**Disclaimer: I do not put on events or trade shows like the Holistic Living Expo. I am not claiming that I can or am even willing to do it better. Understand that I am keeping true to my promise of providing the facts, the truth and keeping it real… which very few in our Holistic and Positive world are willing to do.
Well I didn’t get any interviews… but I can recap what else I found
My mission was to assess this event in terms of effectiveness. Looking at it from a practitioner’s point of view and the end user – those seeking healing.
1. This Holistic Living Expo: Was Hard to Find
I am a huge fan of things working, and for this event I cannot say that they logistically had things set up correctly.
To their credit there was a sign hung up in a tree, right in front of the building where the Holistic Living Expo was being held. But it didn’t make it any easier to find, because it was tucked in and away. I can’t help but wonder how many people drove all the way out and went home thinking: “how did I get the date wrong…”.
All navigation issues aside, I pressed on and upon my grand entrance, I discovered that…
2. The Holistic Living Expo: Was Much Smaller then I Expected
And I don’t exactly know why I assumed this event would be well, a “bigger deal”. But looking deeper I can see through the fog; the website for the Holistic Living Expo looks like it was built in the early 90′s, and for me, usually that is a good judge of quality. Despite my initial impression from the website, I set very high expectations for this event.
And why not? Considering the Holistic Living Expo is doing 23+ events all over California. That alone, in my mind says, “Hey this expo must have its stuff together.”
I am sorry to say they do not.
**2nd Discalimer: I can only speak for my one experience, at the San Diego event December 5th, 2010. It is possible that events in other cities are more effective, but I doubt it…
Other than finding the place they did great; the expo was designed to support a high velocity flow and it was organized by an obviously experienced group of event producers. But, they are terrible event promoters.
3. The Holistic Living Expo: Was Poorly and Under Promoted
Here’s why: I got there around 2pm for an all day expo, there was a whopping total of 15 end users in attendance, and after confirming my suspicions with a few practitioners, I found out that this was the busiest it had been all day! :-/
This is because their marketing model is flawed… Not only does the practitioner pay for his/her both space, but the Holistic Living Expo’s marketing strategy for getting end users in the door relies mostly on their practitioners promoting the event to their existing list of customers and prospects. Which would be a great model, if the practitioners in attendance actually had decent lists. There were only about three that I would say had established practices or business, the rest were startups or the kind of business model that does not capture emails or ever consistently market and engage.
Most of the practitioners I met and spoke with had never-ever done a trade show, and surly had never done one with the Holistic Living Expo.
In closing I will say this:
If you are planning on attending a Holistic Living Expo, sign up for their email list and get a free pass. In my opinion it is not worth the $10. Period. Also, I would consider making your visit to the expo short and plan your day so you can get a two-for-one and just run some other errands in the area.
If you are planning on becoming a vendor at a Holistic Living Expo, don’t. If you are going to invest a couple hundred dollars into expanding your brand awareness and generating leads, then you are better off:
1. Trying out a different trade show that actually has decent turnout from an effective marketing strategy
2. Throwing that couple hundred dollars into some local Pay-Per-Click traffic
3. Or even just leaving a trail of money that leads up to your office door… it would take less time and probably get more people to walk through your office door then the Holistic Living Expo.