This week, after orchestrating insane childcare arrangements (school is out), I attended The Inventor’s University and The Inpex Invention Trade Show in Pittsburgh, PA. This was a phenomenal experience for me, and I am so excited to share some of the highlights with you. I did not have anything ready to exhibit, but I decided to check out a few of the speakers and walk the show, and I am so thrilled that I did! Both proved to be valuable learning experiences for me.
If you are absolutely anywhere in the “inventing” process, I cannot say enough about what you will learn from just walking the floor at an Invention Trade Show. From the way inventors present themselves at their booths to hearing the pitches to fabulous networking, attending a trade show without exhibiting holds enormous value. This is exactly what I did – I walked the floor of Inpex, meeting other inventors, checking out their exhibits, hearing their pitches, asking questions, and networking.
I started off the experience hearing Jim Debetta, Inventing & Retail Selling Expert, speak on getting products developed and presenting to retailers. A truly fabulous presentation by Jim, the audience soaked in information on Sell Sheets, approaching retail buyers, filling out the necessary retail paperwork, and the general state of affairs on inventing today. A theme throughout Jim’s talk were those 2 words that I do not like very much – “Be Patient.”
Although I struggle with it personally, Patience is necessary in inventing, taking a product to market, and Jim stressed that we need to Be Patient when soliciting buyers and waiting for feedback. In other words, do not expect to hear back from a buyer in 15 minutes. Of course, I was furiously taking notes, and learned a huge deal in a small time with Jim.
When I later walked the show, I did not know where to start, so I just worked my way up and down the rows of exhibitors. I was a great person for the inventors to practice their pitches on and I found all of them eager to answer any inventing questions that I had. Of course, I was drawn to many of the Mom Inventors – I loved hearing their stories and seeing their products.
AND…..The StartupNation connections were abundant at the show. I had the pleasure of spending time with Kara Anderson, creator of The Bag Holder, a SUN’s Moms in Biz winner. Drawn to Kara’s table initially because she was an inviting mompreneur offering me salsa and chips, I realized that I recognized the brand and product from SUN. The Bag Holder looks like it would be exceptional in my kitchen, especially for baking and getting my meals organized in advance (seeing as how we ate Chinese takeout last night). Kara has her pitch down and did a great job showing me her product, and I was so excited to see one of the Moms in Biz winners in ACTION!
Another highlight was connecting with Retail and New Product Specialist & fellow StartUpNation blogger, Kim Babjak. Kim was judging the show, and kind enough to WOW me with a few of her gems of wisdom. Like I said, attending a trade show can be a fabulous networking opportunity. You just have to put yourself out there, do your research before you go, and be yourself. Try it!
For me, the show was an added bonus because my site http://backngroovemom.com was getting a makeover, and being at Inpex was a fabulous distraction (check out the new look).