Guidelines for Presenting your IET Sessions and Classes at Expos

By Michelle A. McCarthy

Why do them?

  • Great Exposure *Gain clients for your practice
  • Gain students for your classes
  • Opportunity to sell products if you have them *Wonderful opportunity to meet a lot of people who are looking for healing services – all in one place. People are coming to YOU vs you looking for them
  • Meet other practitioners/business owners with whom you can network ~ i.e. people offering different modalities with whom you can cross-refer, healing center owners who may be looking for someone to teach in their facility. If you are looking to expand your client practice, you may meet someone who is looking for a practitioner
  • They’re FUN!

Pre-Expo Planning

  • Tell your friends, clients & potential clients. Ask them to come and support and/or meet you. Ask them to spread the word too! Do this via email or snail mail and on your FB page.
  • If you have a website, you can put a banner on your home page for the event you’re attending. Your web person (if you have one) can do it for you if you don’t know how.
  • Do you have connections to local publications that might give you some press? It is a great opportunity to get a story published about your business and promote the Expo at the same time.

1 Day events

  • Likely closer to home
  • Great way to get your feet wet if you’re new to expos
  • More likely to meet local practitioners with whom to network
  • Opportunity to do a short IET intro (attendance may be anywhere from 5 to 25/30) – time may vary from 30-45 minutes
  • Fabulous for ‘building your list’ – newsletter/events
  • Likely to be more cost effective: Booth fees $50 – $100 vs. several hundred. Expect to pay entire booth fee up front. May or may not have a refundable option if you cancel
  • Generally more laid back atmosphere
  • Greater potential to ‘get your money back’ at the event, due to lower cost. You can charge a fee for the service you offer i.e. – 10 minutes $15, $1 a minute. I’ve also seen
  • people offer mini sessions free of charge.   Attendees sometimes come to the smaller events looking for ‘the free stuff’
  • Measured out space (generally 4 – 6 feet)
  • You bring everything – including display table and chairs to sit on
  • May or may not have a contract for you to sign
  • Electricity may or may not be available; smaller one day shows I’ve had a booth at have provided it at no charged extra.
  • Shorter set up time – likely to be from 7 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. the day of the event
  • More word of mouth/e-mail/FB advertising rather than paid advertising

2-3 Day events

  • Potentially can involve more travel – Expos are offered all around the country. (I’ve given you a list of some of the biggies on the last page)
  • Larger audience – people come expecting to spend $ – not always the case at smaller events
  • Booth fees significantly higher – upward to $1,500.00, which will likely include a non refundable deposit of $200 – $250 and may come with a payment plan (or simply a deadline for final balance)
  • Expect to have a contract to sign
  • Advertising option *extra charge
  • If you are selling product, you may be asked to provide a retailers license.
  • For Sat/Sun events, set up generally starts Friday, times have varied anywhere between 1.4 for the doors to open and set up until 7-8 p.m.
  • Once these shows open, you are expected not to begin to breakdown until the event is over. Some events specify this in their contract. Should you breakdown early, you may be blocked from being a vendor for that particular event in the future.
  • Larger booth space options will come with side rails/skirts, back drop, table, chairs, wastebasket, booth spaces usually numbered and will normally have a sign hanging on the booth with your business name.   Electricity is usually not included. $65 – $75 for the weekend. But, having it is great if you wish to put twinkle lights around the booth, etc.
  • Booth sizes vary from 8×8 – 10×20
  • Extensive advertising is done by the sponsors for these events, on line/FB, metaphysical magazines, billboards (part of why the cost for a booth is significantly higher – the potential for greater exposure)
  • Opportunity to do Intro 45-55 minute/ larger audience (Potentially 100 or more attendees)

Going it Alone vs Bringing Someone With You

Whether or not you have someone at the booth with you will depend on the size of the event, your comfort level and perhaps the cost of the booth. When you have a booth buddy, you want to be clear with one another regarding expectations, i.e. booth set up, take down, working on clients, sharing the list, expenses, etc.

Planning Your Booth

  • Be clear on your intention for participating. What image do you want to project and what do you want the focal point to be (sessions or classes in your office – meeting people who may want you to teach in their home or office?)
  • Grab the attention of attendees; you need to find your own sweet spot in standing out in the crowd of vendors. You can offer giveaways, drawings, raffles, etc and interaction with attendees are all ideas that will draw the public into your booth. Just don’t be TOO anxious or “pounce” on people as they walk by.
  • Your space should be a reflection of who you are. If you have a real flair for creating beautiful space, create it. If you like simple and clutter free, that is how your booth should look.
  • Banners and colorful displays make your space inviting.
  • Plan in advance what materials you want to give away during the Expo.

Decide how to capture leads. Give attendees an opportunity to sign up for your mailing list or newsletter or give them an opportunity to enter a drawing. If you do a drawing, you might consider a free remote mini session or a discount on a class or full session.

What You will Need For Your Booth

  • 1-day event, as I said – potentially your own display table, chair(s), waste basket. 2-day event, these will be provided for you
  • Business Banner (available at Vista Print, Staples, Your local print/copy center)
  • I generally offer seated mini sessions – so you’ll want a chair for client to sit on to receive session. I bring a folding stool for myself. Chairs may be available for your use.
  • Signed Consent/release form
  • Business cards/brochures
  • Flyers for classes
  • Event Specials you may be offering
  • If you’re speaking, have a sign with that information readily visible; make sure you tell people too, “I will be speaking about Integrated Energy Therapy at ** O’clock in the ** room”
  • Sign Up sheet for sessions/ “Mailing List” sign up sheet.
  • You may wish to have one that is both a sign up sheet for sessions and your mailing list. If you do, you might have a disclaimer that says, “By signing this form you are agreeing to be on our mailing list. We appreciate you and value your privacy. Please know we will never share your info. You are free to opt out at any time”
  • Be sure you have restroom breaks and lunch times included on this! (I’ve learned first hand how important THIS one is!)
  • Bag of Blessings cards with your contact info on them (you may wish to have more than one bag, depending on the size of the event and whether it’s one day or two days)
  • I have a crystal angel dish that holds these cards and a sign behind it with our Ariel logo picture that says, “Have You Received Your Angel Blessing Today? Please Take One”
  • Not everyone feels comfortable “taking” a card, but for people receiving sessions, I put the dish in front of them and suggest that they set an intention for their session and then choose a card to see which angel will be working with them
  • Bottled water, Snacks/lunch, Hand sanitizer (for you), Kleenex (for clients)
  • Potted plant or artificial flowers
  • Dish of individually wrapped mints or life savers
  • Interestingly, this has garnered more than one client at expos. If they’re going to take a piece of candy some people seem to feel obligated to hang around and look at what you’re doing/offering – which has led to sitting in the chair to receive a session!

During The Event

  • Wear comfortable shoes and stand as much as you can. If you have to sit, try and sit off to the side, not behind the table.
  • Stay fully present to what’s happening around you. This means don’t read, text your friends or chat on your cell phone. In fact, leave your cell phone in your purse! If possible, save meal eating for a scheduled lunch break. And gum is a no-no.
  • Listen more than you talk.
  • Be willing to help others and get to know the other exhibitors and what they are offering. You can refer to one another during the event and they could become a great referral for you down the road.
  • Make sure your booth is staffed at all times.
  • Do not start to break your booth down even 5 minutes early. There will be attendees there until the very end. It is not fair to them or to the exhibitors around you if you start packing up early. If you do break down early, you may not be asked back and there are some event sponsors who charge a penalty fee.

After The Show

  • Follow up with all of your new contacts within a week after the show. Contact people by email and thank them for coming by your booth and signing up for your email list.
  • Ask them how they felt after their session with you. Show them they’re important and you care.

Finding Events

There are many holistic magazines available today.   Just in MA we have Natural Awakenings (which has editions all over the country), Wisdom, Many Hands and Spirit of Change. These publications always have advertisements for health expos.   If you are new to these events, or not sure you want to venture into having a booth just yet, you might wish to simply attend one or two in your area. Get a feel for the event, the vendors.

Some feel warm and fuzzy; some feel very competitive. Talk to the vendors. Ask about the sponsors. This is a great way to get information about booth rates, attendance, and ideas regarding how you might set up your own booth! You’ll have the chance to meet other practitioners in your area as well. These people can become friends/referrals, etc.

I have seen ads posted on FB for events that are relatively close (CT, RI, Eastern MA)

Some of The Biggies

  • INATS (International New Age Trade Show) is huge/offered every June in Denver. (This one is on my bucket list)
  • Whole Health Expos
  • Women’s Expos
  • New Life Expo (NYC – Hotel Pennsylvania and FL)
  • (expos by state, including International – search through list, not all would be a good fit)
  • (based in FL, offering expos around the country. Must submit app in order to get pricing, etc)
  • this organization has been providing events and expos throughout the Midwest since 1998.

If you’re ready to dive right in – go for it. They can be great fun, wonderful networking options and have great potential for growth and expansion.

The above information is based on my personal experience doing events and expos for many years. I hope you find it useful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by Email or by phone at 413-737-9443

Michelle A. McCarthy
The Heart to Heart Healing Connection
Agawam, MA 01001