.. for a day- and truthfully, it was only a carnival, and to be completely honest I didn't have to do any acts in front of people and nothing involving fire...

All right, with complete transparency I admit that I merely sold cotton candy at the Elementary School carnival yesterday.

Ready for action before the doors opened- this was a tough photo to take with the backlighting. In real life, the lights and color (and smell) of the floss machine drew folks in light moths to a floodlight. The display was also intentionally an exhibition of the variety of things our shop can do- digital print banner, CNC routed cotton candy cabinet, and routed and carved candy floss stand. 

It was however, a great chance to talk about signs.

We (the family) own a cotton candy machine (which is a long story in itself). With it we have made cotton candy at the theater, the neighborhood block party, and sometimes for sign customers.... but very rarely for our own consumption (that appeal wore off pretty quickly).

When the Elementary School announced a few weeks ago that they were having a carnival, it seemed to be our destiny to donate our time and supplies to help raise money 'for the children'. I will admit that there was a sliver of entrepreneurial spirit shimmering under the surface of our offer to stand for 4 hours and hand cotton candy out to local children and their parents while chatting about: the inflatable dragon in the next room, the family serving sno-cones next to our booth, the upcoming fire district election (I'm running for a spot on the board: www.MarkIgel.info), and of course: SIGNS.

Let's just say that the cotton candy machine happened to supply about $400 worth of a donation to the Elementary School, while I had the casual chance to chat up signs. The floss machine is a great tool to create a marketing opportunity. Of course, that's the way the school solicited businesses to sponsor the event- they would use sponsors names in the advertising, and in the newspaper, and at the event they welcomed us to display our business name with our donation. I did see a couple of banners for businesses, but we had the corner on the market when it came to flashy, splashy, fun, colorful, fat-free marketing..... and we had fun right along with the visitors.

By the end of the day I had spoken with a half dozen folks with questions about the upcoming election, have 3 phone numbers to follow up about sign projects, handed out about 75 business cards (under the flashing Vegas-style "FREE" sign) and served around 200 cotton candy cones.

It was a good day, and an excuse to catch up with friends that we usually don't have time to chat with when we're running a hundred miles an hour working and chasing kids.

If you have a chance to 'sponsor' a school event? DO IT ! So many good things, and it only took 30 minutes to get the cotton candy strands out of my hair, clothes, display and everything else after my fun shift at the carnival.

This 'sign' was built just for this event, and will be a great sales tool for years to come in addition to it's service at fun events. Built from HDU and 1/4" plywood, the finish is very old-school amusement park looking with several layers of paint and a dramatic raised letter on top of fluffy cotton candy puffs.