When it comes to Baby Product Conventions, less is more. That’s the conclusion I’ve made after attending my 6th (7th?) ABC Kids Expo. In the past, we’ve made earnest attempts to cover the entire show floor, to shoot dozens of videos, to attend every party and to consume every free cocktail on offer.
In years past, this was done, in part, to find an angle, some indication of trend in the marketplace. Last year, I predicted doom, but there I was again in the welcoming arms of Louisville doing my ABC thing.
I was just doing a bit less of it. I’ve learned a few tricks over the years, things like checking in first with the brands I trust, networking with other bloggers, writers and industry experts for leads to the best new stuff, using the media room and innovation awards area wisely. All this has really helped me be more efficient.
But the real teacher, the real motivation for discovering trade show efficiency and cutting down miles of floor patrolling drudgery — physical agony. Just days before last year’s show, I tore the meniscus in my right knee. The swelling and pain was intense, so I had the smoothest show ever. How to repeat that effort? Hobble myself for Expo excellence?
Run a marathon the day before, of course! The Baltimore Running Festival Marathon to be exact. And to make sure I would be almost entirely immobile, it was essential that I run the marathon at a pace I had no business contemplating, finishing in 3:33:35.
Running in Baltimore addressed several other issues other than my need for a physical handicap — it was there that I was able to run for Team Cure JM, and to fork over the $1500 you helped me raise for that amazing cause. My stopover also provided me with the one thing that people at the show complained about lacking the most — a direct flight to Louisville.
The plan worked like a dream. My right achilles felt like it was on fire and someone was trying to put it out with an icepick. I was so immobile that I spent most of my time hanging out with our friends at BabyBjorn and chatting with Community Manager and local Host with the Most, Concretin Nik.
Also, a trip highlight, an appearance by Hizzoner Ben the Mayor. Always good to break bread with the Pizza Baron of Columbus.
And, as always, there are videos on the way. Stand by for my picks from the show coming next week.