While we traveled two days to get to the OFDA Convention, Wednesday was the actual 1st day of the show.  We spent the morning making a few modifications to our setup and chatting with other vendors.  Once we had everything exactly as we wanted, we headed off for a late lunch.

Back on the floor by 3:00 pm for a 4:30 start, I was excited to see how nicely the show was coming together.  The expo floor is quite large, with vendors from every part of the industry.  As a side note, there are quite a few small casket companies here.  That’s a good sign for the cot cover business, as it means that there are a lot of independent funeral homes and funeral directors who are willing to take a chance on new things.

As the start time approached, I was sad to learn that our friends from Eternal Space were not going to exhibit, even though they had booth space reserved and tables and chairs rented.  While I don’t have the full story yet, I know that Dave had planned to attend but that something delayed him.  Maybe he’ll share more detail later.

I’m always nervous as a show opens.  My brain starts saying “maybe this is the show where everyone turns up their nose,” or “maybe no one in Ohio likes your product.”  And I have to do what I do every time:  take a deep breath, plaster on a smile and start talking to people.

Luckily, this show started on a better note, as I ran into Brian and Ann Hanner from Geib Funeral Homes before the show and “bribed” a show official to let them come back to our booth, even though the expo hadn’t opened yet.  After a few minutes chatting with his lovely wife, I finally got Brian to take a closer look at our cot covers and buy one!  His wife picked it out; they chose the Bristol Blue because it matched their signature “Geib Blue.”

With one sale under our belt, we were ready to face the onslaught of hungry Ohio funeral directors – our booth is right next to the food – and it started quickly.

Brian told me he was interested to hear what I think of this show and the funeral directors.  We met a lot of interesting people on day 1, but what I enjoyed the most was that while people from Ohio have their own sensibility, they’re not much different than the funeral directors we’ve met in Kentucky, Florida, Georgia or on the national level.

Sure, there are some real whackjobs out there, and I’ve met them, believe me – but most funeral directors are kind, conscientious people who just want to create a meaningful experience for their customers and a positive place for their employees to work.  And that’s true of people in every state, including Ohio.

We ended the first day with 15 covers sold and promises of several more who have to “check with the boss” to see what he/she wants.  I set an ambitious goal of 35 covers for this show, and there’s still two days left.  I think we can make it.

If you’re in Ohio, why not head down to the Greater Columbus Convention Center and help us reach our goal?  We could use the business.