Wednesday, March 6, 2013

David vs Goliath - Swimming With The Suits

I recently attended and had a booth for Happy Bitch Wines at the Boston Wine Expo.  It wasn't the first wine expo I was a vendor at, so please keep that in mind as you read.

I found myself in a booth with Treasury Estates and Fetzer Wines, as the tables were set up in a circle with me and Treasury Estates being at the opening of this circle, where we walk in and out of our assigned space.

I'm just the little guy, the tadpole learning how to swim with the big fish.  What I learned that weekend is that the big fish need to have some respect for the little guys. After all, the brands that make up their "family" were all once little guys too.

I should have realized what the weekend would bring when Saturday morning I'm setting up my table. I was done around 10:00am and had some time to kill.  I let Kathy from the Finger Lakes borrow my hand cart so she could unload her car.  Hey..we're all in this together, right?  She put the hand cart back at my table.  However, when I returned about 10:45am I noticed a hand cart jerry-rigged to hold up a floor sign for Treasury Estates.  I wish I had gotten a picture of this, because you all would be laughing.  My hand cart was intertwined among bent pieces of metal angled so the floor sign wouldn't fall.  I politely tapped Mr. Treasury Estates on the shoulder and said "Excuse me, I have a hand cart just like that, is that yours, because I seem to be missing mine." Mr. Treasury Estates acknowledged that it wasn't his cart.  Being the nice person I am, I told him he could borrow it to hold his floor sign up (because I didn't want it falling on me) but make sure I got it back at the end of the show.  My kindness was to much for him that he took apart his contraption and gave me back my cart and figured another way to jerry-rig his sign.

Now the show began...the first two hours were trade.  This wasn't a place to hold a distributor meeting with your salespeople.  Please, that is what they have conference rooms for.  Mr. Suits, if 6 of you are going to come and chat and clog up the entry way into our booth, when someone needs to get out to meet her public, says "Excuse Me Please", please move and not just stand there and ignore the person. I was getting frustrated to the point where I felt I was in a crowded bar and couldn't move, and that was just behind my table.

Now the models.  Many wine companies hire agencies to provide women to pour their wine. There were 8 people from the agency in our area pouring.  On Sunday I couldn't believe my eyes at what this one girl was wearing.  I know sex sells, but really.  She was quite beautiful, in a tight sequenced red dress, but really for an expo? Was she going to a formal, turning a trick or pouring wine for the day?

Often people forget where they come from.  Before "The Suits" began buying up different wineries, each of those wineries were a small tadpole in a big sea. And each of those Suits were a little guy working their way up the corporate ladder.  Don't forget where you began and have some respect for the people around you.


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