I promised that I would share my experiences from the convention, so here goes.

I arrived at the exhibit hall on Thursday, June 7.  After scouting out the space and the loading dock, I met my dad at a local restaurant for lunch and to discuss our sales pitch.

While I haven’t shared my business plan with all my readers, some of you will know that my dad is the second part-time employee I hired (we’re up to four now!).

We arrived at the hall after 2:00 pm.  The exhibit space was set to open at 5:30 pm.

We carried over 30 quilted cot covers with us, enough to display, along with additional units in case anyone chose to purchase at the convention.

I really like the design of the IFDF Convention, since the exhibit hall does not compete with other sessions and dinner on day 1 and lunch on day 2 is served in the expo area.

Standing cocktail tables were set up in the aisles between the booths for attendees to eat their buffet-style meals.

Attendance was estimated at 300 – 400 guests.  And while some of those were wives, husbands and children, I’d say we got to speak to seventy or eighty funeral directors during our two days.

Day 2 saw the doors open at 12:00 pm for lunch.  I brought along Matt Coughlin from Central Florida First Call (407-425-3323), a removal service that is an old customer.  I figured a little “testimonial” action wouldn’t hurt anyone, and he definitely helped give new perspective to those to whom we presented.

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Above: Matt Roloff and family

Matt Roloff, star of the reality TV show “Little People, Big World,” was the keynote speaker for the event.  Rushing to catch an early plane, he wheeled through the expo hall on his scooter.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to speak with him or get a photo with him (sorry, Mom!).

Day 2 was sales day!  I had set an ambitious goal for the convention (10 sales) and decided that we would not attend the national convention (in Las Vegas in October) unless we were able to meet the goal.  And while I knew the goal was excessive, I also know that the national convention will cost in excess of $4000.

We met the goal with thirty minutes to spare. 

When all the other exhibitors started packing up, I walked the hall and handed out fliers announcing our blog and the “Meet Your Maker” series.  I figured that a few of the other exhibitors might want to have their products and services featured here.

Having worked for a member of the IFDF, I know that their organization works hard to provide an interesting convention experience and value. 

And we got value, as our spot at the expo cost less than $400 and created over $2000 in sales.

Not a bad start for the month of June.

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