This time next week I am going to be speaking with, schmoozing with, selling to and partying with some of the biggest buyers in the fashion industry.
In some moments, I am excited, in others, overwhelmed. In all moments I am dependent on my trade show plan. This way, I can keep my overwhelmed feelings at bay while getting things done. Here’s a little look at my Trade Show plan:
1) Participate in ALL free opportunities from promotion and press. The montage of photos above is from a POOL email and Facebook blast. Exhibitors had the option of submitting photos and information that the POOL administration could use to promote the show and the exhibitors.
2) Bring a friend. I’m actually bringing two: Cherish, my best friend and the best salesperson I know and Adam, my partner and the most efficient setter-upper I’ve had the pleasure to set up with. Between the three of us, any trade show “emergency” will be taken care of.
3) Change from a “retail buyer” mindset to a “wholesale buyer” mindset. This was the hardest part of my plan. I am very used to dealing with retail buyers. I can talk to all sorts of retail customers and understand where they are coming from and try to help them find the best Xmittens item for their lifestyle. A wholesale buyer is a different kind of customer. They are buying en masse and may have different clientele than my normal retail buyer. Not only that, but the Cash & Carry section I am in at POOL Tradeshow does not allow purchase orders, instead I am selling product directly to the wholesale buyer. This requires A LOT of inventory in a SMALL space (6 foot table and storage underneath- that’s it!). So, after speaking with some of my favorite business advisors, I realized that for months I’ve really been planning a retail show and not a wholesale show.
Off to my studio to keep plugging away at my new plan. Any advice, or thoughts about trade shows?