When Lev Promotions was a member at our local regional Chamber of Commerce, we would display at the quarterly morning mixers. I found the event to be a good networking opportunity and had gotten good exposure from them.
After over two years of being an exhibitor at these events, one was held at a big box office supply store. Knowing that this chain sells promotional products as an adjunct revenue stream, I asked the Chamber to make sure that it would be ok for me to exhibit, since our display obviously focuses on promotional products.
Well, the rep from this national chain told the Chamber’s rep that they “would be uncomfortable” with Lev Promotions having a display table! OK, I get it, we both share the promotional product aspect of our respective business.
I’ve certainly displayed at other events where one or more of my competitors also had a display table. I never saw it as a threat – after all, there’s enough business to go around and different businesses will work better together than others.
To be viewed as a threat by a major national chain, however, is quite the coup for me – after all, Lev Promotions is a micro-company without anywhere near the reach and name recognition of this big box store. Even so, they weren’t “comfortable” enough in their promotional products offerings and/or staff to allow me to go head-to-head with them in that in their own store. (Also depriving the Chamber of additional revenue from my fee as an exhibitor.)
I say, woo-hoo for the little guy! They know we’re out there and we make them “uncomfortable”!