Hit me again November 22 2013
Like I said in my last post, I had interest from the store manager at a local Walmart to become part of their "Local Supplier Program". But she only wanted to order 12 units. There was no way I could jump into the expense of tooling and manufacturing this product without knowing I could sell more. So I had to figure out how to do just that.
At about this time, I read an article in my local paper about a couple of guys who invented/created games. It explained how they – with one prototype – attended industry trade shows to determine market interest in their idea(s) and decide which ones to actually manufacture. That was a major lightbulb moment. I had a working prototype and also needed to determine market interest. I would attend an industry trade show.
Let me tell you that God really had my back here. This was 2011. When I began researching possible trade shows to attend, I found out instantly that the ABC Kids Expo was THE trade show for anyone selling baby/juvenile products like mine. I also found out that this monster trade show is always held in Las Vegas. I knew I needed to prove market interest, but of course I wanted to spend as little as possible doing that in case the market interest wasn't there and I wound up not moving forward. The ABC Kids Expo had been held annually for 8 years – always in Vegas. As I'm researching, I'm seeing the dollar signs stack up as I think about shipping booth materials from southern Indiana to Vegas, not to mention flight and hotel expenses. Sure – I've always wanted to go to Vegas, but did I want to spend the money to attend a trade show there?
I'm thinking/praying do I really need to do this show? Will it be worth it to travel all the way across the country to find out if I can sell this product? And then I see it. The location for the 9th annual 2011 ABC Kids Expo is Louisville, Kentucky. For those of you who don't know, I live a mere 1 1/2 hours away from Louisville. I could easily drive there and haul all my materials myself.
This was another one of those God hitting me over the head with a sign sort of moments. I knew instantly that not only was I going to the trade show in Louisville, but maybe the reason it was moved to Louisville had something to do with me. Sure – there would be thousands of vendors and buyers there, but I knew in that moment that He orchestrated this in part for me.