I began my expo marketing career in 2008, shortly after opening up the first full-service candy buffet in South Carolina. My very first experience in my marketing career was with my very own start-up from scratch business. At this time, marketing for me was getting my business seen by my target markets, which were brides. This was significantly different than today’s standard approach of social media marketing mixed with boosters such as SubsriberZ – this was real people walking right past me. Candy buffets were becoming very popular. My first marketing attempt was when I set up at a local bridal expo was extremely successful. I set up a full-scale buffet full of chocolates that enticed nearly everyone who passed by. Putting my best foot forward, I set up more than eight weddings and received cash down payments that day, with enough referrals from these eight weddings to keep me booked the entire year by word of mouth. The display sold itself. Little did I know this would be the start of my expo marketing career.
Many future brides wanted to see other photos of past candy buffets, so this launched the beginning of my very first website as a means of marketing. I quickly learned what my customers, what they wanted, and how much they were willing to pay to have it. This is a very important step in knowing your target market and later mapped out a future of overflow and referral success with the candy buffet business. The best and most prestigious wedding venue planners began to refer brides to my site to view the many pictures displayed. Women responded very well to my simple site and frequently commented on the many pictures posted. Marketing this business was dependent on trust. The past photos gave credibility to my business, and my marketing plan was off to a great start. My expo marketing career began by participating in an expo.
As I continued fully booked for candy buffets and doing the bridal shows, I learned a lot from watching other successful businesses. One day at a bridal show, I counted the businesses and amount of tables at the show, the very minimum charged per table, calculated those figures, and immediately thought I am on the wrong side of the table! The wedding expo producer, which was nothing more than great marketers were making a powerful income! As soon as I realized I could work 90 percent of this type of business from home, I was in! I have always loved the creativity behind marketing and loved being my own boss. Expo marketing provided a way for me to make a high income and live out multiple passions.
As I researched, I decided not to compete with the company that had cornered the market with bridal shows but to target a group that was barely touched in my area. Another kind of targeted expo was the kid or family expo. Marketing to all the many kids and mom-friendly businesses’ to participate in the expos is now my focus. As I was marketing and calling around sites to market my expo, I ran across a great mom and kid-friendly site that would be a great match for my expo. As I called and asked a few questions, I fell in love with the site and the concept of marketing to women with children, and a few days later, I became the publishing editor for the website and weekly newsletter for 600 plus subscribers and had complete publishing control for my city. This national moms site allowed their editors to keep 100 percent of the revenue from the local small business that would advertise to moms on the site.
The first week I received free entry to a kids activity valuing $150; a few weeks later, a popular local ice cream shop wanted to advertise on the site and asked if I could do copy write for the business. As I sit writing daily for the mom’s site and reaching out to the many kid-friendly businesses’ I thought a dream come true, combining my passion for writing, marketing, and multitasking events all through my expo marketing career. It is possible for anyone with drive, proper knowledge, and passion for creating a marketing job and working from home.