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Case study

What A Woman Wants Expo draws 12,000 in Salt Lake City

Learn how to put on a women's expo in your own market

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Girls day out draws 12,000 plus women attendees and six figures in revenues.

One of MediaOne of Utah's largest events is a Women’s Expo held three times a year. The event provides a social outing for women and calls itself  "The ultimate girls day out show," encouraging women to "Grab your girlfriends and spend the day." It is now the largest women’s expo in the state, and an event that can be produced in both large and small markets.

Here's how the event is put together: 

Timing: Three events are produced: April, September and November. The events are held on Friday, 10 to 8 p.m. and Saturday 10 to 6 p.m.

Price of tickets: $5, Kids under 5 free, seniors half price

Here's an image form the web site which is continually online promoting the events all year:

Personnel: At MediaOne of Utah, "We never use retail teams to sell other products," including events, Low said. Instead a schedule of events is handled by three people - the VP of events responsible for creating and budgeting the events, and two directors responsible for sales and running the events the day of, with the help of independent contractors. 

Vendors: A list of vendors listed here is also designed to appeal to women, including jewelry, clothing, purses, food and gift items. Home-based vendors are typically a prime market for the show, although “to find them takes some work,” according to Brent Low, President and CEO, Deseret News/The Salt Lake Tribune JOA.

Low said his team started out by going to county fairs and other similar events to gather information and collect names. This event originally launched in the year 2000, so over the years the database of vendors has grown.

Today vendors and sponsors include Macy's, Sam's Club, an outlet mall, Mary Kay  and even a funeral home.

With booth price, vendors also receive 50 free tickets, plus electronic e-tickets to send to their own email list to allow their contacts to get in free. Vendors also receive two posters for their store and are asked to contribute items for the goodie bags. See the check-list here.

Programming: Activiites at the event include hourly announcements of giveaways from merchants. One pupular feature is the pet costume contest sponsored by a local animal shelter:

"Poodle princesses and butterfly Bulldogs, whatever the costume, we want to see your dressed-up dogs! Does your dog love wearing costumes? Does she love being the center of attention? Do you have the most talented pet at the park? Then this is the event for you! Contestants (and their humans) will have a chance to show off their best costumes and/or tricks and compete for fabulous prizes! Enter one or both events. Prizes will be given to every participant, with larger prizes for the winners in each category."

An additional Natural Living Expo has been added in an adjacent hallway, so one ticket gets attendees into both shows. The Natural Living Expo focuses on natural ways to live, environmental, holistic and organic items. Not only does this add extra content for attendees, but also additional booth sales.

Promotions:  The event tells vendors that promotions include $300,000 in multi-media advertising targeting women, including:

Newspaper
Posters
Direct Mail
Magazines
Internet
Promotional Partnerships
Radio
Television

Media sponsors include Fox13 and three radio stations.

Results: In 2014, 10,000 tickets to the Women's Expo sold out in one day, with a total of 12,000 for the event. We estimate each of these women expos generates more than six figures in gross revenues. Vendors create more than 50% of the revenues, followed by ticketing, then sponsors.

Many thanks to Brent Lowe CEO, and Dan Hartman, Events Manager at Deseret News/Salt Lake Tribune JOA. The events staff is available to partner with other media on events, see their listing in MediaExecsTech for details and contact information.

See also more Deseret Events:  Business recognition events at Utah Business, and Governor's Summit events.   See the events channel here.

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