Wow! What a marathon weekend! I have a total new found respect for all the people working the booths and displays at the Outdoor Adventure Show! Especially the busy ones with no seats! For the first time, I've attended the show not only as a spectator, but to work! With all the changes in my life, I considered not attending the show this year, but with encouragement and support from friends, I decided to get out of my rut and move forward - and what an amazing decision it was! I had forced myself to give me a reason to go to the show so I contacted Jim Stevens at Eureka (now an official sponsor - thank you!) and volunteered my time to help. He was kind enough to jump on the offer (now I know why!) and made arrangements to be there Sat & Sun to help out.
Let me tell you, the booth was BUSY! I've never talked so much or stood standing in one place for so long! By the end of Saturday, I was totally wiped and exhausted! (give me a 10km portage instead!) But at the same time, it wasn't all bad. Actually it was very rewarding to meet, discuss, and help people purchase outdoor equipment. Much of my experience outdoors certainly helped as I was able to relate and engage the customers in their inquiries and questions. Through discussions with Jim, I realized how important this was - it was not only about sales, but engaging customers at a different level. Developing a relationship by sharing experiences, listening to their stories, and gaining their trust - letting customers know that there is more to Eureka than just products. I've already received my first email from a customer who purchased a stove from me and requested info on a canoe route. (its all making sense Jim!)
Eric & Michelle - they are actually twins! A real pleasure to
Let me tell you a little about Jim Stevens. His title as Canadian Sales Manager of Eureka Products Division seems heady, like he should be sitting in an office doing administrative duties. Not even close! - he is actually a jack-of-all-trades! I found out that he is also a product designer, spearheads the marketing, looks after customers calls/emails, sets budgets, - the list goes on! Even with all this, he is at the show engaging the customers toe-to-toe with me! (he is also a canoe tripper) Remarkable! And even at the end, you'll still find him packing up the gear like everyone else! I've also had the pleasure of working with Dave Helsdon, the mastermind behind Chrysalis - a 3 season hammock tent (he was the busiest!), Ian, the Ontario Sales Rep for Eureka and his niece and nephew, Michelle & Eric (the nicest kids!).
It was great weekend to make tons of new contacts, forge new opportunities, meet old friends and make new ones. It was definitely lots of fun and totally worth the experience. Just a quick thanks to Kelly McDowell from Complete Paddler (another sponsor) and Dave Sproule from Ontario Parks. I'm already looking forward to next year!