It seemed like a good idea at the time.
I researched shows and came across one that fit into my budget. That should have been my first clue: it fit into my budget. I showed up on the morning of the event in my business best, ready to make the world more beautiful. Here's how it went:
Hour 1: I say hello and chat a bit with my friend Jenn, who is there with her husband promoting their fantastic photography business. Swing on by and check them out here: Captured in Moments
Hour 1.5: I set up my booth and, in the course of trying to hop over a chair, bust the tack on the slit in my skirt, turning my booth from "I'm professional and cute" to "Come check out my goods, baby" in 0.7 seconds. I vow to stand completely still for the rest of the show.
Hour 2: Show opens. One bride saunters through. I keep emphatic eye contact in an attempt to make her not notice my skirt.
Hour 3: I realize that I'm two booths down from the sex toy lady. I turn about fifty shades of red.
Hour 4: Two more brides. The vendors are like hungry lions on the Serengeti.
Hour 5: Desperate for business, the vendors start trying to sell to each other. Sex Toy Lady tries to sell me some "goodies" for my across-the-continent husband. I turn fifty more shades of red and politely refuse.
Hour 6: I have officially made it through my first bridal show, and I kept my heels on the entire time to boot. I slip into some flats, dismantle my booth and drive home with no sales, no bookings, and only fourteen names when we were told there'd be 100-200 brides in attendance. Yay.
Lest I throw too big of a pity party, out of those fourteen names I got one great new client who I love, and I also now visit a local law firm almost every week to drop off orders and take new ones--the firm was a vendor at the show promoting their POA/Living Will package, which is kind of smart if you think about it! So all was not lost. But I'm sure in twenty years it'll make a great story at a conference. In retrospect, I should have just owned the whole busted slit thing and pulled an Angelina-Jolie-at-the-Oscars type pose. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, Google it immediately. See also: the "AngiesRightLeg" Twitter feed)