Act as If
At the end of 2018 Jordan suggested we make a move in the exhibitor space. Nearly all of our sales were done from inbound or outbound marketing and we were missing opportunities from people who had never heard of us.
He pitched a plan where we would be prudent about the gamble, perhaps we should start off as a small sponsor, he said.
Jordan had not seen Boiler Room.
We decided to gamble big and bet our 2019 strategy on becoming a high level sponsor of a major trade organization. This sponsorship would give us the biggest booths on the show floor, prime placement, and signage everywhere.
As usual Tim and I made this decision based on our egos and didn’t really think through the logistics. “How hard can it be to get one of those big booths.”
We read a lot, and took a lot of advice on what to do. Most of the work leading up to the event was done by Tim and Jordan. My contribution was to partner with Georgetown Cupcakes for our event swag.
I decided to test the idea by sending a box of cupcakes to the office and see what the reaction would be.
The night before the first big event I was a nervous wreck.
We had done all the practice we could, but I was worried we would be called out for being the amateurs we were. We spent the first 6 months of the year waiting for this moment and now only time would tell if our gamble would pay off.
On game day as we walk over to our booth, one of our newest team members, Aaron, asks me, “so how many of these have you done?”
I stop and reply, “Aaron…this is the first time… for all of us.”
The team came through and all of our practice paid off. The escalators into the trade show floor led straight to our booth.
10 smiling faces with cupcakes were there to great people.
We tried the lines we practiced to attract attention as people walked by.
“Have you heard of OpenWater” — this was Rebecca’s refrain. Mine was “Chocolate or Vanilla?”
Our competition, 20x the size of us stopped by to congratulate us.
We looked like we knew what we were doing. We acted as if.
Then we became.