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NATIONAL HARDWARE SHOW: MY TOP 5 TAKEAWAYS

Attending the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas was truly a rewarding experience. Over 2,600 exhibitors from all over the world displayed their latest and greatest products for the public…

Erika Ward for Pledge | National Hardware Show

Attending the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas was truly a rewarding experience. Over 2,600 exhibitors from all over the world displayed their latest and greatest products for the public to test drive. The show took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center and was just what you’d expect from any show in Las Vegas—well attended, high energy, entertaining, and inspiring.

My purpose for attending the show was to serve as a Spokesblogger for Pledge® and their FloorCare product line. With the opportunity I educated many people, yet I learned so much too. I thought to make this post valuable to you, my readers, I wanted to share my top 5 takeaways from the National Hardware Show. Let’s jump right into it.

Erika Ward for Pledge National Hardware Show

1. I witnessed, firsthand, the real power of brand loyalty.
One of the biggest reasons I partnered with Pledge® is because of their longstanding, excellent history of producing a well-known product trusted by so many. This was exemplified by the fact that it didn’t take much convincing at all to pull an attendee into our booth for a demonstration. Once they stepped under our roof, they felt at home in a familiar territory. We found that Pledge® Lemon Clean was a staple in their family and they were eager to be introduced to the new Pledge® FloorCare products, which brighten and protect your floors.

After the first night I reflected on my own business, Erika Ward Interiors, and gave much thought about what it takes to achieve loyalty and trust. One of the main differences between my business and Pledge® is that they sell products and I sell services. Yet the reason behind the power brand equity of Pledge® has everything to do with years of consistency, reliability and being customer focused—all common denominators for the success of any business. There’s more to list, but for the sake of this post I can say these are areas I continue to build on each year with the goal of achieving the same type of brand power in my own business.

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2. Most conference attendees are from Missouri.
Well, this statement isn’t completely accurate, but you can almost assume each person who approached the booth was from “The Show Me” state. They wanted to see a great demo and boy did we deliver! Lucky for us, we had a quick, effective product demo that required few words. We let the products’ effectiveness speak for itself and spent more time on education. The old adage rings true, seeing is believing.


Erika Ward with Eric Stromer | Pledge | National Hardware Show

3. It’s fun to connect with your audience.
I had no idea being visibly pregnant while performing product demonstrations would work in my favor in connecting with show attendees. I got to know people more intimately and in a short amount of time when they began sharing their cleaning challenges due to a physical condition. Some had pregnant family members or perhaps a bad back that limited their ability to exert a great amount of physical energy—say mopping a floor. Seeing me in action helped them to imagine themselves and others perform the task with ease.

The Money Pit with Erika Ward | Pledge | National Hardware Show4. Social media rocks.
This isn’t exactly breaking news, but it is extremely helpful to connect with people through Twitter, especially when you are at an event. I loved tweeting with other attendees and sharing my tips for creating beautiful home (which starts with gorgeous floors!).

5. Sleep is overrated. Wait, who said that??
Yes, you heard right. This is coming from the self-proclaimed “queen of naps.” After each full day at the show, I was busting loose and making a beeline for my hotel room to put my feet up before dinner. It took an Act of God not to catch a catnap for fear of falling into a comatose sleep.

Miss out on dinner? Clearly not an option.

I had the opportunity to dine at two of the many delicious Las Vegas establishments, equally delicious.

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Low key dining at Michael Mina’s American Fish

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Pumping up the volume at STK Las Vegas
When you are in Las Vegas on a turn-around business trip, work hard but stay awake to explore …at least a little.

Thanks to all who made the National Hardware Show an unforgettable experience, from Edelman PR that coordinated the effort to the Pledge® brand representatives and brand ambassadors who all worked tirelessly to spread awareness of the Pledge® FloorCare product line. I LOVED spending time with you. Thanks for making me feel so welcome and motivated to improve on my personal brand.

Although I have partnered with Pledge®, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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