Yesterday I had a stall for my business at the Bradley Stoke Carnival. It was a lovely day, not too hot, and thankfully not a spot of rain. The Town Council had organized the Carnival on the Jubilee Fields and arranged for a parade to march through the Town and arrive at 11.30.
My family and I arrived early like all the other stall holders, to set up. I had little to set up, and so I was able to have a little walk around and chat to the other people involved.
Bradley Stoke Radio was compering the event, and there was live music, stilt walkers, fair rides, and of course all the local business stalls and charities. The parade was very impressive, beginning with the Bristol Pipes band and followed by stilt walkers and local clubs.
I was there to build up my business profile in the local community , so I had taken my publicity materials and also my Reflexology chair to give taster treatments. It was difficult to entice people in at first, as a lot of people had small children, but after about 30 minutes, the first person stopped to have a treatment, and it went on from there.
I gave about 15 taster treatments that afternoon, which took five hours with only one short break. It was great getting to meet some of my neighbours and finding out things about the area i didn't know. Over the course of the afternoon a few people asked me why I was giving treatments free, as most therapists charge at those sorts of events.
There are two reasons for giving taster treatments free. Firstly the idea was to promote my business and to get people to find out who i was and what Reflexology feels like. It is much easier to get people to try something that they are not sure of if its free. They get a great new experience and also understand more of who I am and my values as a practitioner. Secondly, as a member of the Association of Reflexologists, it is part of my job to spend time building awareness of Reflexology in the UK. Giiving free taster treatments is a great way to do this.
All in all it was a really great day. I met some great people and introduced my business to people who would otherwise not have heard of me.