Sample/coupon show planned

A new consumer trade show company based in Toronto will hold an innovative couponing and product sampling show this fall.Show Business Trade and Consumer Shows is hoping to attract 50,000 consumers to the Free Sample and Coupon Show on Nov. 12-14...

A new consumer trade show company based in Toronto will hold an innovative couponing and product sampling show this fall.

Show Business Trade and Consumer Shows is hoping to attract 50,000 consumers to the Free Sample and Coupon Show on Nov. 12-14 at the International Centre in Toronto.

Yvonne Desjardins, co-founder of Show Business, says half the 128 available exhibit booths have already been sold, and she expects the balance will be spoken for before opening day.

A who’s who of national advertisers has signed on to the program, including Warner-Lambert Canada, Pillsbury Canada, Wrigley Canada, Hakim Optical and Mead Johnson.

Admission to the show is $5 for adults and 99 cents for children.

Exhibition space goes for $1,295 for a single 10-foot by 10-foot booth.

Desjardins says the companies are attracted to the show for a variety of reasons, including the opportunity it affords them to test new products with interested consumers.

For example, Kraft will distribute 50,000 packs of its new Extra Crispy Shake ‘n’ Bake, she says.

Many of the companies in attendance will give away coupons.

Desjardins says the show is an ideal vehicle for couponing because consumers who attend a coupon trade show are obviously interested in coupons.

By way of contrast, most of the coupons people get unsolicited, whether at their home or elsewhere, are simply discarded.

Desjardins says it is not unreasonable that consumers could pick up samples and coupons worth $500 for their $5 entry fee.

The November event marks Show Business’ first attempt to hold a consumer couponing show.

Show Business was formed earlier this year by Desjardins, in conjunction with several financial backers.

Desjardins, who has a background in magazine publishing, says she came up with the idea for the project last year while working with Maclean Hunter in its trade show division.

Desjardins says if the Toronto show is a success, she hopes to take the program on the road to Montreal and Vancouver in 1994.

She says if everything goes according to plan, the Free Sample & Coupon Show will become a national medium for product sampling and couponing.

Advertising for the show will be run with a trio of media partners: am radio station cfrb, Cable Forty Seven Television and The Toronto Sun.