Lessons learned from coffee shows

I’m back from a couple of near back to back trade shows and thought I’d share some perspective from the point of an exhibitor as well as what we hear from  attendees that stop by our booth and share. 

Get a Gift Card system.   I’m shocked at how many people are still not using a  gift card system.   I think everyone agrees that an easy to use gift and pre-paid card system can easily increase your volume.  If you don’t have a POS or can’t afford one, call Mercury Payment System.  Sure they will want your credit card business but at least they won’t charge you anything (read free) for the gift card processing.  This method makes you look more professional, helps eliminate potential theft and gives you a great marketing platform for your store. 

Take classes!  Don’t underestimate the potential for learning at these trade shows.  Almost every show I’ve been to has free classes hosted by peers, experts or just people that have something to share.  I still try to sit in on classes so I have things to share and continue my education in these fields.  At the last show I caught a good part of a presentation from Manish at Maya Tea Company on how to easily use tea as a profitable item in your coffee shop.  After every presentation I give, there is always someone that either found a new nugget of information or surprises me with something I can add to my next presentation!

Talk to everybody!  I’m always happy when two people in my booth wind up sharing ideas.  It just illustrates that none of us have all the answers.  If you are at a trade show, remember that part of the reason you are there is to communicate!   

Step out of your comfort zone!  Don’t be afraid to ask the exhibitors what they do.  Even if you are not sure that it’s something that fits your store now, it may in the future. It’s part of the reason that you are at a trade show.   Don’t worry about what the exhibitors think, part of the reason we are there is from an advertising standpoint.  You never know where you might pick up a nugget of information or learn something new.

Contact us at:
Mike Spence
8326 Woodland Ave. E
Puyallup Wa 98371

June 14th, 2011 by