Trade Show Planning -Retailers Edition


Trade events & shows are an important part of your business process & calendar.

This season particularly,  a well planned visit to The 09 Collective & other trade events happening around Auckland will ensure you get the most out of your visits & maximise your investment of time & money at these events. 

Read on for some of our tips for getting the most out of these events as a retailer. 

1. List your must see exhibitors/suppliers 

Connecting with your current suppliers is a must! Most wholesale brands plan product launches & new collections and lines specifically to show at trade events, it is also a great time to reconnect, hear more about the brand, sales information and model some scripting +  where & how they can add value to your business. 

Reviewing the exhibitor information of any trade show ensures you have carved out some time to look at new brands & suppliers and get your eyes on the products, touch feel and review products to see if they are a fit with your business. 

2. Plan what categories you need to refresh or add. 

As business owners we are in our store/business/website most, if not EVERY day. The challenge with this is that often we rarely get the chance to look at our business through a fresh set of eyes, taking a step back and reviewing your store/business/website with a critical eye is highly valuable - especially pre trade events as it helps to crystallise what categories may need refreshing, adding to or perhaps eliminating altogether. 
Ensure that during this review you also look at sales data - stock sourcing can often have an emotional or impulse factor and it is important to review the numbers. 
Don't forget that market research during this process is so valuable.
Be a shopper, head to both local malls or other main streets & boutiques and look at what is working - converse with other owners & of course suppliers about what categories are selling well. 
Qs to ask 
Where are the gaps?
Do you have a current supplier who can help fill these with lines you haven't ranged before? 
What category have I seen the most growth in over the last year? 
3. Set a budget for new brands & products you will see 
Of course it is vital to have an order spend in mind - whether it be a total order spend across all brands/products or a particular budget for new categories/products & suppliers, review figures from previous trade events to make sure you have some historical data on actual spends 
4. Keep an open mind for new brands & products 
We know that this year has included more challenges in retail than we asked for
(! how rude!) BUT it is important to keep an open mind about seeking new, fresh brands and products to inspire your customers. 
There is a lot of stock in the market at reduced, sell down, and clearance prices and customers are often hammered with sale messaging & price driven conversation BUT businesses that will exceed their expectations this season will also be sourcing & selling NEW & aspirational/inspirational product that gives the end user some enjoyment & all the feels newness brings 
5. Don't miss out on what you like - secure your stock with an order 
This is so important - & thats not just me wearing my exhibitors hat. 
Everyone has invested in attending the trade event - whether it be the exhibitors or retailers & choosing, highlighting the products and brands you like on the spot is always advised 
It ensures that you have capitalised on the time & money spent actually being at the event, by reducing comms and follow up time between yourself & the exhibitor - you get to tick the job off your list!
Ensures that you are able to secure the stock you want 
Enables you to choose stock/products while they are right in front of you 
Enables the wholesaler/supplier to prepare stock & get it to you in a timely way 
Some tips 
Take an image of your ordered items if the exhibitor allows & it is possible
Ask the exhibitor to send a copy of the order to you 
Mention any advance delivery dates you would like. 
Random tips 
  • Take a little 3B1 type notebook with you & scribble notes & contact deets or your orders 
  • Ask wholesalers/ suppliers about how digital imagery, product copy etc is provided for your own websites 
  • Bring some biz cards if you have them 
  • Let exhibitors know in advance if you are coming at a specific time to see them 
  • take some time out while you are still at the event to review what you have seen - The 09 Collective is PERFECT for this (beautiful hospitality & spaces!) 
  • If you are struggling for time - make sure you know the hours of the events you are attending and plan ahead 
REGISTER for The 09 Collective Auckland HERE 
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