What day is it?? My husband and I are both quite disoriented about what day of the week it is or what’s going on with us. It’s Fall Break here, which means our preschooler is home from school all week and I spent the weekend going back and forth between our home and Louisville, KY for the ABC Kids Expo! To say it has been busy would be an understatement!
I’m so glad I went, despite doubting myself numerous times as I got gentle reminders that I would be a very tiny fish-blogger in a sea of hugely-important bloggers and other media representatives. I know my place in the world and while I was clearly out of my league at the Expo, I met with many companies who were more than happy to give me a bit of time and information to share with you, regardless of my stats (which are growing but not exactly competitive with others in attendance).
God bless those representatives I met with who made me feel important. I could have kissed you when you said “We don’t care what your stats are!” but I didn’t…because that would be unprofessional and awkward.
This year I had a great mix of company sizes that I spoke with — small startups, medium-sized companies, and huge corporations. My strategy going in was to accept invitations for appointments with as many of the companies who approached me by email in the weeks leading up to the Expo as I could and then drop by others that I marked in the Expo book and online list. I also did some browsing up and down the many aisles and stopped at a few that caught my eye. The important thing to remember is that while yes, companies want to talk to bloggers and get their products in hand for reviews, giveaways, and general word-of-type, their main objective at the Expo (a trade show) is to secure orders from buyers. Making an appointment, for me, made me feel better about taking up a few minutes of time because they knew I was coming, had invited me themselves, and I would be sure to speak to the appropriate (public relations) person at the booth rather than talking to someone who has no interest in speaking to bloggers.
I had appointments with about 20 companies: Soft Gear, ParentLab, Green Toys, B Kids, bambinos!, Clek, Wean Green, Dorel Juvenile Group, Brica, Clueless Chick, B.O.B./Britax, Monkey Mat, Global Game Changers, Hape Toys, Graco, DaddyScrubs, Phillips/Avent, BubbleBum, Ergobaby, and Lansinoh.
In addition, I had about 23 other companies on my show planner that I hoped to see in between appointments. While I mostly came home with media kits (printed or on USB drives), I do have a few products in hand to review and/or give away.
- Bamboobies washable nursing pads
- The Global Game Changers book
- mOmma straw cup
- Monkey Mat
- Flipper toothbrush holder
- Clueless Chick book set
A little more about the Expo. Umm my feet hurt. I made the rookie mistake of scheduling appointment just by when I could fit them in, not where they were located on the show floor, which by the way is about 1,000,000 square feet. I’m just realizing today that I should have used my dang FitBit to keep track of all that walking…but now it’s too late. Oh well. It was a lot.
Also, the show can be a lot more fun when you have someone to share the experience with you! Last year, Jamie and I went together, along with her twins and sister. We were able to make decisions together about where to go, what to do, and could exchange glances with one another when the pitches took awkward turns. This year I was all alone and looked all sad and lonely at the industry reception at 4th Street Live in downtown Louisville (which was fabulous).
Thankfully, on Monday afternoon, I happened to run into Sunny of New Mommy Media, who produces three online radio shows for new parents – Preggie Pals, The Boob Group, and Parent Savers. I’ve listened to Sunny’s shows for what feels like forever, so she’s like a podcast celebrity! We stuck together for the afternoon and made our way through some of the Maternity Square section of the show (including the lovely gals from Earth Mama Angel Baby® ) before it closed and we went to dinner. I’m so glad I ran into her! Check out her website, shows, and accompanying blogs. Psst, by the way, I’ve just joined the Parent Savers blogging team, so you’ll be reading me there too!
I have a small mountain of business cards to attend to, but come back tomorrow for a review of iPieces games for iPad by Pressman Toy! Did I mention there’s a giveaway too??
The ABC Kids Expo is still going on for another 2 days, so watch Twitter Hashtag #ABCKids12 to keep up with all the new products being unveiled!