Student entrepreneurs get exhibit marketing tips

Written by Susan Ratliff on November 17, 2008. Posted in marketing

Last week I went to Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona to speak to the students of Mike Lisi’s business class.   Every year his students start a business, select a product or service to sell, develop a business plan, create a marketing strategy then sell their wares at a business tradeshow at the school.  Mike has asked me to come in for the last few years to teach his class what I know about marketing and how to sell successfully from a tabletop exhibit space.  It’s so interesting to see the product ideas they come up with and their concepts for company names and logos.   Their ideas included donuts, original artwork, water, knit caps, decals and jewelry.  My favorite part is seeing their enthusiasm for simple suggestions for improvement like adding a descriptive tag line on their business cards so customers know what they sell or collecting leads from prospects so they can solicit additional sales after the event.  They have no clue about merchandising and are thrilled to learn that they can display their goods in baskets and cover cardboard boxes with a sheet from home in order to elevate their items and bring them closer to eye level.  Working with students who have little exposure to business and marketing practices and watching them discover the simple basics that turn a product into a profit is really fun.  I wish them luck and look forward to my next opportunity to influence and educate some of the entrepreneurs of the next generation.


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