How manning a booth made me learn 5 marketing lessons

By Ann Kristine A. Peñaredondo | Exceptional Social

Dec 18
Work from home? Ask me!

Work from home? Ask me!

As far as I can remember, I only had one experience of manning a booth. It was during high school, when I signed up for the Radio Booth of my high school Media Club during our foundation day. Students and teachers may go to the Radio Booth to request for songs, greet friends, or both.

It was fun, of course. During that day, I saw myself progressed from being a researcher (looking for the requested songs in a sea of, take this, cassette tapes), content curator (taking greetings and messages from students and teachers), to a marketer (coordinating with the staff who cues the music and reading the greetings with a microphone, my voice heard all over the campus).

But that did not prepare me when I took the challenge of manning the Work From Home Booth of my mentor, Jomar Hilario, during the Kerygma Conference 2014. I was with one of the exceptional work-at-home moms that I know, Noemi Cariaso-Mora.

I would admit: although manning the Work From Home Booth for a day entitles me to a free seat to a VA summit (still waiting when this will be), I really wanted a change in the environment. I realized that my office team, composed of my white board and standing desk (not to mention the Lego guys) don’t speak much.

Well, not only did I experience a change in environment. I also learned a lot about marketing.

1. It is hard to do flyering.

How many people have you encountered in the street giving you flyers today? I bet you didn’t notice. Sure, more people took the flyers on my hand. I even surprisingly devised a plan to hold two pieces of flyers in between my right hand fingers so I don’t have to get a new one every time, to Jomar’s exclaim, “Ayan! Gawin mo ‘yan!”

But there were also people who either a) decided that I don’t exist, b) told me that they already have it their kit, or c) smile and wave a hand saying “no”.

The rejection seems so personal because of the face-to-face interaction! Thank God for “unsubscribe to this mailing list” technology that doesn’t pierce your heart. Still, I got much respect to people who do flyering every day.

Those cut folders and papers in front of our table booth at the PICC have purpose.

Those cut folders and papers in front of our table booth at the PICC have purpose.

2. Location, location, location.

The Work From Home Booth was technically a physical store. It had to stand out from the rest of the other booths to get notice. This is what happened:

a. At first, my booth partner, Noemi, and I thought that the booth should have had a more presentable tarpaulin showcasing how cool working from home is. If you will notice in the photo somewhere here in the post, the notices were made from cut folders and bond papers. We told Jomar about this but he told us that those are what sets the Work From Home Booth different from the rest. So, recovering our lost love for the arts and letters has a purpose after all: curiosity.

b. Jomar instructed us to transfer from our previous place (lobby) to the new one – the hallway. We moved just in time when the Kerygma Conference Day 2 participants were walking their way to the Plenary Hall of PICC for the afternoon session. We were the only booth who transferred (well, there’s a booth of a mobile network in the hallway, but it got no stuff to offer).

3. Be ready to answer questions about your product.

I think my co-volunteers and I are one in saying that we were thankful for the frequently asked questions (FAQ) that Jomar’s VAs provided, as well as the online meeting that Jomar presided the day before the Kerygma Conference 2014. It helped us prepare for the questions of those who stopped by our booth.

4. Smile.

I have never smiled in my entire life that day! Now I know how beauty queens feel – gorgeous (wink wink)! I kept my smile up to the last person who made his way to the Plenary Hall.

But sometimes, a smile is not enough when you want a person to act. Details on the next point.

Beside me is the promise of our product. Short and sweet.

Beside me is the promise of our product. Short and sweet.

5. Shout your promise.

As we were expecting a bigger crowd on the conference day 3 at the SMX Convention Center, I promised to help the new volunteers at the Work From Home Booth by visiting them every conference break and after Day 3 ends. At my last stop at the booth, Jomar handed me a half ream of flyers to give away. I left the exhibitors area and prepared my two-flyers-at-hand tactic, but I decided to move farther away since there were also people who are also distributing flyers.

I positioned myself at the center hallway of the two of the function halls at the second floor of the SMX Convention Center. I as I gave the flyers ,  I noticed that my tactic and my smile just does not work even I was in the sea of people.

So I decided to shout the promise.

“Work from home in 40 days or less!”

Oh my gosh. Did I just say that?

“Work from home in 40 days or less!”

Oh yeah, I really said it.

Lo and behold, people noticed me and took the flyers! I continued shouting the promise for a few more minutes. I notice that the flyers that I was holding were a bit lighter now. My experiment worked!

A few minutes after, I decided to stop shouting and went back to just smiling as I handed out the flyers. The result – only a few took what I was handing over.

The Work From Home Booth at the SMX Convention Center during the Kerygma Conference Day 3. From left: Cecil, Gracie, Noemi and I. Thanks to Ralph for taking the photo!

The Work From Home Booth at the SMX Convention Center during the Kerygma Conference Day 3. From left: Cecil, Gracie, Noemi and I. Thanks to Ralph for taking the photo!

Honestly, if the required college thesis were as easy as the marketing lessons that I learned by manning a booth, I would have been given a PhD instead of a bachelor’s degree. But then again, I’d like to think that life is just.

Send in the flyers!

PS: When Jomar handed me the half ream of flyers at the SMX Convention Center, he told me to blog my flyering experience. Well, Jomar, this is it!

The third person on the booth!

The third person on the booth!

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About the Author

Ann Kristine A. Peñaredondo is a Facebook Marketing Strategist who has managed and grew Facebook Pages of top shopping malls, lingerie, and dairy brands, as well as authors and experts in business, food, health, and education. Ann's podcast show, Pin To Top, is listed in Growth Mentor and Feedspot as one of the top podcasts for Facebook and marketing for 2020. Ann is also one of the Manila Workshop’s resident speakers and facilitators. She’s been featured in Jomar Hilario’s Online Show and book Virtual Careers, Wazzup Pilipinas, Astig.PH, Prime Influencers, Marketing in Asia, Thrive Global, and The Manila Times. Email her at