Free samples are their favorite part

Capital High students put on trade show to learn about business marketing

lpemberton@theolympian.comApril 28, 2014 

Capital High School sophomore Josie Keller-Baker said she was surprised to learn that Starbucks’ marketing plan didn’t involve television commercials or other types of traditional advertising.

“It’s all just word of mouth, and that just works for them,” she said.

Keller-Baker was among nearly 100 Capital marketing students who researched businesses in South Sound and organized a trade show that was held last week in their school’s commons.

The event featured information about demographics, history and products of nearly 30 companies, including several locally owned ones such as Peppers Mexican Restaurant and Wagner’s European Bakery and Cafe.

But what attracted most of the students to the trade show?

“They like the samples,” said ninth-grader Hope Volante, as she handed out pieces of Wagner’s cinnamon bread.

This is the fifth year Capital has held a trade show, according to marketing teacher Jennifer Fabritius.

“We’re connecting to the industry they’re studying,” she said.

Most of the students worked in small groups on the project, which required them to contact a business, interview a manager or owner, and research the company’s marketing strategy.

“This is the first time (many of the younger students) have even made a professional phone call,” Fabritius said.

The students created tri-fold informational boards, similar to those used for science fairs, about the companies to display demographics and other key marketing information at the show.

The event was held during lunch time, and hundreds of students went through and collected samples that included pizza, pulled pork, frozen yogurt and scones.

Capital sophomore Scott Neuville said he enjoyed working on the project. His team studied Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, which offered several types of samples as well as gift cards that students could trade in later for a free sandwich.

“I learned a lot about how food companies and chains work,” Neuville said. “And how they like to promote their business.”

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 lpemberton@theolympian.com

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