Sam and I are headed to New York next week to gather some trade show tips for you, and talk to many of our favorite creative businesses in person. Would you like to meet us there, or follow along via our blog and newsletter?
Why sell at a trade show?
Once your product has proven itself to be viable and your branding is in place, you’ll start to think about new ways to reach your ideal customers. If you have any interest in selling your work wholesale to retail stores, a trade show can be a great way to meet and show your product in person, and share your catalog or line sheet with shops you want to be in.
Trade shows are meant to connect buyers and product designers with each other. If you’ve been emailing buyers without good results, your timing may be off. Many buyers focus all their buying energy on trade shows and your email may be coming outside of their buying season.
Trade shows are focused selling events. Think of it this way. If you create a website, your audience could be anyone and everyone. If you exhibit at a trade show, your audience is retail store buyers who are there with a budget and a focus to find new work for their shops. Every person who stops by your booth could be a valuable relationship to you for years to come.
There are many trade shows in different areas and for different niches. The big show for many of our clients (both the retail shops and the product designers) is the NY NOW gift show. This market is for the trade only, and features more than 2,500 exhibitors in the home, lifestyle, and handmade categories.
The NY NOW show is huge – the best of the best. If you exhibit at NY NOW, buyers from wonderful small shops around the country will be there, and you may find yourself chatting with a buyer from Macy’s, Anthropologie, Uncommon Goods, or West Elm.
We wanted to see what it’s all about in person and be able to have some quick chats about websites and branding with some of our favorite creative businesses, and of course meet many new ones. Sam and I will be attending NY NOW’s winter market next week.
What does our visit have to do with you?
If you’re exhibiting or shopping for new lines for your store, we would absolutely love to meet! Email me, please, if you’d like to meet up or have us stop by your booth and drop off a gift (and you know we make good gifts, if you’ve been following along with the newsletter).
If you won’t be there, but are considering doing the NY NOW show, or any other trade show, in the future, please ask us your burning questions! We’ll do our best as we walk the show to gather up this valuable info for you. It costs $300 to walk NY NOW if you’re not exhibiting or buying, so you can save the dough and ask us.
Shows like this can be huge for your business, if you’re ready with what you need to have an effective presence there. If you haven’t set yourself up for success, though, it could be a huge, heartbreaking expense – both in time and money. I’d love to be able to bring back info to help you prepare.
Please post all questions about exhibiting or buying at the market in the comments, and we’ll be back to you on our return with more info.
Trade show tips for your website
Buyers will check your business out before and after the show, and they’re going to do this online. This is when you want your outsides to match up with your business’ insides. If your website doesn’t show your work off in the best light, doesn’t have a mobile solution, or doesn’t have an easy way for wholesalers to shop, you’ll lose that sale.
We have years of experience using your ecommerce website as a medium to tell your story in a compelling way to your wholesale customers. We have a few spots available in our schedule starting March 7 – these sites will launch July 1, in time for fall trade shows. If we hear from you soon, you’ll be able to get a head start.
Our next availability if you miss the July launch is May 9th, which has a launch date of September 9th. Our final block for launching in 2016 begins July 11th, with a launch date of November 11th, right before the biggest sales of the year. That block is our most coveted, so if it’s in your plans, best get in touch now and reserve the date.
During these 16 week blocks, we review your goals and objectives, and make a strategic plan for a brand and/or custom website that will help you meet them. We have a copywriter, photographer, and marketing consultant on hand to work with you on your content and strategy as the work is being done. It is intensive, purposeful work that is transformative! At the end of the process, everything you know to be true about the value of your business will be visible to everyone you do business with. It’s a remarkable experience. Come!
Shipshape Collective Freebie
14 stationery companies shared their own trade show packing lists with us, and we’ve compiled it into a master list.