This article is the very first of its kind I´ve ever written, and I´m a bit hesitant in posting it, but with our Expo a month away, I feel that it´s imperative that we act now if we are to create an incredible experience for all our exhibitors who have decided to join us in Ottawa this fall.
We´ve just completed another of many very busy days today! We´ve been working here at the Body Soul & Spirit Expo calling emailing and reaching out to everyone possible about our show. After speaking with literally hundreds of holistic practitioners, healers, natural product distributors and manufacturers, intuitive arts professionals, coaches, and the vast array of those who we usually approach to put on our events, we are still only at about 32 exhibitors.
We´ve been asking each and every person we speak to that has considered joining us why they haven´t signed up yet. Most of them have replied that they just want to check it out for the first year, and if they like the show they will certainly exhibit with us the following year. When we´ve probed a bit deeper, many them express a concern with the price of the show. And even more have mentioned another show, that is been held twice in Ottawa, and how this event has had a lower than expected turnout.
BREAKING THE PATTERN I see a pattern here; it seems there´s a lot of people that are less than enthusiastic to give a new show a chance the first time out of the gate and are not aware of the value and scale or level of commitment that goes into producing our events! We´ve been organizing shows for more than 20 years in other parts of Canada, with most of the shows been a tremendous success, and attracting 4000 to 6000 people. We made every effort to create the same results in Ottawa!
So here´s where we are rate now, with 32 exhibitors registering for our Expo this fall we´ve generated about $23,000 to pay for the event. The fact is the Shaw Centre alone is $21,000 in rent and set up with Freeman Decorating - they´re the ones that supply all the pipe draped tables chairs set up of the lecture area and general decoration and sound equipment - costs of about $7000. So all of you see that any competent business person that can perform a simple calculation are sure to see that at this current point in time, we are putting on our show with a $5000 plus deficit before opening the door.
I’m left to wonder if this is why so many people are reluctant to invest in our first show in Ottawa, as past shows seem to have had the same challenge, and were unable to gather enough support to create a successful event? I’m proposing we break this pattern.
WE BELIEVE IN YOU, AND WE´RE READY TO PROVE IT. Now I´m sure that you will quickly realize that there is a lot more to a producing a successful show than just paying the rent and setting up booths for exhibitors. In order to get a great turnout, we need great promotion.
Even though not a lot of people have responded in supporting the show to the extent we had hoped, we´ve decided to set an example and today and what I think is an incredible act of bravery, Brad Simpson the show manager took out an additional loan to cover the shortfall in funding for our event.
While he could have easily decided to slash our show budget, and only pay for what the exhibitor registration revenue allowed, we decided that we wanted to break the pattern we´ve seen, and demonstrate that before we ask you to invest in us, we would first invest in you.
WE’RE INVESTED IN YOUR SUCCESS! We decided to give Ottawa the best possible chance of succeeding, and to make this happen we´ve personally put ourselves in debt, in order to bring together an astounding marketing plan for our first fall show in Ottawa. Many of you may not realize that the Body Soul & Spirit Expo is not a corporation, but produced by two ordinary guys, that have put 20 plus years of their life into putting on these events for our community across Canada. Bottom line, we personally finance the entire event.
We´ve shared with you how we´ve already contracted CTV, New Country FM, the Ottawa Citizen, the Ottawa Sun, Tone Magazine, Professional Postering Services (Postering Ottawa), Mega Digital Billboards in high traffic locations in downtown Ottawa through Outfront Media.
We’ve also put together a well-coordinated social media and online campaign, featuring campaigns with Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Google - as well as built an email list of over 2500 people in Ottawa, who have responded to our sign-up forms requesting 2for1 Friday admission. The total value of our traditional & digital promotional campaigns are astounding, and we are confident will create tremendous buzz for our first show in Ottawa.
Remarkable right! Well, it gets even better! You see we´ve been working with key media representatives for over 20 years, and we also do media buys across Canada. What does this mean? Everything we buy, we get a national rate which means we can by 40% more with the funds raised through exhibitor registrations.
In addition, many are also official media sponsors, our Gold Sponsor, Bell Media is the owner of CTV as well as multiple radio stations, our Silver Sponsor Post Media, owns most of the major newspapers in most cities across Canada, and in Ottawa is the owner of the Ottawa Sun, and Ottawa is it´s a Newspapers. In addition to our incredible by of over $30,000 in media, these sponsors often more than double whatever we buy as part of our marketing plan and show promotion. Our events provide you with the best dollar value possible in promoting your holistic business practice or service. I’m sure you can do the math based on the above information, and you will realize that at just 32 exhibitors, it comes out to more than $4,000 in value each (promotion & production).
THE EXPO IS JUST THE START! I could go on and tell you even more about our online promotion, and how our expo website, but for those who are interested, we have an update coming out soon about the launch of our new online community and how it will provide even more resources that are designed to bring our exhibitors with the 120,000 subscribers we have signed up over the past 20 years. The new site is based on collaboration, and will allow us to co-create our event with people like YOU, including pay you a percentage of all bookings, tickets, and registrations generated by your efforts.
So, as you can see, we are "ALL IN" and the next play is Yours’s and our community in Ottawa! As exhibitors that have already booked, you could simply read this, and know that we´ve stepped up and picked up the tab for our event, and put our financial well-being on the line (we were looking at using the money for a down payment on a home), or you can also step up as well, and do what you can to help us make this show a success for all of us. Here are a few bold suggestions.
Number 1: If every exhibitor in the show committed to finding just ONE other exhibitor, and encouraged them to join us this year, our event would be full! It´s that simple! Most of you have been a part of the Ottawa Community for more than a few years and know many of your fellow practitioners, colleagues, and business that would be a great addition to our event. I can tell you from doing over 120 of these events that the show is at its best when we have a room full of great exhibitor for the public to explore. They also tend to stay longer, learn more and sign up, buy, and connect with more of our exhibitors. This is one case where "less" is not "more."
Number 2: Share, invite, post, forward emails, and help spread the word! Enthusiasm is contagious, and with social media and email connecting us all, is now easier than ever to share it with our community. If you haven´t already, join us on Facebook, COPY the URL and paste it on your pages, or groups online and invite others to join us as well. Our FACEBOOK FAN PAGE is https://www.facebook.com/bodysoulspiritexpo>https://www.facebook.com/bodysoulspiritexpo / our OTTAWA EVENT PAGE on FaceBook is https://www.facebook.com/events/157144487987422/>https://www.facebook.com/events/157144487987422/ be sure to mark yourself as "GOING" and INVITE all those in your network to join us as well! I know what I´m asking you to do will take your time and effort - but... If we all pledge to do these two things (not just once, but several times in the next month, I believe we will see miraculous results.
IN CONCLUSION I titled this article, “AN INVITATION TO SHIFT OUR COMMUNITIES ENERGY IN OTTAWA” because I believe that is exactly what we have the opportunity to do. Our intention is to build an event that will bring together and connect our community in Ottawa, this year and for many years to come.
The most exhilarating part of doing these events for us are two. First, we are thrilled when we see many of our exhibitors building their dream of growing their practice, or business offering their products, services, classes and workshops, and over the years, have seen so many flourish through the connections they make at our show. We see each of them as clients who we support not only at our events but throughout the year through our online community, we continue to promote through the year. Secondly, our hearts are overjoyed with all the stories from those who attend the show, and how they have connected with people like you, and how what they offer has affected their life.
As I´ve often said, it´s YOU and YOUR participation that is the fuel that propels this great shared adventure we share forward. Without YOU, there would be no Body Soul & Spirit Expo. We simply facilitate the time and space; you are what fills it! I often see our shows as a simple Vase or Container and see those who attend as the flowers that fill it. It´s only when we work together that we can truly co-create something wonderful. Will you join me in making this a great event in Ottawa? I am confident that if you do if we all do, we will accomplish something great together, and establish a great new event for our community in Ottawa.
Let´s Shift this NOW! If you do just one thing, do this. Share this article with those you know in our community, and invite them to read it. I’ve left my contacted information below, and invite anyone interested in joining us to call me directly! If they prefer, they can also visit or online registration page at http://bodysoulspiritexpo.com/expo/registration/ottawa_registration.htm>http://bodysoulspiritexpo.com/expo/registration/ottawa_registration.htm or see our “Become an Exhibitor Page” for more information at http://bodysoulspiritexpo.com/expo/information.html>http://bodysoulspiritexpo.com/expo/information.html