The weekend of October 5-6-7 was an unusually sunny one for Northern California. On Thursday, the 4th, I joined my dad (and business partner!) at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds, site of the fall 2007 Alameda County Home Show. We were meeting Kevin, the guy who was helping us set up our backdrop. "You gotta have a good backdrop," my dad told me, "or else no one's even gonna look at your booth." Kevin showed up with two helpers in tow; they were dragging along what looked like a huge oil drum. It turned out to be the container for our rented backdrop. While we chatted with Kevin, his two assistants opened the drum and started pulling out all kinds of crazy parts. Within minutes, they were done; Kevin and I had barely finished shaking hands.
As Kevin was leaving, Kari came rushing up to us. "Vern!" she called out to my dad, a huge grin plastered across her face. "You're here ahead of schedule! What's wrong?" Tucking her clipboard under her arm, the event coordinator turned to me. "You must be the son I've heard about! How are you, dear? You're obviously doing a good job already--usually Vern scrambles around at the last minute trying to get everything together!" My dad had told me that everyone loved Kari, now I understood why. She bubbled with enthusiasm, clearly loving her job, and making the sometimes mundane act of setting up a home show seem like one heck of a good time.
On Friday, when the show started, we positioned ourselves in front of our backdrop, smiling proudly beneath our new "Pool Guard" banner. Enlarged photos of past installations lined our booth, drawing patrons in with their gorgeous colors of the pools and the clean, straight lines of the fences. I did a lot of listening that day, taking mental notes on how my dad talked to people, letting them know the wonders of the see-thru mesh and removable poles. I heard him extol the virtues of the self-closing gate, with its magnetic locking mechanism, and watched as people began to comprehend the value of the Pool Guard system. I took down a lot of leads that day, with my eyes on the coming weeks, and the many sales calls we'd be heading out on.
The rest of the weekend was kind of a blur; I remember six-dollar hot dogs, and the pretty girl at the next booth who was helping her dad sell real estate. At some point I had to buy myself gel inserts for my shoes in an attempt to ease my aching feet, but it was a good kind of ache, coming as it did from meeting so many wonderful people and helping them take a small step towards protecting their children.
In two weeks, we'll be heading out to our next home show, this time in Concord; we've got some new photos to display and an even better backdrop this time around. Now that I know how much fun it is, I can't wait to do it all again -- but this time I've got a cooler so I can bring my own lunch! If you're in Northern California
, come on down to the home show and stop by booth 198 to say hello--we'll be the father and son in matching All American shirts. We're looking forward to seeing you!
My First Home Show
by Scout DavidsonAll American Backyard Concepts (San Francisco Bay Area)
Labels: home show, pool guard california, pool safety fence