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Summer Trade Show Season

Las Vegas Trade Show 2023

Just like that we've finished up the last of the 2023 Trade Shows by launching a new look in Las Vegas. For years we've been stationed in permanent showrooms in Atlanta, Dallas and Las Vegas and grateful to not have to build or pack up and break down a temporary booth. However after witnessing the throngs of people milling through the temporaries in Las Vegas last January we thought it was high time we went and saw what all the fuss was about.

Landing late into steaming hot Vegas (115degrees) we realized our original plan for a booth was doomed before we even got off the plane at 3.30pm. The lumber yard we'd chosen to cut wood was closing in 20 mins and wasn't open the next day - REBOOT REBOOT. After another interminable wait, we hurtled down the freeway in our bulky minivan to get badges from the show as set up was closing at 5pm. After sprinting out of the van at the traffic lights in the aforementioned blistering temps, we headed for trusty Ikea. OMG the number of Kallax cubes we've built and Ikea furniture we've wrestled!! Love it or hate it Ikea has probably been our most trusted partner in show prep over the years!

An hour later we exited with trestle legs, tables and some accoutrements to garnish the booth. Next stop was Home Depot where we picked up lumber for shelving and a makeshift table along with brackets for walls. Heading back to offload, it dawned on us while sitting in traffic, that if we offloaded that same day we'd likely be checking in and eating dinner at 11pm. For those of you that don't know Walt doesn't handle an empty stomach very well. We rerouted and headed for the hotel with a full trunk - hoping everything in the car for the booth would be intact the next morning. 

We were very grateful to find out the next day that everything was just as we'd left it though the plant was definitely a little more limp and extra thirsty after a night in the van in 90+degree temps. 9am Saturday we careened into the parking lot oblivious to rules for offloading in an orderly fashion. With our load and with the precision of two people who've lived, worked and parented together for many years, we managed to pull the booth into some semblance of our original plan by 1pm - not bad, not bad at all.

We were relieved that after nearly 5 years of not building temporary booths we still had the knack and only had one minor disagreement (poss during a hunger pang). Not only did we have the knack for booth building, we felt it was one of, if not our best, booth yet!

We decided it was time to ask our retailers to share their success with potential retailers and seized on the plan to have existing retailers write what they thought of us and our products on cards we then affixed to the wall. It was soooo nice to see old friends and have them gush about how well the CapaBunga products sell for them in their stores. One customer, new to the line, had sold out of their first order in three days after ordering in Atlanta two weeks earlier.

As usual we had the same laughs and childish pranks with fellow exhibitors - our nearest booth had two Scottish guys who'd never been to Vegas before - one had stayed out to 4am in the morning the night before while the other hadn't even gone to bed. Rookies - us old fogeys had been back in our beds by 9pm aware that standing on concrete the next day would do a number on our bodies -sad but true:) The show turned out to be way better than we expected with over half our orders coming from new retailers.

We visited with fellow exhibitor friends sharing what works for them as well as for us. Elizabeth arrived Monday allowing us time to walk the new 11th floor with the new Fine Lines and Stephen Young showrooms to see what all the fuss was about - frankly we were surprised it was so quiet making us even more grateful we had opted to go to all the trouble and expense to set up this new booth in the busy temps. We headed home on Tuesday leaving Elizabeth to close up the booth on Wednesday - not the easiest task in the world either but like all of us here at CapaBunga she had the 'can do' attitude required. Next time you call she can fill you in on the saga of the missing luggage wheels and hulking that beast to the shuttle bus and airport.

Despite all the trials and tribulations we'll be back in January with a similar look but actually try to execute on our original plan if the lumber yard can manage to work with our schedule. We hope to see you there. Until then we'll be enjoying the cooler more temperate climes of Northern California - Cheers!



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