Walking around POOL during Magic is like being a kid in a candy store - except you can't take any of the candy home with you! Luckily, I was able to "sweet talk" one of my favorite jewelry finds at POOL, VINCA, to provide some insights into their tradeshow goals and strategy. I was immediately impressed that they took note of my favorite items at the booth and sent me a quick follow up email reminding me just a few days after the event. Smarties. Amanda over at Vinca then "sweetened the pot" by offering to give away a pair of their adorable wooden deer earrings on PR Couture (I snagged a pair of the wooden bunnies for myself - bunnies!). The woodland creatures earrings were originally slated for 2011, but after such a positive response at POOL, they are now available to purchase.
Ok, enough with the saccharine cliche's - to win the earrings in the photo above, simply leave a comment answering the question: If you were an animal, what would you be? Winner will be chosen at random on September 15.
Tips and Tricks for Fashion Tradeshow Success
Had you been to POOL before? What made you attend this year?
I was looking for a show specifically for funky design that is mostly made in USA, like a Renegade Craft fair for boutiques. At first I looked into getting my own booth, but some colleagues were putting together a showroom concept (PINS LLC) so I jumped at the chance to be included!
Did you set any goals?
Keep smiling...engage everyone who looks in conversation and get their card or email. [I think] setting sales goals when you have no control over attendance or are new to a particular market can be stressful if things don't fall in your favor.
What was your strategy to entice buyers? What is your follow up strategy?
I always offer free shipping at shows. That encourages people to buy NOW. I also always offer free displays, offer to send free samples or give samples if someone is particularly interested in a product.
What are 3 tips you have for designers to make the most of their trade show experience
1. Don't take it too seriously. Imagine if you were a buyer, the experience is overwhelming!
2. It is better to run out of catalogs than to have extra. It makes a good excuse to get someone's card to mail them a copy later, and you won't stress over out-of-date catalogs after the show
3. Business cards are OK, but something customers will remember is better. I've given away acrylic rings with my logo on it made at Cut your way, and I've seen people giveaway logo-ed lipgloss. Edibles are no good because people will toss the packaging.
Any successes? Things you wished you had done differently?
I got several international contacts I plan to follow up with persistently, several new stores and lots of compliments. Next time I'll opt for a bigger chunk of the booth with at least two shelves.