If you are looking to attend a trade show, today’s post is for you! We had the lovely opportunity to chat with Nicole McIver, a wholesale specialist from Australia, and she has some great tips on how to choose the right trade show.
Last week we talked about getting the price right for wholesale, and with that, we’ve set up the foundation for taking your business to new heights! Now it’s time to get your name out there, and one of the best ways to do that is to attend an industry trade show.
Going to a trade show is one of the best ways to meet retailers who are there to source for new products to carry. But signing up for a trade show booth is a big commitment.
There’s a huge financial cost that comes with exhibiting at a trade show, so you want to ensure that you're maximizing your opportunities at the trade show.
Before we go into the specifics of how to impress at trade shows, we’ve got a bunch of pre-show preparation tips from McIver:
Go to the trade shows you’re interested in the season before to get a feel for what will best suit your brand.You want to go for the trade show that best suits your brand - the more specific, the better. While you can always search online to see what trade shows sound like they’ll be a great match for your brand, you won’t know what they’re really like unless you’ve actually attended them.
It's important you work out the total cost before committing to a stand. Always make sure the amount of money you’re investing is worth the risk.Trade shows are expensive. Maybe paying $200 a day for a stand doesn’t sound like it’s that much, but you have to factor in a whole range of other expenses. You’ll need to print catalogues, business cards, take taxis to get you to the expo, transport your products to the expo… and so on. For you to break even, you’ll need to get enough orders at the trade show to cover all these costs.
Book a hotel that is close by and has a restaurant.When you’re looking for a hotel, try to book one that’s near the expo. You’ll have to strike a balance between your budget and the convenience of being able to stroll over to the exhibition hall without the added stress of public transport. You don’t want to be struggling on the subway with stacks of catalogues and order sheets, or risk being late because you’re caught in a traffic jam.
Team up with another brand to share the workload and expense.Do you have any contacts within the industry who are also looking to participate in the same show? If you do, drop them a message and see if you can team up, especially if you’re planning to go alone. After all, with another person at the stand, you’ll be able to take breaks whenever necessary, while being able to cut your costs by half.
Invite stores to attend. While they might already have plans to go, it’s best to put your brand on their radar by sending them an invite as well.Are there stores you’re interested in? Send them an invite to check out your brand at the trade show so they’ll be able to see your products and place orders in person. Your invitation also serves as a reminder, since there’s a chance they’ll miss you in an exhibition hall housing hundreds of brands.
Now that we’re all prepared to rock a trade show, do join me next week as I bring you more tips from Nicole McIver… this time on how to stand out from your competition at the trade show.