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1-month after–What I learned from LaxCon.

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I think this is my first full article for LAS in 2015.  Looking back a month after the event took place, this is my bullet point of what I learned from LaxCon (in no particular order):

 

  • In preparation for the event, I work in more isolation and that’s the brutal part of doing such a business.
  • I wish the host cities (Baltimore/Philadelphia) would have a lot of lacrosse signage all over. Unless you’re inside the convention center, outside feels totally bland.
  • My biggest fear is being late to anything.  I’ve always been one of the first cars in the loading dock to set-up.  This year I was the very first in line, being an hour early and it felt like Black Friday.
  • It’s strange, at times overwhelming, when you interface with the public.  But there are people who mention remembering when I was just a lonely, single, 6-foot folding table in 2009.
  • LaxCon itself is too short for what you pay for.  I complain about it.  But it’s been the most important weekend for my business.
  • My financial goal is to always break even.  That’s really a success for such a short event.  But, I’ve been profiting since 2011.
  • You can’t please every customer.  If you do, then you’re on the road to failure.  And they know that!
  • Unless, you’re working with a team, no one will ever know how hard you work at something, even if it fails.  Nobody really cares – work harder.  You can fail numerous times, but you just need to be right once, and people will think you an “overnight success”.
  • But still, listen to your customers.  Sometimes they have the bigger brain than the business owner.
  • To play the sport of lacrosse you need equipment and the time to practice.  You do not need lacrosse art to play the sport of lacrosse.  This is a brutal truth when observing your customer’s daily needs in this or any sport.
  • It takes me 3 hours (and more) to set up my booth space and display product.  This year I had a 10×20 space – double than previous attendances.
  • I hardly leave the booth due to being so busy.  Bathroom and food breaks are rare.  I rarely sit down.
  • I know there are many lacrosse friends in the building that I haven’t seen in a few years, and the only way to see them is if they are near my booth space.
  • Aside from a business opportunity, LaxCon is like a reunion.  There are people you want to see and unfortunately people you don’t want to see, as well.
  • The first day of the event “pays for the bar tab”.  The second day “pays for the mortgage”.
  • When a prospective customer/business partner gives you their business card, respond to them because that card is an “open door”.  Beat them to the call!
  • Keep in mind that while they may pitch you a working idea at the event, that pitch is just talk.  Talk will always be cheap.  Talk has to materialize.
  • In order for my business to grow at this rate, I have to accept and risk the fact that another party will use my lacrosse art/intellectual property illegally without my permission.  It got ugly on the event floor with a company that did just that.  Growing pains but show them you mean business!
  • There may be a ton of parties and events to go to during LaxCon, but the tired factor kicks in quickly.  People should also understand that manning a booth is work.  But pick your after party accordingly.
  • The event in Baltimore is my ONLY time to get an authentic Maryland crab cake!
  • LaxCon to a business owner like myself is parallel to an Olympic 100 meter sprinter.  They train for 4 years to run a race that just takes 10 seconds.  After each LaxCon event, I always have that empty feeling once it’s over.
  • I love to finally meet people “in the flesh” who we interact thru social media accounts.
  • While I may work in isolation majority of the year, the event reassures me that there are people who want me to keep doing what I am doing.  Seeing the familiar faces of return customers solidifies that.
  • Oh yeah… see you in Baltimore for LaxCon 2016!

 

Aside from new customers, sales, networking and seeing friends, this is a great perk from LaxCon in B’more!

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