Archive for the ‘Random Ramblings’ Category
Ah, that Lincoln, such a visionary… He knew even back then that we would have trouble differentiating actual quotes with made up ones on the internet. Plus, he knew we would have the internet, and he was a vampire slayer and something about being a president and abolishing slavery… What a man!
Anyway, as I was taking a break from designing new packaging for our kids belts, I saw that picture on my favorite website, Pinterest, and I laughed. Then I started really paying attention to the quotes and realized, that’s so true. How do we know that Marilyn Monroe said “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” While I like that quote, I generally won’t repin quotes who give credit to who said it, just because I don’t know if it’s true. And lets face it, I don’t want to look like an idiot.
If you judge Benjamin Franklin by the things he is quoted with saying on Pinterest, you would think he may have had a problem.
Like this quote, I really like it, but I don’t know if he said it. So if I repin it do I look silly if he, in fact, didn’t say it?
Am I the only one concerned with this? Does it really matter or will someone just look at this quote and think “That’s nice”. I’m over-thinking, I know. It’s what I do and because of that, you will rarely, if ever, see me pin a quote that actually lists a name on it.
Hows that for our “Random” blog topic??
Ok, so it’s been raining in the sunshine state for about 5 days now. I’m not complaining, because we desperately need it, but the kids are going a little stir crazy and I’m afraid that if it’s raining tomorrow (Saturday), the kids will have a huge case of cabin fever. So, while I should be working here at the kids belts office, I am actually looking for things to do with with them on rainy days, besides shoving them out the door to play in the rain.
I found some great ideas on Real Simple and a few other sites. I’ve pulled together my favorites for you!
- Have an indoor scavenger hunt. Hide stuff around the house and make clues leading from one thing to the next.
- Build a fort. You’d be surprised how long a good fort will entertain them! Use couch cusions, or dinning room chairs and sheets, get creative!
- Make a drive-in movie. This one takes a little planning ahead, because you need cardboard boxes big enough to hold your children sitting down. It’s also a time killer because they get to decorate their own “cars”. Then have them pick out a movie to watch!
- Make up your own board game. Come up with a completely original game complete with pieces, tokens, and board or combine other games together to make a new game!
- Get artistic! Use dry erase markers to let your kids decorate the windows and add their own sunshine. Have them draw what they would like to be doing outside!
- Have your own fashion show. Have the kids create their own outfits from their closet, mixing and matching. Then let them make their own accessories with things from around the house.It’s so neat to see how creative they can be!
- Hide-n-seek with at twist. Much like the original game, one player counts while the other one hides, but when the one who’s “it” starts hunting, the hiders get to move around trying not to be seen!
- Get out in the rain. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! I remember playing in the rain when I was little and LOVING it! As long as it’s not thundering or lightening, go for a walk, or a bike ride, or better yet, set up a slip-n-slide! Go splash in some puddles. Let your kids see you “breaking” the rules!
Hope those help you beat the cabin fever that come with being stuck in the house for days as the second flood comes!
Everyday, it’s the same thing. When I leave the kids belts office, I am bombarded by flashbulbs and screaming photog’s (yea, I’m up on the lingo) looking for that million dollar shot of me doing something embarrassing…. Oh, wait, that was just a dream! Contrary to popular belief, I am not famous… *gasp* “Say it ain’t so, Chelle!” Oh, it’s so, sad, I know, but not everyone knows that I invented the truly amazing Dapper Snappers.
For the first time, though, I found an actual fan. Someone who knew about Dapper Snappers before meeting me. Someone who actually owns a Dapper Snapper! You would think with the thousands that we have sold, that I would see them everywhere, but no, I don’t.
Ok kids, here’s the story of how I met
your mother a fan:
For the past few months, I have been going to nail school. I have been learning manicures, pedicures and all sorts of cool techniques.
Well, about 2 weeks ago, Crystal started her classes at Cindy Lee’s facial and nail institute. Lindsey, a student and friend of mine was giving Crystal a pedicure and talking about the steps taken. I was sitting next to them giving a customer a manicure.
After talking for a while, the topic then shifted to what we do other than school and I mentioned I owned a business making toddler belts.
Lindsey, being well-versed in how Dapper Snappers work, began to describe them to Crystal for me. And then Crystal popped up and said, “Oh! You mean Dapper Snappers?!?!” She knew what they were!! I couldn’t believe it! This was the first person I have ever met that I didn’t have to explain them to!
The rest of the day she kept telling me about her one and only Dapper Snapper and how she has this rule with her husband that he may NEVER EVER LOSE IT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. And it has its own special spot it’s supposed to be when not in use.
Crystal told me she felt like she was meeting a celebrity. *blush*
And I was covered head to toe in goosebumps because I finally met someone that was a fan that I didn’t give Dapper Snappers to begin with.
And then, by some crazy coincidence Crystal starts going to the same school that I did.
Amazing. Thrilling. Happy me!
I think Dapper Snapper fans are the celebrities!
I’ve been found! What’s that? You didn’t know I was missing? Well, I wasn’t technically… More like hiding. Our Dapper Snappers kids belts warehouse is tucked back in a big complex of warehouses in Port Orange, FL. We are not the easiest place to find.
Almost 2 weeks ago, I was interviewed for an article for the Daytona Beach News Journal (I posted the article here). Since then the phone has been ringing off the hook with people wanting to know where they can find our amazing belts!
Well, the other day, I was at lunch and I got a call from Colleen (one of our employees) to tell me that she had someone at the shop who wanted to talk to me. Me? Little ole me? Who was it? She told me “A customer!”
What? A customer wanted to talk to me? This is the first time anyone has ever sought us out and it was all because she saw the article in the paper.
Her name is Ruth. She remembered the name of our company and the address. She was in the area and stopped by to buy our Dapper Snappers XL Deluxe Set. She was so excited and said she was going to tell all of her friends! It was kind of strange to talk to a customer face to face, though! I’m so used to communicating through email, Facebook and the occasional phone call!
This was such an awesome moment for me and Dapper Snappers! She actually wanted to talk to me personally so she could thank me for inventing Dapper Snappers! I love hearing how much people love our product and for her to take the time out of her day to seek us out, I’m speechless!
We have the best customers and the most loyal fans and even if I never meet YOU in person, I love and am grateful for each and every one of you!
I hope you all have a blessed Easter!
Owls, how’s that for random?
Owls are big in the fashion world right now. I should know, what with being on the cutting edge of everything kids fashion for our kids belts patterns, after all. There are some really cool looking owls (see above) and some really odd looking owls (see below).
This guy just looks annoyed…
Seriously, though they are everywhere. Owls dominate Pinterest as well as all of the local kids retailers near you and I don’t know about you, but we even had several owl trick or treaters this year. Don’t get me wrong, I think they are super cute, but they just came out of no where and exploded. (Not literally, that would be gross, but you know what I mean.) It always amazes me the things that become popular. Think about it, for every one animal that becomes popular, there are tons that don’t. I mean think of the poor anteater, no one is giving the anteater any love.
While I was perusing the internet for this topic, I came across some interesting things that involve owls. Well… at least interesting to me. Be on the look out soon for a new owl pattern from Dapper Snappers.
You can do owl crafts…
Or you can do owl snacks…
You can have an owl themed party…
Or even an owl themed room…
You can have owls on the beach, if you feel so inclined, though I’m not sure why you would. However, they are cute…
And finally, I’ll leave you with this, because apparently, its easier to be an owl…
*singing* Summertime, summertime, sum sum summertime, summertiiiiiiiiiiiime!
It’s officially summertime for us. The kids are out of school and we are thinking it’s about time for our annual summer vacation from the wonderful world of kids belts. We are taking the kids to Busch Gardens this year, but instead of driving, we are making the whole vacation an experience including the travel. This year, we are taking a train to our destination. It would have taken almost 3 hours by car, assuming there is no traffic, or 3 hours by train. Well, with gas prices the way they are, the train made the most sense.
The kids are super excited, as am I. The idea of travelling by train instead of car seems so much more relaxing. The kids can get up and move around and we can play games with them. Overall, I think it will be a much more pleasurable time.
I have to say, I am thoroughly excited to see how the kids will like Busch Gardens. They have always loved Disney, but with them both getting a little older, I think they will really enjoy this park. I’m not sure that they will be riding the crazy roller coasters, mama’s heart couldn’t take that, but they will love all of the animals and scenery and all of the other rides.
They hubby and I are so looking forward to getting away, too. Even though it’s only about 3 hours from home, it’s far enough to be away from the office and the dredges of housework… bleh…
What are your summer plans? Anything exciting planned? Do you do keep it low key and plan a “stay-cation” or do you go all out and plan an all expenses paid trip to the Bahamas or are you somewhere in between? Whatever you are planning for this summer, I wish you nothing but the best, safe travels and above all, great quality time with the family.
It floods…. literally. Or at least that’s how it has seemed around here at the kids belts office. Jen and I have had no luck at lately!
It started a bout 2 weeks ago, when Super Dude was in the bathroom, “Mommy, I need help.” “Super Dude, what do you need?” His reply? “Mom, there is so much water.”
So, in my mind, I’m thinking that the he flushed too much paper and the water has risen to the top of the bowl. No big deal. Yea, no big deal, except for the fact that when I stepped into the bathroom… *splash*.
Yes, I would have to say, that’s a lot of water. Crud… now what? Hubby wasn’t their so I couldn’t call on my knight in shining armor. CRUD… I have to handle this myself. Step one…. make the water stop. Ok, but how do I do that? I didn’t know which knob to turn so I thought, I’ll put the top off the tank and see if something in there will help. I grab the thingy (yes, that its the technical term) and pull up. It worked. The water stopped running. Now what? If I let go, it will start again, but I really don’t care to stand in a sea of toilet water while I wait for hubby to come home. The water is still spreading…into the bedroom, into the closet…CRUD!!!!!
“Super Dude, can you go get mommy the plunger out of the other bathroom?” He returns with the plunger. Here I stand, one hand holding up the thingy and the other one trying to plunge the toilet. Seriously, did he flush the whole roll? Anyway, if finally worked. and the toilet went back to normal.
I, then, used every dirty and clean towel I could get my hands on to sop up all of this water. About that time, hubby walked in and I looked at him and smiled “Your turn!”
A few days later the condensation line in the AC got stopped up and that leaked everywhere and then the water heater felt left out, so it decided it would leak too and flood the garage. That’s 3 right? Were are done now, right?
Yeah…not so much…
Poor Jen, she had to replace her tires on her truck last week ($300). This week, her power steering hose decided that it had had enough and the very small leak turned into a monsoon of power steering fluid ($100). And finally (hopefully anyway), her timing belt needs to be replaced next week ($500). Just so my car wouldn’t feel left out, it decided to overheat the other day and hold up the pickup line at Super Dude’s school.
Anyone want to contribute the “No More Floods” fund? We sure could use it. Either that, or we need to learn how to play in the rain!
One of my key marketing strategies is SEO. I am always working on increasing (or reducing, really) our Alexa rating (if you want, you could write up a rave review for us… hee hee shameless plug!). A result of constantly working on this is that I get to see what keywords people use that bring them to our website.
Now, the keywords that I’m working tirelessly on are kids belts, that would be why you always see that phrase linked to our site in my blogs. Well, as much as I drive those keywords home, do you know what the number one keyword is that brings people here in an organic search? No, it’s not “awesome” or “amazing” (though it should be) and as much as I hate to admit it, it’s not even “kids belts”.
Are you ready for this…
Wait for it….
Wait for it….
Wagon? Yea, wagon, that’s what I thought, too. That doesn’t make sense! I mean, really all the time and energy I spend on “kids belts” and the word wagon brings people here?
Where did that even come from? Well, I did some research and in January of 2011, I wrote a blog post titled, “Back on the Blogging Wagon” where I used the above picture of a wagon to illustrate my point. Turns out that was the best thing I could do to get people to our site. Although, I am sure that they are sorely disappointed to find out that we do not, in fact, sell wagons.
I was thinking about it though, maybe we can incorporate the word wagon into our tagline… “Dapper Snappers… the wagon of the belt world” or “Dapper Snappers get you wagon” (get it, wagon=wagging) ok that last one was a stretch.
Do you have any creative ways to use the word “wagon” in our tag line? I’d so love to hear them, this could be hilarious!
It’s a new year! 2012 already? That happened way too fast, but I am a bit disappointed because I was sure that by now we would all be driving flying cars and using teleporters.
But I digress, back to the new year and new resolutions. This year I resolve to have the best year in kids belts history! That should be easy because I only have to compete with 3 years and while they were great years, I am certain that this will be the best. That’s not my only resolution, like tons of people out there, I am making a resolution for health. Maybe I should be more specific, good health. I’m not looking to lose mounds of weight and be super model skinny thereby making my head look hugely disproportional to my tiny frame, I just want to be healthy. In my search for healthy-ness (shhh, I can make up words if I want…), I thought I would pass along some healthy shopping tips that I picked up.
- Shop the perimeter of the store. That’s where the good fresh stuff is located. The produce section, fresh meat section and dairy section are the best places to shop for clean eating.
- LIST LIST LIST Take a few extra minutes before you go shopping to plan out your weeks worth of meals and make a list. If you have a smart phone, there are so many free apps out there that are specifically for shopping lists. The really neat thing about those apps is that they will also organize your list for you into sections so in the long run it makes the shopping trip go much faster! (I like the ShopListFree app. It’s very basic, but also user friendly.) Some of the apps even include pricing, so you can keep it budget friendly!
- Focus on Fiber Officially, fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Most adult women should shoot for over 20 grams of fiber a day; men should shoot for over 30 grams. Some great sources are whole fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and breakfast cereals, and all manner of beans. You should choose foods that list whole grains (like whole wheat or whole oats) as a first ingredient. Bread, cereal, crackers and other grain foods should have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
- Avoid Overly Processed Food Box mixes and canned food, while they are convenient, are riddled with sodium. Try to avoid boxed food altogether and if you must get canned food, always opt for low/no sodium choices.
- Buy Lean Cuts of Meat There are so many choices out there now with chicken and turkey (ground meats, sausages, cutlets, etc…) that it’s much easier to make substitutions. Beef and pork aren’t too bad in moderation, but you definitely should get the very lean cuts.
- Dairy Opt for low-fat items. Cabot has some really great low-fat cheese options (Cheddar, habanero, jalapeno and pepper jack). Skim milk is a good choice and if you are going for yogurt, opt for Greek yogurt. It packs more of a protein punch and has little to no fat. Plain Greek yogurt also makes a wonderful substitute for sour cream.
- SAY NO TO IMPULSE JUNK Resist impulse buys while standing in the check out isle. Don’t let those candy peddlers win! You don’t need the candy bar or that bag of chips. Put it back…
- Resist the Twinkies Ok, it’s hard to jump into healthy eating, so if you are going to pick up some not so healthy treats, limit it to what you can fit in the top of the buggy (you know, where a small child usually sits). Then when you get in line to check out, re-evaluate those choices and ask yourself again if you really want (NEED) it.
- Don’t Meander Shop with a purpose. When you aimlessly meander through the store, you open yourself up to more impulse buys. You also fall into the stores sales traps, the end caps. The end caps are where bad food goes to tempt you and the store pretends that they are “practically giving it away”. Usually, the deals aren’t that great anyway. Just walk away.
- Don’t Go Hungry A huge mistake is to shop when you are hungry. Everything looks good when you are hungry and when you are hungry your stomach is telling you that you NEED it all. So save yourself some trouble, eat before you shop. You will thank me later.
So, that’s it. That’s my miracle list for healthy grocery shopping. I know that its not an exhaustive list by any means, but it is a start. I hope you can use at least a few to make your 2012 the healthiest ever!
I usually try to keep my opinions to myself. As I’ve said before, I can’t always say what I want to say. But after the first communication from ABC Expo after the flop that was the 2011 Louisville ABC Expo, I just can’t help myself… (I’m just going to apologize for this extremely long and cranky post upfront.) Also, I started this post 2 months ago. Sometimes it just takes a couple months to get it all down.
We attended a recent trade show, one that used to be the largest in the juvenile industry, All Baby & Children Kids Expo. The trip didn’t get started off on the right foot. I don’t blame the trade show for that. My stupid ticket didn’t help. Other not-so-fun stuff happened… Upon unloading our trade show stuff from the trailer, after we got the cart loaded with 400 lbs of stands, product, and marketing collateral, the caster on one of the wheels broke in half. How did this happen??? Just our Kentucky luck I guess.
My list of complaints is long, especially when it comes to Fern, the company hired by ABC to be in charge of setting up everything from carpets to electricity to food services. They had to be one of the worst companies I’ve ever had to deal with.
- They left everything a mess after they set up and didn’t clean up after themselves. They didn’t bother to vacuum any of the carpeting they laid down.Our poor neighbors had the whole border of their flooring torn up because the Fern staff felt they couldn’t possibly lift it up out of their way, but instead threw pieces of it all over the booth.
- Their idea of an apology for leaving a mess all over our booth, as well as many others, was to tell us that we didn’t ask them to clean up after themselves. If we wanted them to do that, we would have to pay $200 extra…per day! I have a hard time believing that it would take that long to vacuum a 20×10 carpet that was 30% covered in furniture. But hey, they’re better than the GES staff we had to deal with in Vegas, right? WRONG!!! The guy in charge said that since I was so unhappy about the mess they left, they would vacuum our booth every morning of the show free of charge. And then they didn’t do it. You all know how I feel about poor customer service.
- They didn’t offer empty bin service (this is for empty boxes to be saved and repacked after the show) without outrageous storage fees. So much for Fern being cost effective because they are non-union.
- The carpets didn’t match. We counted 5 different colors of blue carpeting in our area, all smushed together like some bad patchwork quilt. It looked horribly unprofessional. And it stunk. Badly.
- Power cords were run arbitrarily under carpets. We had the privilege of having the center of our booth host a spiderweb of power cords under our carpet to share with everyone else in our row and could do nothing about it. We did our best to lay the lines flat and close together (after pulling the carpet back up) so that there would be less to trip on. Then we had to arrange our booth so that the lump under the carpet wasn’t so obvious, and so no one would trip on it.
- We were offered a great way to save money on parking so we could come and go as we pleased. Instead of paying $8 every time we parked our car (not per day, but per parking), a 24 hour expo parking pass was offered to exhibitors for $24. But the pass stopped selling 1/2 way through the first day. We don’t know if they ran out and couldn’t figure out how to print more, or if Fern was just being greedy. But we ended up paying way too much for parking!
- The food was a joke. A really bad one. My quest started off with a desire for coffee. An hour wait in line was met with 2 elderly “baristas” who had no idea what they were doing. We jokingly decided along with some other customers that we were going to start a support group for the Survivors of Kentucky Grind. About the time that lunch time rolled around the lines for food were impossibly long. There were only a few places to get anything to eat on that first day. And what was really sad? They ran out of food! People were being turned away as they closed up shop. I waited 45 minutes in one line only to watch them put up a sign claiming they were sorry but they could not accept anything but cash. I guess their credit card readers decided to stop working. Those of us without cash were out of luck. We could leave the expo center, but we would have to pay another $8 to park again. The next day more food vendors showed up. Big trucks outside claimed you could have the best pork chop sandwich ever, or a “taco” salad (yeah, that isn’t what you think it is), or deluxe potato chips (like nachos with potato chips instead of tortilla chips). The food was awful and the prices were worse. For what they were charging, you could almost go out to eat and pay for parking all over again. For as much as it cost us for the booth and travel, should we really have to pay super-inflated county fair prices for something to eat?
Of course, not the
fair expo people’s fault, but our hotel (one set up with ABC housing) was not a good experience. Normally I’m not picky about hotels. As long as they provide what they say they are going to, we are good to go.
- The first night there, we had no air conditioning. So after a really long stressful day of setting up and getting our booth ready for the show, we spent our night tossing and turning and sweating. Mind you, we called the hotel management before we went to bed at 1 am to get someone to fix it. The poor night manager (on her 3rd night working for the hotel) had to put up with plenty of discontent, not just ours. She got our AC working again…for a short while. And then by 4 am it was hot again.
- Lack of promised amenities. Where was the free wireless? Every day they would get it working and then a half hour later it was off again. The poor night manager had her hands full with this one as customers yelled at her for it not working when they got up in the morning, not like she had any control over it. Can you tell I really felt bad for her? Poor thing…
- The continental breakfast was a whole lotta not good; much like salmonella looking for a place to propagate. I think I’ll take my chances with the county fair food at the expo.
- Hubby would like me to also mention the total lack of water pressure to even have a decent shower, also not mentioned in the list of amenities.
That pretty much leaves me with what I know to be ABC’s fault directly.
- I fault them for going for the lowest bidder and hiring Fern.
- I also fault them for providing housing that not only did not meet standards, but was overpriced as well (and we were in one of the least expensive hotels).
- They obviously did not know enough about Louisville (and neither did we until we spent time with a friend who lives there) to know that the expo and the hotel we stayed in, and really a 2 mile radius of the expo, is known to all as the “bad part of town.” Although I think maybe they did, but didn’t really care since they weren’t paying for the expo space anyway. Rumor has it that it was free the first year, but they are under contract to pay next year. Apparently Louisville, like every other city in the country, is struggling with jobs lost, housing foreclosures, and poverty. The more visitors they can get into the city, the more income is raised with overpriced lodging and food. Seems like a win-win for everyone except the exhibitors.
- Uniformed police officers walked around the exhibit hall constantly. They didn’t make me feel safe. They actually put me on edge. I was waiting for a take-down or something crazy like that. What was up with the police presence? Well, just say hi to them and they will spend an hour in your booth telling you tales of thievery and deceit right there in our very own trade show. Ugh…
- Ever been to a mall on a Monday morning? That was pretty much how the show felt the entire time. 54% of the people walking around were other exhibitors. Only 14% were actual buyers. Not sure how many of those were undercover police posing as buyers from Violet’s Playhouse. Yes, the uniformed police told us about the undercovers. Your secret is out!
- The highlight of the trade show, the party/concert held for all exhibitors and buyers was very badly done. I spent so much time talking this thing up to so many people only to feel embarrassed and let down. You see, every year (when it was in Vegas) the party would have some stupid theme and an old decrepit band, whose members we all thought were long passed, would play the night away (well at least the 3 hours the party was on) while we ate and drank our fill from the free buffets and open bars. It was the one night that didn’t cost us anything except cab fair to get back to our hotels. What did Louisville have to offer?
- Their cocktail and appetizer (don’t want to confuse them with a big word like Hors d’oeuvres) servers were completely unknowledgeable about what they were serving unless it was fried. Deep fried bacon on a stick? Umm…no thanks. My assistant Jen asked a server what kind of wine he had on his tray. His response was, “Char? Char nay? Char? Don? Um…uh…White wine.” Thank you master sommelier. The dinner served was marginally better than the expo fare. What’s that saying about lipstick on a pig?
- And the open bar? Well, if you were at all late, you were screwed. They had the bar open for a total of 45 minutes and they ran out of Cabernet Sauvignon before I could get a second glass. As soon as they announced the closing of the bar, people crowded in droves around the bartenders and ordered as many drinks as they could carry back to the carpeted section they were sitting on.
- Did I forget to mention to utter lack of tables and chairs? Yeah… Besides a couch and love seat, there was no furniture except high tables to stand at. Wanna sit? Cop a squat!
- The concert was held in another part of the building, so really, no where near the food or drinks. And you could still drink after they closed the open bar if you wanted to pay an outrageous amount for small servings.
- The concert, while well done for the price, was featuring KC and the Sunshine Band. KC is now a fat old guy that is trying desperately to hold on to his glory days but has to keep walking off stage for a rest (and probably an oxygen mask) between songs. I give him credit for trying. But no, KC, I don’t think you’re sexy. Just for fun, here’s a video clip from the show. The funniest part is around 6:28 when he’s trying to hide his butt crack.
The part that infuriates me the most about the whole thing? They sent out this press release:
ABC Kids Expo Completes First Louisville Show,
Looks to 10th Anniversary Celebration in 2012
The world’s largest juvenile products trade show reports on its 9th annual exposition at its new location at the Kentucky Exposition Center.
San Antonio, TX – All Baby & Child, Inc., the parent company and organizer of ABC Kids Expo®, has released a post-show statement regarding their ninth annual trade show, held for the first time at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, KY, on September 23 – 26, 2011.
Preliminary stats showed an overall decrease of about 2,200 after last year’s record-breaking attendance and a venue change for this year’s show. Retail buyers, mostly from the West Coast, were down by about 400. Final numbers are expected in the next few weeks.
Attendance figures from the Midwest and East Coast, media, government and special services were up from last year. Although slightly less than last year, the number of exhibitors was about 7% higher than at the 2009 show, and net square footage for exhibit space was 4% above the mean for the last three years.
“Most exhibitors we have talked with had good shows. Some indicated that the show was the best ever in terms of order writing and quality of buyer attendance,” according to Larry Schur, president of All Baby & Child, Inc. “We were very pleased to see that our international buyer attendance was the second highest in the event’s history, with 62 countries represented. Total event attendance was down from last year, but it is consistent with prior show years and understandable with the current economy and the number of retailers who have had to close their doors.”
He continues: “While we understand that some found it difficult to get to Louisville and there are always issues to be resolved in moving a show of this magnitude to a new city and a new venue with all new contract suppliers, the issues are easily remedied. We are pleased with the results of the show and the amount of orders it generated for our exhibitors. Retailers indicated that the layout of the show floor by category, all on a single level, made the show easily navigable and was the best in the history of the show.”
Virtually every significant manufacturer or distributor of products for infants and small children exhibits at this private industry event, showcasing their latest products, networking with established customers, and working to land new accounts from among the retailer attendees. Here are some of this year’s exhibitor comments:
As you can see, they are smoking some kind of marketing crack! I removed the comments because I know for a fact that it’s all crap. One of the quoted exhibitors told everyone how awful it was and then gave a glowing review to ABC. What a lot of hooey!
As if things hadn’t gone badly enough, my poor over-worked car decided that day 3 of the expo from hell was a good time to kick the bucket. We thought we had it figured out, but it wasn’t going to go anywhere without a major repair. When we finally had everything packed up and ready to go, we still had to stay one more day to get the car fixed. The radiator had to be replaced. All in all, the cost of the trip was more than if we had all taken first class flights to the trade show and had everything shipped. And we still didn’t make enough in sales to cover it.
Wanna know what makes me laugh about this all now? This recent press release from ABC Expo:
ABC Maintains Booth Pricing for 10th Year in a Row,
Announces Move Back to Las Vegas in 2013
San Antonio, TX – All Baby & Child, Inc. (ABC), the parent company and organizer of ABC Kids Expo®, is pleased to announce that it is maintaining booth pricing for its 2012 show at the Kentucky Exposition Center on October 14-17. ABC has not increased booth pricing for the ABC Kids Expo since its inception 10 years ago.
Floor space for the 2012 show is already 75% sold. Booth layouts will begin shortly after the first of the year. Once this is underway, major booth increases or decreases will be extremely difficult to accommodate. For that reason, early bird discounts will be forfeited for booth decreases of 25% or more after January 31, 2012.
The official deposit deadline for the 2012 show is January 31, 2012. JPMA members of record as of that date will receive an extension to March 1, 2012.
After careful review of feedback received from industry participants at the 2011 show, ABC is working closely with Louisville officials and vendors to address concerns for the 2012 event in Louisville, such as improved healthy food options and reduction in wait times, re-construction of the expo centers wifi system, and greater availability of restaurant options in the city on Sunday.
ABC is also pleased to announce that a move back to Las Vegas is planned for 2013 and is tentatively scheduled for October 15-18, 2013. Along with this announcement comes some great news for participating manufacturers. Exhibitors at the 2012 show will receive a $2-per-square-foot loyalty credit to use toward their 2013 booths of the same or larger size.
It is not too late to take advantage of this loyalty discount offer. Exhibitor registration is available online at www.theabcshow.com or by calling the ABC Hotline at (210) 691-4848.
Well ain’t that somethin? Seems they can’t just say everything was wonderful after all. When ABC goes back to Vegas, we will come back to ABC. In the meantime, plans are in the works to exhibit at KIDShow and ENK.