I really, really, really meant to write about our Boston plans in advance.  So that you, my readers, could “follow along” as the convention took place.

Isn’t there something about “the best laid plans…” that can explain away the difficulties I faced trying to write before I left?

So here’s my attempt to recap the events of the convention and make up for my earlier inattention.

We left for Boston on a Saturday, two full days before the expo was scheduled to start.  If you remember my previous posts about convention setup, you’ll know that I like to get to a show in plenty of time for something to go wrong without it destroying the show.  That means having enough time to deal with snafus or issues that may arise.

 Before the show, I had to decide how we were going to ship our booth and display merchandise to the show.  If I put it on a pallet and shipped everything, I’d pay several hundred dollars for shipping, at least another hundred to have it forklifted from the marshaling yard to the convention floor.  Then I’d have to repack everything and pay to have it sent back through to get home.

So I called up a friend, BT Hathaway of the blog Funeral Words, and asked him if he knew any funeral directors in Boston who’d be willing to receive a few boxes on my behalf.  Within 5 minutes, he emailed me a name and number and I got in touch with an awesome guy, Mike Flynn.

Mike agreed to accept boxes and store them in the funeral home garage.  Then he asked if I needed anything else.  I hesitantly shared that I needed to find a stretcher to borrow for the show.  I figured it was worth a shot to ask.  And he offered his!  And said he’d drive everything to the show!

When we arrived in Boston, I called Mike and told him we’d meet him at the convention center.  After a short cab ride from the airport, we checked in with the NFDA staff – they always do a great job and make registration pretty easy – and headed to our empty booth.

Mike met us a few minutes later, unloaded his truck and we set to work.

In less than two hours, we had our floor down, built a fake dressing table out of our shipping boxes, set up our chrome display rack (a $90 closet organizer that I ordered and shipped to Mike’s funeral home) and organized our cot covers.

By four o’clock, two days before the show, we were ready for the convention.  And ready to see Boston!

VIDEO INTERLUDE:  The Floor of the Convention, as seen from the 2nd floor entrance:

We spent Sunday exploring Boston and seeing many of the historic sites.  We visited a graveyard with stones dating back to 1661 and saw the Old North Church, where the lantern from “one if by land, two if by sea” started Paul Revere on his midnight ride.

Monday the convention started, so we hightailed it that morning to the floor and got ready for a bunch of orders.  Which, coincidentally, is the reason I haven’t been posting here so much; we’ve been swamped getting all these cot covers out the door. 

First day was awesome, with lots of people buying stuff on the convention floor.  We sold cot covers every single day, with some orders coming before the show officially opened, even.

We sold 45 covers the first day.  Second day saw 57 more sales.  The third day was shorter and only resulted in 12 sales, but that was enough to push us to 114 covers sold, 14 more than my crazy goal for the show.

What else?  Lots of people asked us about dressing table skirts, which means we really, really, really have to get those in the pipeline.  And many of our customers were excited to use their cover for unembalmed and identification viewings.

When the show ended, we knew we still had another day to enjoy Boston (we didn’t leave until Thursday morning while the show ended Wednesday at 1:00 pm) but there’s so much pressure to get out of the convention center.   Here’s a look at how a show closes:

An hour after the show closed and the carpet is gone from the aisles, hearses are already driving off the floor and our booth is almost completely dismantled.

See ya in New Orleans next year!

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