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Monday, August 9, 2010

DC Pen Show Prep

This weekend, I have practically spent every waking minute inventorying, pulling products, packing them, organizing, and all that for the DC Show coming up this week (all while keep the GPC website up and operational). It's going to be an utterly insane week, and I apologize if that breaks up my normal blogging routine. I have about a bajillion reviews I need to do, but they are simply going to have to wait until after the show!

The DC Show is honestly kicking my butt. Unlike smaller local shows that I have done before (back when I was selling pens), this one is a monster. It's a big show, it's farther than any show I've done before, and the sheer amount (and weight) of the products I'm bringing make for an extremely exhausting preparation. Anyone who's a follower of mine here on Ink Nouveau or a customer at GPC knows that I've been just going gangbusters lately, and with a 6-month old at home I rarely even get a minute to rest. In fact, I'm often skipping lunch and working straight through just to get done the things I need to every day, that's how tight a schedule I'm keeping! I can't remember the last time I went to bed before 1am... In fact I'm up typing this very post at 1:30am Monday morning.

The DC Show preparation has truly pushed me to my limits, to the point where I'm honestly not certain if I'm going to be able to do another show after this. I am very excited about getting to meet people face-to-face, but aside from that, everything about the show is going to be a serious and intense disruption to my normal business operation, my personal life, my wife's job, and my wife's whole family, who is helping to watch our (still nursing) 6-month old son during the show days. In an effort to be real and honest with my followers here, I have to say at this point the sheer daunting amount of effort this show has been even to this point (and we're not even THERE yet) might be too much to do again anytime soon. In fact, if it weren't for relatives on both sides of our family coming and helping us prepare I'm not sure we'd even be able to pull it off.

Just to give you an idea, just this weekend I needed to inventory, analyze and decide what to bring to the show out of the 800+ products we carry, physically pull/pack them making sure to leave inventory to keep GouletPens.com operational while we're at the show. On top of all that, Thursday and Friday are only a 'preshow', so we'll only be allowed half our normal table space and we'll have to bring/unpack/pack up everything on both Thursday and Friday, it's only Saturday night that we'll have security there and can leave our tables set up. I have to pack basically two 'sets' of products, one for the limited space for the preshow, and one for the big public show on the weekend. The real kicker is that this Thursday, the first day of the show, is mine and my wife's 4th anniversary. Happy Anniversary honey! :P

Here are some of the 20+ 18 gallon bins we're using to bring everything to the show. Literally the only place we have to store them is our dining room, so we're eating meals in our living room all week. If I had to guess I'd say it's around 2500 pounds of product in all. Not light! I'm actually going to Home Depot tomorrow to get more of these bins, since 20 wasn't enough.


So for all those attending the DC Pen Show, be sure to stop by my (3) tables, because it may be the last time I do a show for a while! I hate to put it like that, but that's the honest reality of what I'm facing. I'm going to make the most of it this go around and have a great attitude all the way through it, but I can't say if I'll do any other show until I can get through this one and see how much I'm holding it all together afterward. I'll do my best to keep up the blog all the way through the show, but it will honestly be quite a feat if I can continue to post every day through this next week...I'm just treading water at this point! ;)

5 comments:

  1. Best of luck Brian and Rachel! Maybe next year just do one table. Pre show days you can have more "pen enthusiast" type products and on the weekend have consumer type products?

    Just spit-balling...

    Wish I could be there!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Brian - I am one of your new customers and just getting started in the fountain pen arena. I live and work in the DC area and I am looking forward to attending the show (my first one). I must say I am a little bit intimidated but I am going to go. Since you have been so nice to me, sending me links to "how-to" videos I plan on giving you most of my business. As a businessman you have to go where the $$ is and a show is where it is at. Maybe next time you can hire a part time college kid or some other pen enthusiast to help you out. I think it will be worth it in the end! See you Saturday. Carol S.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Brian - I am one of your new customers and just getting started in the fountain pen arena. I live and work in the DC area and I am looking forward to attending the show (my first one). I must say I am a little bit intimidated but I am going to go. Since you have been so nice to me, sending me links to "how-to" videos I plan on giving you most of my business. As a businessman you have to go where the $$ is and a show is where it is at. Maybe next time you can hire a part time college kid or some other pen enthusiast to help you out. I think it will be worth it in the end! See you Saturday. Carol S.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Best of luck Brian and Rachel! Maybe next year just do one table. Pre show days you can have more "pen enthusiast" type products and on the weekend have consumer type products?

    Just spit-balling...

    Wish I could be there!

    ReplyDelete

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