How to “Work” the Trade Show and Stock Up on Product

If you’re attending a trade show with the sole aim to stock up on new product then it’s time to rip off those blinders and start fully utilizing all of the benefits and services a trade show offers. From media mentions to time-out tips, this week’s article goes outside the booths with some ideas on how a show can boost your image at home and even nationwide.

Lesson #7 – Make Sure The World Knows You’re There

You’re looking for stand-out designs, infallible manufacturing, attractive pricing and added benefits such as co-op marketing programs and flawless post-sale support.

Simply put, you’re investing a significant amount of time and money by attending a trade show in an effort to find the best product, at the best price, for the best consumers…..your consumers. Make sure you spread that message. Let your customers know that you’re attending a show. You’re their front-row seat to the jewelry industry’s equivalent of fashion week. Give your customers an exclusive insight into what’s going on inside the industry. Send them an email or newsletter detailing the trends and the styles that dominated the show (and that will soon dominate your showcases). Go one step further – speak to your local media – let them know you’re attending and offer them an article on your return, or a daily update for their website ‘live from Vegas’. Issue press releases to all of your local media outlets. Create coverage and you’re setting yourself apart from the other retailers in the area as the expert and the ‘one in the know’.

Lesson #8 – Work The Media

Even though your local media probably doesn’t attend the show, the national media and monthly magazines do. A show is a great opportunity to meet those with the key to reach a nationwide audience. If you sell online or just have an online presence –having your site listed in a major publication as the place to buy or get information about a certain designer or product is quite literally publicity you can’t buy. Most media outlets attend seminars and if your vendors are holding networking events, a few of them are certain to be in attendance. Accredited press attending shows usually have something on their badges indicating whether they are consumer or trade press. While we don’t advocate rushing a harried journalist at the show, swapping business cards and following up with them after the show is the first step in building a media connection that with patience and attention can prove highly beneficial.

Lesson #9 – The Benefits Of A Freestyle Time-out

Make sure you schedule in a couple of hours of freestyle. Simply put, if you book back to back meetings – you’ll never have the opportunity to explore your surroundings. Each day, take the time to visit a pavilion or area that you don’t normally go to – you never know what you may find. Make a freestyle appointment with yourself and stick to it. Comparison shopping, scouting out new product while taking a much-deserved breather, it’s a win-win timeout.

Next week: As the Las Vegas show ends and we move onto more regional shows, we add a few more tid-bits to make sure that what happened in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas. As the final countdown begins to 2012’s retail season, we summarize trade show strategies and tactics to make sure that your visits pay off. From pre-show preparations that can turn a good show into an excellent show, to post-show follow-ups that can turn a super season into a spectacular season.