Making the Most of a Jewelry Trade Show

In May’s series of articles we take a look at how to make the most of a jewelry trade-show trip. From buying targets to attending spend. From money saving tips to scheduling secrets and hidden trade show gems. With so much to cover and so many tactics to discover, each week we review some out of the ‘jewelry box’ trade show lessons.

While it is certainly true that trade shows can be influential, flexible and highly cost-effective business tools – Planning before you get there is essential to get the most out of your trip.

Lesson #1 – It’s Not Just About The Product

First and foremost – attending a show isn’t just about buying the right product at the right price. We all know how important it is to be proactive and adapt to ever-changing industry trends. Trade shows provide the best opportunity to maintain, grow and develop relationships. It is also the place to get the information you need to ensure that you stay up-to-date on market trends.

Take advantage of as many networking events as possible. From breakfast seminars to evening cocktails, don’t just arrive, listen and leave – get to the breakfast 15 minutes early and speak to other attendees. Everyone has secret tidbits of advice that they’re more than willing to share. Listen to what other retailers are looking for at this show and what trends they think will be the mega-sellers. This is Invaluable information that proves the early bird really does catch the worm (or in this case the insight).

The Plumb Club is featuring two breakfasts at this year’s show. Click here to get more information.

Lesson #2 – Listen To Mom – Do Your Homework

Decide what your goals are and how you can gauge whether you’ve had a successful show or not. Then create a plan to meet those goals. After the show, evaluate what worked and what didn’t so you can improve on your trade show tactics for next time around.
Know what you are looking for at the show. Is it new products? Learning about trends? Discussing merchandising and/or marketing agreements? Pre-book appointments, but also leave a portion of your time open to discover some buried trade-show treasures (we’ll come to this in next week’s tips).

Remember, vendors are not looking to just sell, they also want to establish on-going, mutually beneficial business relationships. They’ll be more than happy to discuss added value benefits and ways in which they can help market and increase your sell-through of their product.

Lesson #3 – Know What You’re Looking For

Decide on the products you’re looking for, the price ranges you’re targeting and the selling prices you need to achieve the margins you’re aiming for. Make a shopping list, and try as hard as you can not to get sidetracked. Remind yourself often that you’re buying to meet goals that you’ve set out to achieve.

The Bottom line: Keep focused and know why you’re at the show. Plan ahead by making appointments, but make sure you leave time to discover new vendors, new products and new trends.

Next week we reveal some of the hidden trade-show treasures that give the savvy buyer an inside track to the whys, where’s, and what’s of a valuable vendor.

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