassador for your brand, even if you don’t remember or consider it. When you help someone in the public, you are showing your brand's culture.
When I am on my way to a business function that I am involved in, if I have time, I will always stop to help anyone on the path to the event. You might not know who else is going to the same place you are, but they certainly will be on the same road.
Years ago I wanted to meet a man who I believed would be able to launch my business. At that time, this man had no time to meet with unknown people. At 21, the only one who knew me was my family.
I spent the whole day at the convention looking for him. No luck. That night, on my way to the dinner where he was a key speaker, there was a Japanese woman with her shoe stuck in the elevator. She spoke no English and was clearly in a great deal of distress. I was torn. If I helped her, I would walk in late to the dinner, but no one else was helping.
So, I helped her get her shoe unstuck. She handed me a small white card with a room number on it and a pre-printed message that said “My wife speaks no English, if she is giving you this card, she wishes to reward you, please write the time you can come to our room this evening.”
Cool. I wrote 9pm and gave her back the card.
I had no idea that I had just been given a date for dinner with the very man I had spent the whole day trying to find. There was nothing in anything I read about him that said he had a Japanese wife direct from Japan. The next day every company who had declined to sell to me, suddenly was calling and offering net 30.
And all I did was simply help a woman in an elevator with a stuck shoe. As a human, I try to be socially responsible. Maybe it’s that “old hippie” in me that still believes in Karma, but I have found that the social responsibility of helping each other who are on your same path can sometimes yield pure gold in business.
As a society we have lost social responsibility. We don’t connect to the community, and it doesn’t matter if the community is our local home town, our online, or national or global. By always doing the right thing when you are in public with your “work clothes,” you reflect the attitude of the company, your company.
How your company behaves in the community reflects the social responsibility of your company. In other words, choose wisely which events you take your company to, as this is a direct reflection of what your company is about.
At some point every new cannabis-based company considers taking their product to a trade show. Growing up on a farm, the “Farm and Garden” show was my favorite thing to attend. You went to the ones put on by Big R feed store, because they drew the right people, the ones who buy your crops. You don’t go to the ones put on by one of the local pet stores, as they don’t cater to large animals.
Pay attention to the events you take your product to. Don’t just assume that a cannabis show is a cannabis show is a cannabis show.
Pick your trade shows based on what your company is trying to do in the industry. Are you heavy into glass? Then choose a CHAMPS show to introduce your product to the industry. Is your product something that crosses agriculture? Consider a lawn and garden show. Do you want to introduce strains or seeds? Attend one of the Oregon seed shows.
Once you have determined which show is best for your product, now consider how to market your product with a social aspect. How can you help someone at the trade show? Often people consider the giveaways, but they don’t consider how to use the give aways as a way to help people.
As an example, a company that makes pots, offer a transplanting class every hour and all attendees get a transplant pot. You are an edible company, offer a no-bake cookie class on the hour. You are a seed company, offer a mini workshop on how to plant a seed on the hour. Give a seed to everyone who watches. Get the idea?
Whatever you do in your booth, your goal is to get potential customers to take a look at your company in a fun and relaxed way. You want to get your product physically in their hands, and this social aspect is a memorable way to introduce a new company to the public. They will remember what you did in that mini session so make it memorable.
You helped them solve a problem.. and that makes you and your company memorable.
I'm curious to know what others think. Tell me what you do to make your company memorable to potential customers at a trade show. If you have questions, please email me.