Tuesday, October 16, 2012

So Much Beer!

Put 59,000 people and 2,200 different kinds of beer in a huge convention center in the mile high city and what do you get?  58,999 people who love beer more than I do....well, close.  The Great American Beer Fest is like nothing else.  It is three days of wall to wall beer.  If I only liked beer as much as I like wine it would have been sooooo much more fun.  It did not matter though, I was there to help my daughter in her booth for the weekend.  I was one of the few people who was not there for the beer. 

The proud creator!

BeerSox made their mass debute at the GABF.  I was there to provide moral support, a smiling face and cheap labor.  It was like being on an episode of The Apprentice.  At least Donald Trump was not there to say "You're Fired".  We had a lot to learn over the weekend.  Good thing we had three days.  On our first day we set up the booth for the night session.  We all thought it looked very smart!  Check it out!

One of the dedicated weekend staff!  She likes it!

We were ready for the thousands of beer drinkers on Thursday night.  The booth was beautiful and ready.  Everyone admired our booth from afar, meaning outside our area rug.  We tried to invite them in with our winning personalities, good looks and the promise of a hand dyed/hand knit beer insulator.  There were a few brave souls who ventured into the booth, everyone else admired from afar and said, "Cool!  Awesome idea!" and then went searching for more beer.  If we only had beer!

Friday we (I use this word in the broad sense, meaning mainly my daughter) took a different approach.  If "they" wanted to admire from afar, we would bring afar to them!  We moved the BeerSox right up to the main pathway of the thousands of beer drinkers.  We added a few incentives and business picked up!  We are so smart, one of us even has a business degree...and watches The Apprentice.  The other two are young, enthusiastic and way cuter! 

Just try to walk around our BeerSox!  Take a closer look...admire...and buy!
Sales on day two were significantly higher than day one.  Whoo hoo!  Saturday was going to be a marathon.  One afternoon session and one evening session.  My daughter recruited another friend of hers to help with the afternoon session and I took the afternoon off.  The new friend proved to be a sales maven!  Together they had great sales during the afternoon session.  I tried not to take it personally.  With the new set up and the excellent sales crew, sales on Saturday were better than the first two days combined.  We were all very excited!  Good thing too because we were also all totally exhausted.  Nothing like a peak in sales to give the crew a much needed burst of energy.   We powered up before the last session and went in prepared to sell.  The last session proved to be just as successful as the afternoon session!  It was amazing to have people stop by and say things like, "I told you I would come back on the last day and I'm here."  We also heard things like, " We saw your ad and just had to see what BeerSox were."  The ad was great.  This was my first experience at the launching of a new product and it was scary and exciting all at the same time.  To go out on a limb with a new idea takes a lot of guts. 

The crowd was huge.
 There were wall to wall people, all there to taste the thousands of beers.  I will admit it was overwhelming at times.  So many people, so much beer.  Some people were friendly, some were more friendly than they should be, some were dismissive, some just ignored us but I don't think there were any who were out and out rude.  The feedback was mostly positive and that is what I think should be the focus for the weekend. 

The packing up at the end of the last night took all our remaining energy.  Well, not really, the girls had enough energy to go out later that night, I went home and promptly collapsed with a nice glass of chardonnay and put up my aching feet.   Standing on our feet for over 6 hours a day for three days in a row was "work".  The girls did manage to sample many of the craft beers.  I even tried to find a beer that would come close to being drinkable...for me.  There were a few.  I can truly appreciate the magnitude of this event.  As a wine drinker, if there were over 2,000 wines in one place to sample over three days in one ounce tastes, I would be over the moon!  So, I get it!
I just want to know where the Great American Wine Fest is and how I can get a ticket!  I'll bring my Vinosox.

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