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Convention Adventures | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Convention Adventures

Vendors 11photo © 2009 Bill Ward | more info (via: Wylio)
This weekend, my family is selling Bethlehem Books at a homeschool convention. We’ve sold books for them at conventions for 9 years. I love their books.

Sometimes, we’ve travelled to Indianapolis and southern Illinois to sell. It’s a family adventure, and our kids are integral to our sales team. You never know what will happen next.

Memorable adventures:

  1. Once in Indianapolis at the RCA dome, the line for vendors to park was too long. Richard idled our station wagon while we got the cart out on the sidewalk, loaded the boxes, and the kids helped me push our inventory uphill while he waited in line. By the time he got into the convention hall, we had set up our display.
  2. Our daughter loves to read and would charm visitors, as she told them the story lines of her favorite books.
  3. Our son was the reluctant bookseller. In his early years, he dressed in costume (Pioneer Boy)  He would sit with his toy guns behind our vendor area, crouch behind a chair, and pretend to shoot our customers. They took it in good stride.
  4. One year in Indianapolis, while we were rotating showers that night, the pipes thumped as walls vibrated. The shower head spigot broke while on, spraying water full force over the bathroom, at 10 p.m. It took an hour for them to get it fixed and cleaned.
  5. Because the RCA dome was so large, we used 2-way radios. Our son was most colorful on the radio. As I took him with me on a bathroom break, he grabbed a radio and broadcast. “Mom has to pee. We are going to the bathroom. When we find it. We’re almost at the bathroom. Now she’s going to the bathroom. I’m waiting on Mom to finish going to the bathroom.” His play by play broadcast at our booth, to the snickers of our customers.
  6. Conventions offer interesting souvenirs. There’s the time my son bought a skunkskin cap (a la Davy Crockett) at the pioneer booth. My kids always cringed when I bought owl pellets or animals for us to dissect. My biggest scare came the year our son bought a 6 foot long toy wooden rifle. He didn’t understand why he couldn’t carry it that night as we walked from the Convention Center to our hotel. When we packed out at convention close, I disguised the toy rifle by wrapping it in tablecloths and nestling it in our book boxes.
  7. Pioneer Boy (my son) discovered Gameboy and Nintendo. If you wanted to find our booth, you would just look for the booth with all boys in the whole hall gathered around him and his games. If there had been a vendor booth for video games, he would have been a natural sales guy for them.
  8. Then there was the convention when vendors were kept out of the keynote and the vendor hall was closed. Vendors’ kids started playing. My son and some Mennonite boys took a trebuchet toy and lobbed balls with it across vendor hall floor. Until a ball crashed into a vendor display and knocked everything over.

Now that my kids are older, our adventures are milder. But I will always treasure our Convention Adventure memories. And I’ll appreciate the lessons my kids got in salesmanship, inventory, setup/displays, and computation of sales with tax.


One Response to “Convention Adventures”

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