Amy Holinaty is in the business of making people feel good. In all things this is her desire—but even more so now with her M business. Amy made sure this was the theme of a recent trade show. She solidified her vision with her entire team before kicking off the show. Amy says, “I wanted to make sure people felt comfortable and not embarrassed in any capacity to say ‘no.’” They thanked each person for stopping by and giving the STIKs a try. “The smiles we got were so warm, we released them without them feeling pressured to purchase or like they were wasting our time,” she says.
“We wanted to invite people into a positive environment.” She says it was important to make sure each person felt acknowledged and important.
Her team’s kindness extended beyond the patrons to the other booths and vendors at the trade show. “We treated the vendors like family, because we’re all in it together,” Amy says. “It was high-energy show and a long four days.” Amy invited each vendor to bring a water bottle by and fill it with a product of their choice. She also gave each of them an additional $5 off the show prices. Many vendors took her card, excited to share with others they know. Amy also made sure her team never drew attention away from another vendor, and that they waited until the patrons finished at the previous vendor before engaging them in conversations about M.Network.
Ultimately, Amy says, “We wanted to invite people into a positive environment.” She says it was important to make sure each person felt acknowledged and important. Even if they were with another customer, Amy and team would say, “Hi! I’ll be right with you!” or “I’ll get your sample in just a few seconds.” Another part of helping people feel comfortable was a customized invitation: When someone working her booth began talking with a patron, usually out in the walkway, they’d pull them in by asking if they wanted to try something new, fun or refreshing. Depending on their answer, they’d walk them over to the booth. It was a way for them to ensure the customer tried something relevant to their needs or wants. Amy reports she was also glad to have props, like her water bottle. They told the patrons the STIKs were “heightened hydration” they add to their own water bottle. She would give them a sample cup and hold up the water bottle. She’d tell them the sample they were trying today was equivalent to half a stick in the water bottle. She’d then tell them it was customizable, based on their personal tastes. She would give them a sample and tell them if they preferred a stronger taste, they could punch it up and add more; if they preferred a lighter taste, they could add less and mellow it out. She also wanted to make sure each person had the opportunity to walk away with something, regardless of how much money they had to spend. They sold individual STIKs for $2.50 and 5 STIKs for $10 (both prices Canadian). By the end of the trade show, they also started customizing boxes. Some people wanted an assorted box, while others wanted a split box, with half of one product and half of another.
Amy and her booth workers described the drinks with the benefits in a very short, concise way on a 4×6 sign next to the drink. For example, for GO•STIKs the headline read “Natural Energy,” and they included four short bullet points.
Amy reports that one of the biggest keys to trade-show success is just showing up. The events can be expensive and definitely require a time commitment, so it’s vital to set yourself up for success. This includes product knowledge, appearance and booth set-up. Creating the right vibe at the booth that invited people in was key for her team. Amy says it was critical for patrons to immediately know what their booth offered, which is why they had large signs reading, “High-Performance Hydration.” Their booth was very classy and well put together, including lights behind the drink dispensers that lit the liquid inside. She wanted to create an inviting, classy bar feel that grabbed patrons’ attention. She asked those working the booth to refrain from eating or being on their phones, to help ensure a professional and dedicated atmosphere.
Most importantly, they made sure they had fun, brought a ton of high energy, and were completely gracious.
Thank you, Amy, for all you are and all you do!