Over the weekend I hauled the crew up to the Seattle Bike Expo. We had never been and I didn’t know what to expect. I had read that it was the biggest in the nation and other pomp proclaiming it’s awesome-hood-ness. It was pretty awesome.
Over 250 vendors and half the population of King County turned out. Mad house just about sums up the day. But in a good way. And I took away a few impressions to share with ya’ll.
1. Beer. Cheese. Sharks.
The first vendor to grab my attention was a spokesman for the People’s Coast Classic. A 360+ mile ride along the Oregon Coast to benefit the Arthritis Foundation. Sounds pretty standard so far – and I may have not even stopped by his booth except for the fact that he was loudly sharing that his ride had “Beer. Cheese. And SHARKS.”
PNW’ers love our bikes and we love our beer. (The cheese is more of an Oregon thing.) But sharks?!
Turns out that participants get to spend one of the nights in the Oregon Aquarium Shark exhibit. Next to the shark tanks! How freakin’ cool is that?!
Now sharks may not be your thing. Heck, biking may not interest you in the slightest. But by adding that extra bit of unexpected bait this guy got me inspired to look up the race and even tell you about it. I became intrigued.
2. The Sweet Spot
The expo was very outdoorsy. The whole center was the color of granite and mud with the occasional splash of blood-red and sky. One of the first things I noticed was the lack of feminine flair.
Then I turned a corner and found where all the girly flair had been hiding.
The whole booth exploded with color. Everyone working the booth was wearing hot pink and beautiful examples of their product. They were complimentary and gracious. Everything a vendor should be. The skirts were lovely and vivid. The perfect contrast to the rest of the show. But that was just the front for their true genius.
For the rest of my time there I noticed several other ladies wearing the Sweet Spot Skirts. (They are hard to miss.) It was like a call back in a brilliant comedy set. It kept their product fresh in my mind the duration of my stay. They became unforgettable.
3. Work your passion.
The last spot I will tell you about was a timid gentleman inviting riders to visit the Idaho Rails-to-Trails. We ride our local rails-to-trails and absolutely love them. No sale was required for me. But then he veered into the gem of his trail.
The Hiawatha Trail. Fifteen miles, downhill (all the way), tunnels galore including one that’s almost two miles long, all with a shuttle at the end to take you back to your car. Sounds like a blast!
While telling me about this ride, his whole body language shifted. In that moment he shared with me all the fun he has had on that ride. The retelling turned into an adventure story. I wanted to join the fun.
So the next time you are working a show with 250 other vendors, a gazillion participants, and feeling without a clue. (Been there. Done that.) Stop and figure out how you can stand out. How you can pepper your product throughout the event. And how you can use your passion to enlist others to join you.
Easy, right? It’s all downhill…after the sharks and hot pink skirts.