“So do you want to work for SparklySoul at the RnRVAN expo?”
Late this summer my good friend Sarah answered an open call on the SparklySoul blog to help out and man their booth at the Rock ’n’ Roll Vancouver Expo. I’ve always had a good time whenever I’ve worked at a race expo (and I’ve done so for several friends and brands) so it was a no-brainer when she asked if I wanted to do it with her.
Especially for a company like SparklySoul.
When I first started getting active in the run-blogging world, these guys were one of the first companies I remember finding out about. All the cool bloggers did giveaways for them or better yet, were ambassadors. Over the years I’ve bought many a headband, sparkled my way through 5ks to ultra marathons and always enjoyed meeting the ladies whenever SparklySoul was at a race expo.
Anyhow, we had agreed to work at their booth for the expo here in Vancouver and I was looking forward to spending the weekend chatting with runners. In the weeks and days leading up to the event we chatted with the ladies at SparklySoul and made arrangements to get the product to us.
I have to admit, it was pretty fun to take everything out of the shipping box and check out all that sparkle!
We got to the expo bright and early on Friday so that we could get the booth all set up before things opened. It’s always exciting to be part of the action as these expos get all set up and I like getting to chat with the other exhibitors before the public arrives.
I’ve seen a few different SparklySoul displays at other expos and here in Vancouver we’d be using a few tables in our booth to display all the headbands. Maybe Sarah and I are just picky but we laid them out and rearranged them a few different times to figure out what we thought looked best. Ha ha.
In the end, I think our booth looked great!
On Friday the expo opened at 12:00 and for being a weekday, things were pretty busy all day long. After chatting with the first few passersby we kind of figured out the kinds of things people wanted to know about the headbands and could anticipate the questions they might ask. For the most part, everyone just loved coming over to check out all the sparkle and from there the conversations just flowed.
Chatting with people about the headbands was easy because both of us are runners and already so familiar with the product (Sarah even brought her own stash of SparklySoul headbands to keep in her purse!) It was easy to answer questions and relate personal experiences because we’ve both worn these headbands for years and run many, many miles in them!
The first day flew by because we were busy with customers but also busy just chatting with everyone who stopped by. It was awesome getting to meet so many new runners and to answer questions for them about Vancouver and about the course. The energy is always so great at race expos and it was fun to be a part of it.
On Saturday the expo was set to open at 9:00 am so we were there bright and early again to make sure the booth was all stocked and ready to go. Being the weekend, we knew that Saturday was likely to be the busier day so we made sure we had our comfy shoes on and lots of snacks and water to stay hydrated! After all, we had a race to run the next day!
Pamela and Dari had done a good job preparing us for what kinds of questions people might ask and how they’d like us to explain the product and demonstrate it. Turns out they were bang on about the things people would be concerned about and all the reasons people would say that headbands don’t fit their heads:
- My head’s too big
- My head’s too small
- My head is square
- My head is too flat
- My hair is too shiny
- My hair is too flat
- My head isn’t bumpy enough
- Velvet makes my skin crawl… (this was only brought up once and even she herself agreed it was weird)
Anyhow, the fun thing was letting the naysayers try on a headband and see for themselves how it fit. The surprised looks and shocked faces were hilarious as person after person told us all the reasons headbands don’t work for them and then tried a SparklySoul headband on and found that it fit! You barely even had to ‘sell’ the headbands because people were seeing for themselves why they were so different from everything else they’d tried before.
Sarah and I had a great time working the booth and being in the middle of the race excitement only helped pump us up for the run ourselves. We really loved chatting with so many runners and meeting so many people new to our city. We also tormented ourselves by being with all those sparkly headbands all weekend – our personal shopping lists grew by the second! Every time someone tried on a different colour, I’d think that I needed one too!
In the end, I think business was pretty good. SparklySoul is pretty new to Vancouver having only been at one other expo that I know of. And with this being Rock ’n’ Roll’s first year here, the expo was probably a bit smaller than it will be in future years. Either way, Sarah and I were so happy to have been able to help bring it here and spread the sparkle to our local friends and visitors!
After two long days at the expo, we got home as quick as we could to get ourselves ready for the actual run. For both of us that meant dinner with a bit of stretching/rolling and for me, I had a quick Ketchup costume to make to go with my fries costume!
And in the end, how many headbands did I buy for myself? Hmm, that would be 11. A girl can never have enough sparkle can she?