I had my first major public relations push last week by surprisingly having a booth at the St. Petersburg Multi-Chamber Business Showcase. It was a surprise in that I was supposed to be sharing only a table (4 feet of my own space) with another business. Well, I ended up having my own booth, which was sweet, but I did not bring materials to fill such a space, so had to resign to just splaying out my pamphlets, postcards and a few print outs around my showcase piece: the 24" Dell monitor displaying 350+ of images I handpicked for the event.
I did not spend much time actually inside my booth. I was wisely told by a chamber official much better at PR than myself to stand out in front and handout my sweet canine photography postcards to any and all passersby. At first I was shy about this, and I was also being bombarded by people wondering over from other booths to try and sell me on their wares & services. This greatly annoyed me at first because I was at my booth trying to promote my business, and here they were taking my time to shill themselves. A few times possibly legit potential clients were browsing my materials and I had to waste time shedding the shillers before I could go over and talk to the potential client.
Eventually all the shillers made their rounds and only legit attendees were walking by. During this time I came out of my shell and handed out nearly all of my pamphlets and postcards. I had several interesting conversations with people who stopped by on topics ranging from of course my photography services, to my experiences in Japan, to the general state of the current business climate. I always like interacting with the general public in this manner and packed up my booth feeling good about the personal connections I made at the event.
It has been one week now and I have had no inquires from anyone I met at the business showcase. So in light of this, it is hard for me to call the event a success for my business and me personally, though I still retain hope and a good feeling that clients will eventually emerge from the PR work I did at the event.