One of the reasons I wanted to start my own event planning company stemmed from getting married myself. My future wife and I, in the early planning stages, were excited to attend the Annual Springfield Wedding Expo at the Big E (iykyk). So imagine our disappointment when we discovered that the vendors were all geared toward heteronormative couples. There were several "oh, so TWO dresses" and many awkward pauses in conversation. Add to that all the traditional wedding components, the push to sign up now, and the seemingly endless stream of people and loud music, we were extremely uncomfortable.
Fast forward nine years, and I found myself at the very same expo, this time as a vendor.
To start off, we (a dear friend accompanied me) were greeted by a very young person who was able to tell me the number of my booth, but not where it was. I mean, cool. When we found it, my company's name was spelled wrong (see picture), which caused me to spiral a little about how I could misspell my own name until I double checked my application and this was, thankfully, not on me. So, you know, #enthusiats.
I definitely stood out, with my backdrop of twinkle lights over my grandmother's tablecloth and my giveaway item of invisible ink pens. It became a fun game to watch people read my signs and either look confused or unimpressed, or laugh out loud and grab a friend's arm and pull them over. I made the conscious decision to stay behind my table and not try to persuade people who were clearly not picking up what I was putting down.
There was one interaction with another vendor that left me a little steamed. Without prompting, they let me know that if I wanted to be successful, I had to order a vinyl backdrop, get rid of my "odd" signs, and think of another giveaway. Other things were said, but I just nodded and said thank you...before turning to my friend seething.
That said, there were some truly wonderful vendors there that I was over-the-moon excited to connect with, and I'm looking forward to working with them (and you) soon! In the near-ish future, I'll have a section of my website dedicated to these cool vendors that are as awesome and chill and odd as me, so look forward to that.
Some of my fave quotes from the weekend:
"How much for one of these pens?!"
"OOOO like on TikTok!" (That's right - my invisible ink trick is TikTok famous)
"What are you so enthused about?"