Trade shows are a fantastic way for designers to network with hundreds (if not thousands) of buyers all in one place! Trade shows also provide an opportunity for tremendous brand exposure to thousands of people in the fashion world in just a few short days. This is a great way for you to promote your brand to all the people you want to be connected with and who are looking for new designers to place in their stores.
Caution! Trade shows can be expensive! Paying for your booth space, decorations, and travel accommodations are just a few of the bare minimum expenses. Some companies even hire 3rd party sales representatives and models to work their booth. It is important to outline a feasible budget for your company and make sure to stick to it so that a trade show does not turn into an enormous burden on your company’s finances.
It is my opinion that a trade show is 100% worth the upfront costs as I would not have been able to establish relations with boutiques across America if I had not attended the show.
You are positioned in area with dozens of other companies marketing goods that are similar to yours. Having a well designed and enticing booth is essential to standing out from the pack. A few simple aspects can make all the difference when a buyer chooses to strike up a conversation with you over your competitors:
•Large company logo
•Ample seating and tables
•Refreshments; such as bottled water
It is important to appeal to wide spectrum of buyers. In order to appeal to the masses showing an array of different styles and colors is key to grabbing a buyer’s attention. Since they are already flooded with many different brands make sure you have a nice presentation of the collection you are trying to sell.
Be prepared! Line sheets and look books are two items most buyers want the moment they enter your booth so make sure you have an abundance printed and ready to be distributed. Having order forms, a credit card processing terminal, and business cards are just as important to ensure a smooth trade show experience. Some brands even give buyers free merchandise such as a canvas bag with their logo. This can also be viewed as free publicity as people will be walking the floor sporting your logo over their shoulder.
Here are some important upcoming trade shows:
→ENK Vegas August | 18 – 20
→Coterie August | 14 – 16
→Trend Selection September | 3 & 4
→Designers & Agents NYC | September 13 -15
→Capsule Show September | 13 – 15
My last piece of advice for succeeding at a trade show is to make a point to engage every person that walks by your booth. You never know who you might meet and how they can help you in the future!
Share your expertise for succeeding at a trade show with us in the comments or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!