I just love it when I hear of equestrian businesses that are doing well…and I get just a wee little bit more excited when I find out it’s because of some tip or resource I offered. One start-up company got some great attention on their product, all because they took a little tip to heart, and then went the extra mile in making it happen. You can do it for your horsebiz, too.
The 2011 Chicagoland Equestrian Lifestyle Expo and Holiday Market was held this past weekend in northern Illinois. On Saturday evening, I ran an activity called the Tally Ho! TreasureHunt™ – it’s a little something I developed last year to facilitate foot traffic around the tradeshow floor and encourage interaction at vendor booths.
This year, one of the Treasure Hunt donors was a start-up company called MJ Equine Tools, Inc., which produces the handy-dandy Illuminated Hoofpick (IH). I met the founders, Maralee Glunz and Joanne Stoynoff, back in August at the 2011 AETA tradeshow.
They’ve recently launched the IH and AETA was their first tradeshow; since they’re based in the Chicago area, it makes sense they’d also be at the Chicago expo. MJ Equine Tools not only donated an Illuminated Hoofpick for the Treasure Hunt drawing, they also got into the festive spirit of the Expo with the packaging, and you can see the outcome in the picture below.
Now, by itself this looks nice…but when it was placed on the Treasure Hunt homebase table, it became a WOW amongst some already mighty-nice donations, and generated loads of attention because it was sparkly with lots of stuff in it. Everyone wanted the gift basket with the Hoofpick package strategically placed at the tippy-top; it got lots of oohs and aahs and attention during the 90 minute activity, AND during the drawing for prize winners many people were saying they hoped they would win it.
It wasn’t until Sunday, when I swung by the MJ Equine Tools booth, that I was told they’d made the donation super-fancy and festive based on a suggestion I’d made. It certainly paid off in some attention for their brand-new product, just in time for hoofpick sales as stocking stuffers.
Another example of an equestrian-related business that pays attention to packaging details is The Old Grey Mare, an online shop at the Ruby Lane site. Dexter Grass, the shop’s owner, finds sweet equestrian and canine antiques, and I’ve bought a few lovely pieces of ‘horsey’ jewelry – they always come tissue-wrapped and packaged in a nice gift box, and it’s a treat to open up the package and find my new special something inside. Dexter is a reader of No Biz Like Horsebiz and you’ll see her comments here from time to time.
Whether you’re selling hoof picks or horses, antiques or riding breeches or equine insurance, is there a way for you to ‘package’ the item with a bit of extra razzle dazzle? Visual presentation and style are important, and putting forth the effort to make a purchase a bit more ‘special’ can tickle a customer no end and get you extra attention, and sales.
A huge THANK YOU to every company that donated to the Tally Ho! TreasureHunt™, all 14 of them! It wouldn’t have been possible without your donation and your participation in the activity! The Chicagoland Equestrian Lifestyle Expo and Holiday Market is a presentation of the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois. As an ‘learning and shopping’ event, there are no horses on site, but horsefolk of all orientations, disciplines, and breed affiliations are welcomed.
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