Aug
04
2011
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On the Way to the Queen Bee Market

Queen Bee Market San DiegoJust a one day to go until the Queen Bee Market August 6th, 2011 at the San Diego Bayfront Hilton. I’ll be there representing the Domestic Nest. Stop by to check out the one of kind handmade goodies! Attending BlogHer ’11? Enjoy the short walk from the San Diego convention center to the Bayfront Hilton for the Queen Bee Market!

Written by in: Marketing Chat |
Nov
16
2009
2

Girls Day In and Tips For Tradeshow Success

Girls Day In San Diego

Girls Day In San Diego

This past weekend I attended the inaugural Girl’s Day In San Diego event at the Lafayette Hotel in North Park. The event appeared to be a great success. There were about 4o vendors there and an estimated 300-350 attendees, a great turnout for a first time, local event.

The Girl’s Day In is an independently created Women’s Expo and Lifestyle Show created and hosted by Synecdoche Communications. The show was among the first local independent business-promoting women’s expos and lifestyle shows held in San Diego and served as an “indie shopping mall” for the day. The event also featured a fashion show with the inspired works of local designers, as well as raffle drawings throughout the day for prizes donated by participating vendors. The first 25 attendees also received an unbelievably cool “goodie” bag filled with swag from some of the exhibitors. The bags themselves were handmade by a talented local artist and exhibitor at the event, Happy Find.

The Happy Find bags, made from pillow cases!

The Happy Find bags, made from pillow cases!

I found so many unique and handmade gifts from creative artists such as Happy Find, Made With Luv, Domestic Nest, Jen’s Designs, So Fun Fabrics and Bibiquity. I started making a mental wish list for myself while I was there, but also more importantly got some great gift ideas for friends and family.

I think the event was a mixed success for the vendors, most seemed thrilled with the event and the traffic it brought to their tables but a few others seemed less than happy with their sales for the day. I think a lot of it probably had to do with it being a first time event. I’m sure as the event grows there will be more vendors added and maybe even further entertainment. A special thanks to the Domestic Nest for inviting me to the show and a big thank you to the event’s organizers for creating a fantastic and unique event.

Here are a few things I noted about successfully exhibiting at trade-shows:

  • Location, location, location. Just like with a storefront business, your location at an expo counts, no matter how large or small the event. Try to work with the event planner before the event to get visual of how guests will enter the event and what direction the traffic will most likely flow in. Each event is laid out so differently, it’s hard to give a universal recommendation for your location, but basically you want to avoid being stuck in the corner or in an area with poor lighting, or next to a vendor that either doesn’t compliment your business or worse is selling the same things you are.
  • Keep your display simple and true to your brand. Your guests should be able to walk up and easily interpret your display. Make yourself available for any questions they may have. If you are trying to encourage custom orders, create a simple sign that advertises that offering. Sometimes seeing the words can plant ideas in your guests head that they had not thought of yet.
  • Have plenty of business cards on hand with your contact information on them. Many visitors these days may not make a purchase while at your booth.
  • Create a simple sign-up sheet at your booth to collect email addresses or even simply product suggestions.
  • Consider having a product giveaway during the event by allowing visitors to your booth to drop a business card into a fish bowl for a prize drawing at a designated time during the event. This can encourage people to come back to the booth if they need to be present to win.
  • Consider having a show promotion to encourage visitors to buy today. For example, offer a discount or added bonus item if they purchase at the show. This will encourage sales at the show versus having them leave and possibly remember to buy from your website later. (By the way, this also brings up the sometimes uncomfortable issue of “haggling”, if you have visitors ask for bigger discounts, find your stopping point for negotiations and politely stick your guns. You will only be frustrated with yourself later if you give in to every low ball offer. Of course modest discounts that still allow you to make a profit could be ok, and could allow your guests to feel as though they got a great deal, that’s a win-win!)
  • Be approachable. Try to get plenty of sleep the night before an event and drink plenty of water during the event to stay hydrated. The better mood you are in, the more approachable you will be. Greet every visitor to your booth with a smile and a welcome message. You want visitors to feel “at home” in your booth.
  • If you can, try to have a man and a woman working in your booth. Some visitors like to approach one sex versus the other. It also helps to have more than one person working so that you each can take breaks when you need to. This also helps you to avoid eating at your booth, which can make you less desirable to visit for your guests stopping by your booth.
  • Leave the money on the table while making change. This is a great tip I learned at the show last weekend (thanks Summer!). When accepting cash from a customer, leave the bills on the table in front of you while you make change from the cash box. That way if you are ever questioned by the customer, you can easily show them what bill they handed you.
  • Say Thank You. This applies not only at the event, but after as well. Take the time to say “thank you” to everyone who stops by your booth. And after the event, email everyone who signed up for email updates at your booth a simple thank you for stopping by message the day following the event.
Nov
01
2009
1

Cupcakes Coming Soon to La Jolla

Cups of La Jolla Opening Soon

Cups of La Jolla Opening Soon

It’s finally here, La Jolla’s first cupcake lounge! Yesterday we walked by the Pillage the Village event at Cups, an organic cupcake bakery opening soon on Girard Ave in La Jolla. The Cups crew, all decked out in their Halloween attire, handed out some of the tastist cupcake samples we have ever tried. I can’t wait for them to open soon!

The bakery promises to offer not only tasty treats made from local and sustainable organic ingredients, but they also will serve up other sensory treats like live music in their lounge as well.

Living in the village we have noticed the promotional efforts that the new store owners are putting forth lately. They definitely are doing a good job of creating buzz in the community before the doors officially open. With everything from the free tastings yesterday to recent press and charity events as well, Cups is doing a good job of getting the word out about their new location.

I can’t wait for them to open so I can try more flavors. And they even will offer Pup Cups too, so Hayley can take part in the cupcake fun too!

You can visit them at www.cupslj.com to learn more and to sign-up for their email alerts for news and events.

Oct
12
2009
1

Walking the 1st Annual La Jolla Art and Wine Festival

The 1st Annual La Jolla Art and Wine Festival

The 1st Annual La Jolla Art and Wine Festival 2009

LJAWF_schoolsThis past Saturday my husband and I attended the 1st annual La Jolla Art and Wine Festival. A section of Girard Ave between Pearl and Genter Streets was blocked off for the event. The cost to enter was $7 per adult. The festival featured various artists, live music and a wine and beer garden featuring local wineries and breweries. We thoroughly enjoyed the event and especially appreciated the opportunity to try local wines that we had not heard of previously. We especially enjoyed the Cabernet Franc from La Serenissima Vineyard.

logo_ljawf

The event was marketed in a variety of local publications, and we noticed posters hanging in local stores around town preceding the event. As a marketer, I particularly appreciated the fresh look and uniformity of their marketing materials. I love how the logo incorporated the two themes of the event, wine and art. The event seemed busy when we were there on Saturday, so hopefully they were able to meet their goal of 5,000 visitors and to raise $100,000. The event was a fundraiser for the local schools:

“Created by Friends of La Jolla Elementary, Inc as an extension of its popular and well-established Open Aire Market, this event will donate all its proceeds to under funded programs at three area public schools that are part of the financially troubled San Diego Unified School District: La Jolla Elementary, Torrey Pines Elementary, and Bird Rock Elementary. These critical programs include art, music, science, physical education, technology, and on-site medical care by a school nurse. For over ten years, the La Jolla Elementary School’s Open Aire Market has united the community each Sunday to enjoy a lively market featuring certified farmers, unique artisans, and local entertainment while supporting local education.”

LJAWF_streetThe event appeared well organized and well staffed. They had information booths throughout the event, as well as volunteers that could be easily identified by their festival t-shirts and tanks. There were additional opportunities throughout the event to make donations, bid in silent auctions and purchase event t-shirts, tank tops or bags. I purchased one of the bags for $5 (image above). They did also have a children’s art area as well for the younger visitors.

LJAWF_musicBefore I give the event a glowing review (which it deserves), it would only be fair to state our few criticisms of the event. The event seemed full of vendors, but the cost for a booth space was high in our opinion, so we wondered if we missed out on some local artisans. Also you really don’t get much for the entry fee other than access to the event, which included live musical performances and activities for the children. Other than that everything else had a cost associated to it. But the entry was only $7 and the proceeds go to our local schools so we were happy to participate and spend money at the event. Hopefully next year some sponsors will consider giveaways or door prizes/raffles, etc. in order to further draw in the crowds. And perhaps they will consider having a smaller section in the elementary school’s playground for smaller vendors. Overall we thought the event was well done though, and we hope that it met its goals so that they consider doing it again next year.

Sep
01
2009
3

Bubbles and Nibbles at Hotel Solamar

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion

We attended Slow Food Urban San Diego’s August Mixer Farm-to-Bar Cocktails & Book Event last Wednesday at the LOUNGEsix at Hotel Solamar. The event showcased the farm-to-table cuisine of Chef Christian Graves of Jsix Restaurant and the launch of local food writer Maria Hunt‘s new cocktail book, The Bubbly Bar.

From an event planning standpoint, I was impressed. Not only did the event draw me to purchase a book that I might not have otherwise heard of, it also introduced me to a great organization, Slow Food Urban San Diego (SFUSD). The event produced by SFUSD appeared to promote the not only the event’s host, venue and the book, but also a local bookstore, and a set of other participating companies such as alcohol distributors.

bubblyThe event was free to attend and included samples of 3 select cocktails from the book as well as tasty seasonal bites from the JSix kitchen. We got a autographed copy of the book for $20, which also included 3 full size cocktails. I have to say, I had no idea just how many things you can mix with sparkling wine. We tasted the 3 cocktails showcased at the event, which were all very different. I most enjoyed the Lava Lamp, which had sparkling wine mixed with PAMA Pomegranate liqueur.

It’s always fun to discover new venues and events, but even more fun to take in a well organized and apparently successful event.

May
29
2009
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Ad Pick of the Week – Oliver Gets Adopted

In celebration of Hayley’s 1 Year anniversary since her adoption, I thought I would share one my favorite commercials. The Pedigree Adoption Drive commercials really tug at your heart strings with the shots of sad little faces behind a fence at the pound, but this one makes you smile to see a very happy Oliver in his new home. Kind of like Miss Hayley.

(more…)

May
18
2009
1

Relay For Life on KUSI News

The 2009 Relay For Life of Clairemont event began on the morning of May 16th, 2009 with a very special Survivor’s reception. The local news team from KUSI News joined us for our Survivor reception and interviewed two survivors, Diana and Miguel, as well as myself, Allison Baloglu. A special thank you to Lena Lewis and the entire KUSI News team for covering our event. Without the aid of our media sponsors, we wouldn’t be able to get the word out about this wonderful event. Read my entire post about the event here.

May
18
2009
4

2009 Relay For Life of Clairemont

Wow, what a weekend we just had. My body is tired, but my heart is full. A very special and heart felt thank you to everyone who supported the 2009 Relay For Life of Clairemont, CA. The event this past weekend was the first year that the Relay For Life was held in Clairemont, and words cannot describe how well it went. This is the 25th anniversary of the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, the largest grassroots fund raising event in the world. There are over 5,000 Relays that take place across the globe. I am excited to say that our first year in Clairemont was a huge success, on many levels.

Let the 24 hours of walking begin!

Let the 24 hours of walking begin!

Not only did we raise over $30,000, (yes that is right, this isn’t a typo, our little “baby” Relay raised an unbelievable amount of donations) we also gave a live demonstration of the power of the human spirit. We had over 140 participants, 15 teams, many wonderful volunteers, survivors, and caregivers, and a group of very generous sponsors; who all helped pull off one the most successful first year Relays that the American Cancer Society has ever seen. (more…)

May
15
2009
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Find your inner artist

For today’s Friday Fun post and instead of a AdPick of the Week, I decided to share with you a fun (and distracting) tool that I came across this week.

Ever find yourself doodling in your notebook or on your calendar at work? Well, now you can find your inner artist online. Imagine a canvas that replays your sketch for you, paint that will never spill and endless hours of doodling on the computer.

Art.com’s Art Pad Painter is a fun way to spend a little time this Friday afternoon just drawing what ever is on your mind. Visit the site here.

Endless creativity and no clean up!

Endless creativity and no clean up!

Written by in: Marketing Chat | Tags:
May
13
2009
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Relay For Life on the NBC Morning News

I cannot say enough positive things about the power of public relations. Getting the word out about charity events in particular, can be difficult. So when the opportunity comes along to share newsworthy information about your event with the community through local media, take every measure you can to be a great interview and a good resource for your local reporters.

Today, the Relay For Life events in Chula Vista and Clairemont were featured on the NBC San Diego morning news show. Speaking in the piece are Toni Royal, Event Chairperson for the Relay For Life of Chula Vista, and myself, Allison Baloglu, Fight Back Chairperson for the Relay For Life of Clairemont. Also seen holding the banner is my husband, Stephen Baloglu, as well as 3 other Relay team members from the Chula Vista event planning committee. It didn’t show up in the online clip below, but we also got another few seconds of coverage as the local NBC morning show wrapped up at 6:57am and we waved good morning to the Today show.

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