The following is a quick rundown on how things went on my trip to Toronto for the Imprint trade show; I will call it The Good, The Bad and The Grateful. This was a promotions industry show that happened on January 5th and 6th, at the Congress Centre near Pearson International Airport. I was invited by the #kingofsafety, Zak Karim of Big K Clothing, to be a guest in his booth to represent Helga Wear.
Part 1 - The Good
Women in Hi-Vis are Hard to Ignore!
The Big K Clothing 2018 catalogues flew off the shelves, proudly featuring Helga Wear’s hi-visibility safety overalls to launch Big K’s women’s line.
In my screaming yellow hi-vis overalls, my Hilda’s, I stole more than my fair share of attention by strategically wielding a home-made ‘STOP/Ask About My Pants’ sign - note the word Overalls was simply too big to fit on my sign, excuse any confusion. This tactic was wickedly successful at coaxing waves of people into conversing about Helga Wear, and even got me in a spot of trouble when other vendors complained about my tactics. To be fair, I had wandered out of my corral and was shamelessly stopping anybody who dared make eye contact. It worked out in the end; I was approached and asked about my overalls many times outside the confines of my designated area, sans sign.
Many great connections were made, and I am following up with eager anticipation. GO HELGA GO!
Part 2 - The Bad
Cool Climates and Heated Conversations
It was the coldest January 5th in nearly 6 decades for the #GTA, a suitable ‘Welcome Back, Huettner’ from good old mother Ontario.
Apart from that, a few unexpected and difficult conversations were had about my experiences, in the end I am thankful to have had the opportunity to talk openly with men and women alike about the struggles I faced working in a field dominated by men, and how wearing my Helga Wear overalls made a big difference.
Part 3 -The Grateful
I was honoured to be invited by neighbouring exhibitors to partake in an elite deli-sandwich-making tradition courtesy of my new found friends and fellow trade show exhibitors. As trade show experts, they invited me to a hidden cove behind one of their booths where I was amazed to find the most impressive spread of meats, cheeses, condiments, breads and veggies. One by one, the chosen few were invited to make themselves a hand held lunch that gave maximum nutrients in minimum time, which allowed one to return to one’s post post-haste - no leads left behind!
To Sum Up
The Imprint Trade Show was a success. I enjoyed being the brightest woman in the auditorium, perhaps in the entire #GTA, in my hi-vis safety overalls; talking to men and women about my Helga Wear and what it was like to work as a woman in the field along coastal British Columbia. My booth mate, the #kingofsafety himself, and booth neighbours made the whole experience memorable and definitely worth repeating.
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