Most Embarrassing Trade show Moments

Lynn Felter said...

At the end of the last day of the 2010 NSS, I was exhausted. Lots of booths were already tearing down so I decided to "let my hair down". I took off my shoes, sat down on the floor and started devouring a tuna fish sandwich.

Soon a man wandered by and looked in my booth. He said, "I'm from The New York Times." I replied (with a mouthful of tuna), "Yea, sure you are dude."

Um, turns out he actually was a reporter from The New York Times. He liked my story - army wife/soccer mom who writes dirty cards - so he ended up writing an article about me.

What I learned? Don't take your high heels off too early ... great things can happen even at the very end of tradeshows!

Sheila Meehan said..
Working a trade show in the 80's, I had spent a day chatting with people and my energy was high. There was a long lull between customers and I decided to look down the aisles for incoming possibilities. Lo and behold, a man was walking towards me and I thought "I KNOW him but am not sure WHO he is." He wore no badge. So, I mustered up my courage and when he walked by my booth, I stuck out my hand and announced "Hi, I'm Sheila Meehan". He laughed, shook my hand and said "Hi, I'm Chubby Checker!" I could no longer speak. He smiled and kept walking.

Don Nelson said...
My most embarrassing trade show moment so far: by Don Nelson:
I was in New York at the Javitz Convention Center and it was my first big-time professional card show. I registered and because I was so loaded down with my well worn briefcase with all my samples and my portfolio, I had somehow put my name-tag badge on, upside-down. And because I had to get up early to get to the show, (I was staying at a more affordable hotel across the river in New Jersey) it was dark when I got dressed and so I had put on my best shirt, inside-out. (Remember, my wife isn't with me to catch these little fashion details).

So I walk up to one of the biggest booth at the show, and I simply said to the well dressed lady, "Hi, my name is Don Nelson and I write humorous greeting card verses."

. . . and she starts laughing. It is not exactly what I am expecting for my first trade show but I took her moment of levity to put my briefcase on the counter in order to show her my samples when oops! --- both locks popped open on my briefcase -- and everything inside falls on the floor at her feet.

And . . . then to my amazement, she says, "We'll buy what ever your selling. You had me the moment you walked up and your shirt was inside out and your name tag was on upside-down."

It was my first sale of the day; all because of a "wardrobe malfunction".

Merry Lynch said...

My husband and I were importing stationery and cards from Europe and were showing at Javits for the stationery show. Being in the business for quite some time I was able to get a great space first time out and was very excited. At the time we were living in Maine so we packed up everything in a U-Haul truck (truck being the important word) and began our travels south to the. Big Apple.

To save money or penny pinch not sure which one really. We were staying in New Jersey, a hotel that had a FREE parking lot for the truck. On the way down we traveled vis the Garden State Parkway, whcih by the way, does not accept trucks but my husband says ..I am not driving a truck iy's not that big. So I continue in the car driving ahead of him in the "truck."
I go through the toll booth and travel on and happen to look in the rear view mirror. No site of him anywhere. I decided to pull over and wait. Some time past and I finally see him travlling along but something is not right but I just don't know what. We get to Javits and begin to unload and he tells me that the toll booth was not wide enough for the "truck" and he got stuck, held up traffic, had to pay a fine, scratched up the rental "truck" and lost a rear view mirror, and still was able to blame it all on the transit authority.

We make it through set up without killing each other and drive to the hotel, part the vehicles and hit the hay. The next morning we get up for our first day at the show and the management asks us to move the truck to a different side. Of the lot, the side for "trucks." My husband gets in, starts the engine and backs up to begin moving to the correct area. Not realizing he is in a "truck" he backs up enough to rip the whole canopy of the front entrance to the hotel off, further damaging the truck, and literally destroying the entrance.

I make it through the rubble to find the manager and attempt to begin begging for forgiveness when we are pushed out of the way by 20 tourists carrying cameras and speaking a mile a minutes in their foreign language. They all huddle outside and begin taking pictures, we all burst out laughing as I passed over our insurance information to begin the payback process.

Thankfully the show was a success although extremely expensive and my husband and I are still married. There is hope for everyone that wants to pursue this crazy lifestyle but the key to remember is laugh out loud, joyously meet new people, and don't ever take yourself too seriously.



Interview with cartoonist Lynda Barry

I just happened onto one of the best interviews on creativity I've ever heard. Cartoonist Lynda Barry's shares her view on play, memories, being creative and how the brain works. She made we want to sign up for one of her workshops! It sounds like it would be so much fun.

Check it out the audio interview #1 at The Progressive: http://progressive.org/lynda_barry_interview_audio.html
You can also download the podcast on itunes.