By Micah Davis
Listen Up, Lansing
Michigan businesses geared up for the 15th annual Mid-Michigan Women’s Expo and according to some local Lansing businesses, it proved to be a big success.
The event took place at the Lansing Center February 6-8, and the Kohler Expos’ website states there were over 275 exhibits that attended.
April Bogdanski, current manager at local Lansing bakery, Bake N’ Cakes, said that the expo most definitely has increased business at their bakery.
According to Bogdanski, the expo gets word out to the community and shows what they are capable of.
“We see a huge increase even just within the three days that we are doing the expo,” said Bogdanski. “People stop by our store, and say ‘I was just at your Women’s Expo’ and they come pick up stuff from our store, especially since we are so close.“
This was not the only local Lansing business that said it has a noticeable increase in business due to the expo. Other Lansing businesses also seemed to receive the same positive outcome as Bake N’ Cakes.
Dr. David Lowry, a chiropractor at Lansing Pain and Rehab, said that his business also had a successful weekend attending the expo. He said that they had already scheduled over 50 appointments.
“The expo has done a wonderful thing in the fact that it has gotten our name out there and we have been able to meet tons of people,” Lowry said. “We’ve done lots of screenings and increased our business, there’s no question about it.”
It is clear that the event helped a variety of types of businesses, even car dealerships. Mark T. Keyes of Shaheen Chevrolet Inc., said that they had already booked about 10-15 appointments, while adding that they usually see an increase in traffic at their business the week after the show.
According to an expert on consumer trends and creative marketing strategies, Bonnie Knutson of Michigan State University, these expos are a chance for businesses to grow and reinforce their market. She also credits most of their success to sampling.
“Sampling is what the Women’s Expo is basically all about,” Knutson said. “If I buy something sight on scene and I know nothing about it, I risk wasting two things. I risk wasting my money and I risk wasting my time, and both of those have got value. “
Knutson said the implementation of trying and sampling increases the consumer’s likelihood of buying the product. Sampling a beauty product, a chiropractic “something” on my shoulder, touching the automobile or tasting the cake spends the consumer’s time, piques their interest and causes them to think that it will suit their needs.
Lowry’s booth sparked interest by providing electrocardiograms of the nervous system for the women that attended the expo.
“The screening is done here right now, but what we do is—it lets us tap into the community and be able to communicate one on one with people—and be able to express who we are, what we are, what we do,” Lowry said.
“It helps us get them back here, educate them a little bit, get there mind thinking and were able to scan them and let them realize—‘hey, maybe I do need to get a further examination and get into that guy’s office.’ So yeah, it has helped us out considerably as far as our business goes.”
According to Knutson, the service the customer receives when they make their visits to these businesses afterward, will determine if they keep these consumers around as lasting loyal customers for the future.