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Image 14/64 for "How I started my company in Japan"

Thu 2015/04/02 21:58 JST 3210550 Views

That event name was called Wonder Festival and was our first time exhibiting at a major event in Japan.

Folks are required to book booth space for the Wonfes about 6 months in advance. Back then I thought that Smart Doll would be ready to sell so paying for the space (5.5 meters x 4.5 meters which cost about 250,000 yen) was worth investing in.

As it is my first time producing hobby products, I was learning as I went along and some things look longer than anticipated which subsequently delayed the launch by a few months. This meant that the dolls were not ready for the Wonfes this time round.

The 250,000 yen is for the land only and does not include construction - the quote we got for a simple layout turned out to be 1,000,000 yen which was an amount that I could not invest in just for a show that lasts a few hours (from 11AM to 5PM).

I decided to see if we could make a booth made entirely from only IKEA furniture + some of what we had in our office. We managed to bring costs down from 1,000,000 yen down to just over 100,000 yen with a difference - we were still able to use the furniture after the event unlike many other companies who forked out millions of yen for a few hours and then have their booth torn down for good - most of them sold stuff though so they probably recuperated costs.

I do understand that having a booth at an event is not just about recuperating costs and should also be seen as a marketing opportunity so spending what we did was just about worth it.

Anyway, you can read more about the challenges we faced moving half of the office to the event hall during some of the worst snow that Tokyo has ever had in this entry.

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