After speaking with Expo sales reps about participating in an Ultimate Women’s Expo in San Mateo recently, and after examining their website, I was convinced that a $1,000 booth was worth the gamble. It was not.
My sales rep told me that “…30-35,000+ pre-qualified buyers, professional women with disposable incomes….” would be in attendance. This demographic empahtically did not show up. Women looking for free samples did, and if it were not for vendor purchases for my upscale apparel, I wouldn’t have had a single sale.
Below is verbage from their vendor page on www.ultimatewomensexpo.com:
“TARGET THIS QUALIFIED AND SAVVY CONSUMER
responsible for making purchasing decisions for the entire household. Count on The Ultimate Women’s Expo to deliver the high end female demographic in a one weekend event. Women represent 85% of consumer spending and that translates into a $5 trillion market. The Ultimate Women’s Expo provides you with unprecedented opportunity to meet with thousands of women with a high degree of disposable income to spend on services and products for themselves and their loved ones.”
I’ve spoken to several vendors who did the show a few years back in another venue in San Francisco and recently in Los Angeles, and they all confirmed that they were lied to about the shows and that they were mislead by over-zealous and commissionable(?) sales reps.
The same non-spending demographic has been attending for years. The booth reps flat out lied about the numbers and the attendee demographic.
The impressive list of headlining motivational speakers lure vendors into a false sense of potential success. True, there may a marketing opportunity for big companies, but not sales opportunities for small companies selling products…very few buy. Women attend for freebies and to hear the speakers and show management knows it. Vendors we spoke with in San Mateo were disgusted with the show, and all agreed that they were deceived by show management and the website.
I’m certain that the promoters would like their “upscale” demographic to attend, but they do not, and most likely will not in the future. The vendor turn-over rate must be stagering. So back to work to lure a new round of retail vendors into paying outragious booth fees for the next show. Their formula works for them, but not for small companies trying to make a living.