Monday, January 21, 2008

Whatever Happens In Vegas Stays in the Suitcase

As you know, in order to help us overcome our real estate losses, my husband and I started a business about seven months ago. Last week, my husband attended a promotional products convention in Las Vegas. The rep for the association that was sponsoring the event told him to make sure that he brought something to carry all the samples that he was sure to pick up there. There would be 5,000 exhibitors (yes, that's with THREE zeros).

My husband, a.k.a. Sample King of the Universe, took a large suitcase on wheels. Before the first day was over, he had gorged it completely with all the freebies that he was sure to market to his customers. The next day he shoved things everywhere (including the free bags that they were handing out), while pulling his overstuffed suitcase along with him because he had to check out of his hotel and didn't have anywhere to put it.

By the time he arrived home, he could barely walk and his arms and back ached (and he's very fit). The kids and I had a blast rummaging through all the samples and receiving an explanation about each item from my husband. There really are some amazing products out there. They now have items, like paper notebooks, with "lenticular" pictures on the covers. These are like holograms, where the image pops out at you and you actually think that you can touch it. It's very cool. I tried to take a picture to show you, but it didn't do it justice.

However, I was able to snap some pics of other interesting items that he found at the convention.

Here are dangerous hypodermic needles for drug addicts some unique looking pens and highlighters. Why they're in the shape of needles, one can only guess. Let's hope that they are marketed to medical professionals and not kids who think it's cool to look like a junkie. Oh, and the pen on your right has liquid ink in the chamber.This is not an 18-inch baton for midgets. The bottom rubber piece is a suction cup for retrieving your golf ball. If you're so arthritic that you can't bend over to pick up a golf ball off the green, you may want to reconsider your choice of athletic activities. Here is an erasable highlighter. I don't know about you, but once I highlight, I'm committed. If I have to go through and reconsider what I feel is important, then making up my mind is impossible anyway.

This item kind of scared me. It's a bag full of bright orange wrist bands for children to wear on school field trips. You can write the bus number on them, so that a five-year-old can read it and find their bus if they get separated from the group. I assume that this would replace the name label that teachers stick on the backs of young students. OK, let's think this one through. Do schools plan to lose a kid or two once they leave campus, or is this the emergency plan? The bracelet is easily removable, so if you're missing a child in your group, you may want to check the trash cans before including the orange wrist band in the description to the cops.

Now this item, I like. It's a wipe container that fits into your cup holder. No matter how old the kids are, wipes should be a staple in every car.

And what item were a bevy of vendors promoting? Sanitizer. Now that's my type of product!! Here are a few samples of the unique way you can keep your hands clean and not spread those dreaded germs.

I thought I'd throw this one in. I opened it up along with some of the sanitizers and didn't read the label. I like the spray idea, since I carry alcohol in my purse in a little spray bottle. So I promptly applied it to my hands and thought it smelled quite nice. It wasn't until later that I heard my husband telling the boys that it's an inhaler. Yes, that's what everyone needs when they're having an asthma attack and are struggling for breath while they're signing their credit card receipt.

Here is the product, besides the lenticulars, that was my favorite. It looks like one of the two and a half million pens that my husband collected at the convention. However, when you turn the clip on the barrel . . . . . . it exposes what I thought was a magnifying glass. But when I held it up to the print, the letters weren't any larger. It took me a minute to discover that it's actually a little pair of drug store reading glasses. So, if you're writing, and then you want to read what you've said, you can hold it up to your eyes without having to reach for your prescription pair. Yeah, I think you'll look real cool before inserting it back into your pocket protector.