Trade show strategy for Retailers and Buyers: 10 tips on how to smash it!
1. Be well rested, grab a coffee on the way, be sure to have a notebook and pen and seriously comfy shoes!! Also hydrate. I literally caught a buyer once in Sydney as she fainted in front of me!!
2. Make sure you take a bunch of business cards with you. This will save you time and make sure suppliers have the correct details for orders or follow ups. If you forget this at least print out some details for brands to keep or staple the info. to orders for you.
3. Visit with an action plan, and a strategy of what categories you are looking for. Have budgets in mind for each category or brand you are buying with. BUT equally make sure you don’t miss anything. Don’t take shortcuts, walk every aisle…you just never know what you’ll find. Hopefully that next big thing.
4. Talk to suppliers. Ask them about their story. The more you learn, the more you’ll sell. Customers love a story, and be sure to share the story with your staff. Find out about the brand values and history. It will help you connect with the brand even more.
5. What is it that your store is missing?? Do you need a new category?? You should be continually evolving and editing what you buy for your store. You should know your data and what is your best sell through product. What are essential items that should always be in stock?
6. Don’t rush. You don’t want to be the one to miss out on locking in a new supplier.
7. Think about the upcoming season. Do you need counter fillers for Christmas?? Hats for summer. Outdoor tableware. Gifting. A few things for ‘him’. Make sure you BUY is considered and has some history or data behind it.
8. If you’re undecided, take as much info away with you as possible. And make notes while you’re there to trigger your memory later. Take photos on the spot and email to yourself notes about a brand and why you liked them.
9. Be sure to order sooner rather than later. Don’t let a competitor lock in that brand in your area and the sooner you order the more informed you are about your choices.
10. Come back. If you need to see something again, visit again. This is a critical time of year, so don’t miss out.