- Know Thyself
You should be capable of explaining your brand and what makes it unique. You will be exhibiting alongside thousands of other companies. Why would anyone want to buy from you? Do you plan to sell your designs or produce designs made by other people?
- Have a Product That’s Sellable
You need to understand a buyer’s thought process. You want to have a collection that’s not only well merchandized but also priced competitively. It is critical that you research the color/market trends to be sure that you are bringing a suitable product for the target market. Ensure that you offer your target customer exactly what they need. If they view your product, they will be considering the following:
Is the product functional?
Is the product priced fairly?
Is the product design driven?
Is the craftsmanship evident? Is the quality good or bad? Is the product in the booth of similar quality to the sample order?
Does the product actually tell a story?
After selecting your product collection, you can start producing consistently and reliably. Buyers will be looking to see that after placing an order with you it will be shipped on time and whole. They will want to ensure that the product is correctly packaged and labelled and obviously, is the customer communicating throughout the process in case there are any delays to find a solution.
- Create a Compelling Story
You need to have a story behind your brand if you wish to stand apart. Who actually made it? What is the organization’s mission, values, and experience? What impact will buying the product have?
- Identify a Suitable Distribution Channel for Your Company
Are you showing at a FOB, ex-Factory, Wholesale, or Landed price point? This will be critical in determining the type of buyer that you should connect with. Determine the minimum order/price terms and know the extra costs that customers are required to pay. Are you setting the minimum by the price amount or the number of pieces?
- Know the Target Buyer
You need to identify the right type of customer for your business. Identify the customer by category and market. Are you looking for a Home, Lifestyle buyer? Drill down a little more, would you like to reach a Fragrance buyer? Personal Accessories buyer? Home Décor buyer? At what price point are they willing to sell at? Are they mainstream? Luxury? What company are you looking to sell to; large retailer, wholesale, small mom and pop retailer?
- Have Your Sales and Marketing Tools Ready
Ensure that you develop marketing materials such as a price list, company profile, business cards, terms sheet, price list, catalog, and artisan profile to have on-site. The materials need to address some of the key questions the buyer might be having, such as:
What are the payment terms?
What are the shipping costs and shipping methods used?
How much is this and what is the minimum?
You should also do a pre-show promotion as well via your own channels. It is advisable to email customers a month before the show, shortly before the show, and on the day the show opens. Be active on social media and don’t forget to tag the show.
Update your press kit and if you don’t have one already, create it. There will be hundreds of media outlets in attendance, which is why it is important to make the most of this on-site exposure. Ensure that you make the most of your participation at the show.
- Envision the Booth Display
Trade shows generally offer different packages based on your needs. To enhance the look of the display based on the budget, you should find a creative approach for display printing. Avoid overcrowding the booth. Ensure that it is inviting for buyers to walk in and easy for them to see exactly what’s on offer.