I was reminded recently that many times it the littlest things that can have the biggest impact. I just arrived as a guest presenter at a religious convocation being held in Texas. After greeting friends that I had not seen in some time, I went inside the registration hall to get my visitor materials. On my way out, my friend who had picked me up from the airport, pointed out that standing nearby was the regional conference secretary (VP). He asked if I knew him and while his face looked familiar I didn’t readily place it.
We went over and I was reintroduced. As we reminisced the secretary reminded me with a smile that he was the one who was responsible for my initial invitation to present to this conference a few years ago. As I tried to remember how we met, he went on to fill in the gaps in my memory. He told me “it was the popcorn”.
The popcorn! I remembered then exactly what he was referring to. Three years ago at our denomination’s world-wide convocation I had a simple trade booth at one of the venues setup for the occasion. Along with a nice back drop advertising my ministry, I knew I needed to do everything I could to catch the attention of the many decision makers in attendance.
My wife that previous Christmas season bought me a really nice mini replica popcorn popper. It stood about four feet tall and through the glass case you could see and smell the popcorn as it was being freshly popped. I was fortunate to gain permission from the venue manager that as long as I did not charge for the popcorn and only gave away small samples, I could set it up at my booth.
Needless to say fresh popped popcorn was a hit. We passed out countless small cups of popcorn. It was a great conversation starter. Unbeknownst to me at that time, this conference secretary had the occasion to come by my booth. As a lover of popcorn he was drawn to my booth and during a brief conversation he took my information directly to the particular conference director who my ministry correlated with.
Well, as they say, the rest is history. I have received more invitations to this part of the country than any other. As a presenter at conference wide initiatives and as an invited trainer at many individual churches, that simple cup of free popcorn has opened more doors that I could have ever dreamed of.