Firehouse Expo was a blast as usual. The show attendance seemed to be a little lighter than last year. I hear from a lot that the show continues to dwindle. Maybe next year they will learn and bring Willie and I in to help them plan with them. I think we have some decent ideas to make it bigger and better for next year!
As always, I was traveling with Captain Wines (IronFiremen.com). He brought along a local firefighter Josh Orr. Josh is a great guy who really enjoyed himself. My wife Becky came up on Friday to join us as well.
The MN8 FoxFire booth was busy as usual. It wasn’t near as busy as other shows, but I believe that is due to the fact that the show wasn’t that busy. It did seem like products were flying off the shelves though.
Keep scrolling down to see photos and video from the event as well as a decent write-up on what all we got into. I wrote about Day 1 here. I will be writing about the Meetup and the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb as well.
The Exhibit Hall
I made sure to make my rounds by my favorite booths including MN8 Foxfire, Crosstitched, Sons of the Flag Burn Foundation, Xtreme Valor, Black Helmet, ESS Eye Pro, FireGeezer, Central Maryland FOOLS, One Source Fire Rescue, and many more.
One booth that caught my eye was the Branchville Volunteer Fire Company. They got a booth at Firehouse Expo this year for recruitment and marketing their department. They were selling shirts and taking names and info. Great job guys! Keep up the great work. Maybe some other bigger departments (like mine) will take this idea and run with it!
Another booth that caught my eye was Xtreme Valor. Those guys get it. I remember meeting them when they first started out. They have grasped social media and really come along well in creating a company with decent apparel. I think the biggest thing that has helped them succeed is their ability to continually strive for growth and reaching new customers.
Crosstitched was there and had the Fire Critic/Iron Firemen shirts as well as Fire Critic stickers for sale. We will soon be printing the shirts on a lighter-weight shirt that I think you guys will like even more! Check out their web site here.
The truth is that I met and ran into so many great people. I enjoy meeting anyone and everyone I can. The interesting thing is that I don’t always “meet” them. I have never assumed that anyone knows who I am, yet many people do indeed know who I am. When meeting someone I always offer my name. This is intentional, because I am not always offered others names when meeting them. I may have “known” them online for years, but I might not recognize them in person. What I am getting to is that I appreciate when you offer your name when I meet you. It helps me put a name with the face…plus, it will probably remind me of how I already might know you.
As I said before, the show was light with traffic and there were fewer exhibitors. However, it was still well worth the trip!
I bumped into Dave Statter. It was inevitable…I think he was stalking me. As a matter of fact, he tried to profess his love for me with a kiss. Not to worry though, my bodyguards dragged him out back and broke his legs. Ok, none of that is true except for him trying to kiss me.
We actually finished out the weekend with a crab feast at Canton Dockside with Dave, his family, and many other friends. Needless to say, it was a great time!
Box Alarm Leather presented me with a brand new helmet front for my Phenix TL-2. You might remember that they made a “Fire Critic” front that fit my Sam Houston and one that I wear on my Phenix for work. Both are great fronts. I really wanted a “Fire Critic” front I could wear on my Phenix for when I travel. This was mainly due to an investigation in my department about a picture I was in while I was at FDIC. I guess they don’t like the publicity (it wasn’t anything bad). It is better having a “Fire Critic” front for the marketing aspect, and people ask who makes it…I get to tell them “Box Alarm Leather”. Check out the new front below!
I got to hang out with the Sons Of The Flag Burn Foundation (SOTF). I can’t say enough about the caliber of the guys in this group. I look forward to doing more with them and helping them spread the word of what they are all about. We raised over $1000 for them at our meetup (more on that below). Ryan Parrott, the President of SOTF, was one of the keynote speakers at Firehouse Expo and from what I hear, he did an excellent job.
Sean Duncan of TheChipSite.com was also at the show. He hooked Willie and I up with some more of our Brotherhood Chips which did not last long at all!
Here is a short video about how SOTF came to be: