Last week, Fitneff was proud to be a part of the 2016 Human Resources Professional Association Annual Conference and Trade Show. Our booth was among the hundreds of booths that were carefully planned and set up to attract the attention of human resources professionals. This year’s focus was on wellness in the workplace, and the topic could not have been more timely. Companies everywhere are embracing the notion that the physical and mental health of their employees is critical to the health of the organization, and there is no shortage of resources for those HR professionals who are leading the charge.
As one of hundreds of exhibitors, the team at Fitneff had the opportunity to introduce delegates to our suite of products that are designed to help get people moving in the workplace. Articles are surfacing weekly in the media about the health risks associated with the prolonged periods of sitting that are common in most workplaces. The sit-stand desks, treadmill desks, desk pedals and other accessories offered by Fitneff allow employees to stay productive at their jobs while taking a break from sitting.
Fitneff is not new to trade shows. Here are some valuable lessons from our experience at the trade show this past week.
Make a Meaningful Offer
In most cases, you have under 30 seconds to attract the attention of someone passing by your booth and entice them to stop in for more information. First and foremost, it is imperative that the booth be attractive and welcoming. We saw some very slick, innovative displays and frankly, we were impressed. From the gorgeous balloons floating above the booth of Aspiria to the visual of vital, clean air emanating from the purifier in the booth of Surgically Clean Air, exhibitors were careful with how their displays represented their brand offering, and spot-on in their execution.
SCORE Promotions had a steady line up of delegates waiting to have a professional profile picture taken in their booth. This was a clever way to attract an audience, all of whom were served snacks, and the opportunity to sample the product offering while they waited. Undoubtedly, this also afforded SCORE the opportunity to capture data from delegates for follow up after the show.
At the Fitneff booth, delegates were invited to try 3 models of our sit-stand desks, but it was truly the desk pedals that attracted the most attention. Seeing the product demonstration as they approached the booth enticed many to try them out for themselves. The desk pedals are innovative in their own right, and this created a meaningful and unique experience for delegates as they made their way through the show.
Ensure You're In Good Company
While the delegates attending the trade show are important to exhibitors, it was obvious from the moment we arrived at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre that there were relationships available to us everywhere. Networking among exhibitors was happening throughout the show, and it was clear that this was an important benefit to participation.
There was even some friendly competition within the crowd. Of course, there were companies with similar offerings within various categories exhibiting at the show, including financial services, recruiters, promotional products, among others. Imagine shaking hands with your competitor, taking a few moments to compare products and services and discussing common challenges in the market. This opportunity is rare, and invaluable.
This positivity and collaboration set the stage for our interactions with delegates. As a brand, Fitneff was pleased to be among this crowd of exhibitors.
"There's Gold in Them There Booths"
It was obvious to see that there were so many productive conversations happening around us, and many business cards were being exchanged. While there were no sales transactions conducted on the floor of the show due to show policy, I am confident that the business development opportunities discovered during that 3-day period were significant. Some of these include company partnerships, new employment opportunities, distribution channels that hadn’t previously been explored, introductions to new clients, just to name a few. The energy in the room was infectious, and it was exciting to be a part of the business-building that was going on around us.
The value of a trade show can often not be fully determined for weeks or even months following the event. However, you can get a sense from the response of those around you as to whether their experience was positive. If the attitudes from delegates and exhibitors on the final day of the event were any indication, the show was a success. This sentiment was echoed across social media, where it appears that many people left having learned something, and having had a good time. At Fitneff, we are satisfied with our experience at #HRPA2016 and look forward to seeing how our many new connections unfold.
Heather Lielmanis is the VP of Business Development at Fitneff Inc. Fitneff is dedicated to providing innovative products and solutions that help busy people make their productive time more active. Fitneff offers a full suite of walking desks, sit-stand desks and active accessories that allow you to incorporate movement into your work day.
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Today, on International Women’s Day, I have chosen to profile Laurel Walzak, the female co-founder of Fitneff Inc. Laurel has been successful in so many areas of her career - first as a trailblazer in the sports business industry, then as an entrepreneur and most recently as an Assistant Professor of Sports Media at Ryerson University.
Laurel also spends a great deal of her time and energy outside the office in efforts to advance the careers of young women who are making their start. I asked Laurel some important questions about the role of women in business, and the role that she plays in advocating for other women in her life.