Small Business Showcase

EdgEventEdgEvent subscriber Posts: 10
edited April 2008 in Public Relations
So in the process of trying to gain some exposure for my event planning company, i came up with an idea i wanted to run by you SuNers. Since I am trying to break into more corporate/business event planning, I thought perhaps a small, low budget trade show of sorts would give me a opportunity to plan some events, build up my portfolio, and help out some other small businesses or organizations in my area.
The idea would be, every month or so, my company would host a small business showcase.  Each one would have a different theme or sorts. One month might be a bakery/food showcase, another might be fashion and jewelry, another might be environmental non-profits etc where we invite small businesses or organizations in these areas to come together to network, offer samples and try to drum up some more business. I would have 5-10 different groups, businesses, individuals essentially rent "booth" space (for a much more affordable fee than other trade shows) or donate services to the event (i.e. if your a small catering company and offer to cater the event, we`d waive the fee).  I`d negotiate a venue and get all the necessary permits together and if nothing else, it would be a nice social hour with some appetizers, interesting booths to browse and some networking opportunities. I`d make some flyers to spread around town to promote it. Send some to all the
vendors to get their help in  promoting the event to the public, since
it benefits them to have more people come so they should help out
right? Even if its just your friends that come, they might be interested in what another vendor is selling and vice versa. We could make small inexpensive take home packets for people to
take with them with all the vendor info in it. If it catches on, there`s always opportunities to get sponsors and make the events bigger if we get more money.
I thought this would be a good way to build my name on a small scale as an event planner, and help out small start ups or businesses that (like me) don`t have hundreds or thousands of dollars to spend on a booth at a national trade show. I wouldn`t be making  money off of it but i`d get some exposure. The money from the booths and attendance would basically go back into promoting the next shows. But i would sign up for something like this if it was offered so i thought, maybe others would too.  What do you guys think? Good idea? Taking on too much? Would you participate? Advice?
 

Comments

  • EdgEventEdgEvent subscriber Posts: 10
    Hi Agel,
    Yes, hopefully this place will help you out a lot.  I know i`ve gotten a lot of great advice here.  My company is still in its infancy, but i learned a lot through SuN that i had never thought of before that will hopefully keep me from some common pitfalls of start ups.
    I`m going to start lookingfor some potential venues and see if i can get someone to donate the use of their space.  If so, that would be a great starting point for the rest of it. I plan on contacting my local SBA too to see if they would sponsor the showcase to get it off the ground.
    Glad you liked the idea though...Hopefully i`ll get some more feedback on this thread...(Hint hint to all those lurkers viewing the thread but not responding)
  • besthealthbesthealth subscriber Posts: 4
    You have a great idea. I would encourage you to go for it, monitor the progress and see how it works. Keep in my mind it may fluctuate don`t get discouraged but with determination, this could be just what you needed to do to take you to the next level. I wish you great success!
  • EdgEventEdgEvent subscriber Posts: 10
    Thanks for the encouragement. I see your point about getting people to come Winston, and that would be my biggest concern as well. That`s why i am hoping to market it as a sort of Networking event/showcase.  Hoping to tap into people in all career fields will want to come and network a bit, but also adding a "theme" to the event so there`s a focus to the vendors and people can choose to come to look at the showcased businesses or they can just socialize with other people looking to network a bit.
    I`d like to use resources like meetup.com and other social networking websites to promote it, in addition to things like Criagslist. I know a few people who write articles for local magazines and independant newspapers that i am hoping will write a story about the event to draw some attention.  All things that don`t require a ton of money. So I`m hoping to be able to use the money from the booth renters to pay for the flyers and advertising mostly.  For the first event...I`d like to shoot for 75 people to come. If there are 10 boothes, that means if those people can each get 7 or 8 people to come, i`d meet my quota and that`s not counting other outside people that just show up on their own because of advertising. If all goes well, then i have a nice cushion to work with for the next event.
    Here`s hoping!
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