Monday, August 22, 2011

Blast from the Past--Sitting at the Big Kid's Table

At every holiday gathering, when the entire family was over at the house, we were always at different tables. You know, the “adult table” and the “kid table”. My cousin’s and I were always so jealous of the adult table because it looked like they were always having so much fun. By the time some of us were old enough to sit at the “big kid’s table”, as we nicknamed the “adult table”, it was like our dinner tasted so much different. After all, we had finally made it to the Big Kid’s Table!!

In a similar story, we (Cocoa Dolce) thought we had made it to the Big Kid’s Table (of the candy world) when we exhibited at the Fancy Food Show in January 2011. This is one of the major specialty food shows held in the United States. It has over 17,000 show attendees throughout the weekend with around 1,500 exhibitors. This was a big difference for our exhibiting past experiences here in Wichita.

The preparation for this show is crazy! We wanted to make sure we had enough literature and samples for everyone that may be interested in us. And, we didn’t want to look like we had just pulled our booth display out of the trunk of our car…so, we went through the process of getting a custom display made.

So, we were off to the show in San Francisco.

Luckily, our hotel was just a couple blocks away from where the show was held. I mention this because we had to carry all of our display pieces, samples and literature to the show. And here’s the “kicker”, we literally had to CARRY everything. There was some rule about not using any rolling items. So, here we are, looking like the Clampit’s from Beverly Hillbiliies, carrying boxes and display pieces down this street in San Francisco. Yep…we really looked cool!

Within a few hours, our booth was ready to go. The show lasted 3 days. We got several compliments on our booth, our colors and even our staff clothing. Whether it was the main food buyer at Nordstrom’s or a local coffee shop owner in Massachusetts….we talked to everyone that walked by.

We went into this trip hoping we would make some great connections with different vendors and potential customers. Although we didn’t catch our “big break”, it was a great first time experience of exhibiting at a major candy show…and sitting at the “Big Kids Table”.

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