Eight years ago, Becca and I found ourselves in our office brainstorming on a Monday morning over bagels and coffee. We were both bleary eyed from lack of sleep – following another underwhelming turnout at a local “party industry showcase” the morning prior.
“Why do we do this show year after year? asked Becca “We don’t get any new business from it.”
“We do it to be supportive” I responded. “Its a fund raiser. Besides, people expect us to be there.”
“Who expects us to be there?” she quipped.
We were on to something.
Surely, our clients enjoyed seeing us set up at the marketing event. It gave them an opportunity to say “Hi” and put a name with a face. But it was the conversations with the other exhibitors that really stood out. They wanted more referrals from Joe Cornell and they wanted to “pick our brains”.
This realization – coupled with a post show request from the event sponsor for access to our private mailing lists to boost attendance – sent us into over drive.
We could create a party industry trade show that featured local businesses exclusively, and created a win-win situation for both attendees and exhibitors.
For attendees, we would promise to pre screen all businesses for professionalism. Essentially making the event a “by invitation of Joe Cornell, only”. For the integrity of the show, we decided that no business was going to be associated with our name unless we knew their work, or were a direct referral from another business in the industry that we trust and work closely.
For exhibitors, we would promise to limit the number of competitors in their respective fields, giving customers choices, of course, but not wasting their precious marketing dollars. Additionally, through our advertising and marketing efforts, our community relations, and our name recognition, we would deliver to them qualified attendees – People who were actually in the market for their goods and services.
Oh… and because we meant no ill will, and make it a policy to try and not step on other people in the industry’s toes, we would set our new Event Planning Expo in the Fall as opposed to the Spring, so as not to directly compete with the other organization’s fund raising efforts.
And so it was born.
We invite you to see what all the buzz is about at this year’s 7th annual Event Planning Expo! Tour exhibits and meet with nearly 60 vendors who would love to do business with you. Be sure to inquire about “show specials” from everyone you speak!
Date: Sunday, October 11, 2009
Place: Jewish Community Center (6600 Drake Rd., West Bloomfield, MI 48322)
Time: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Admittance is FREE with completed registration at the door. Plus, you’ll be registered to win a complimentary Lighting Package ($500 value) for your next party with Joe Cornell Entertainment.
For additional information, visit “Joe Cornell’s Event Planning Expo” on Facebook. (A link has been set on the upper right side of this page). There you will find a list of scheduled exhibitors – All from Michigan. With such a diverse collection of businesses and products on display, why not keep our party planning dollars local.
See you there!