Over the weekend, I attended the Seattle Gift Show, a Trade Show that’s held twice per year – once in January and again in August.
Earlier this month, I posted about Making the Most of a Trade Show. One thing I should have mentioned and didn’t think about at the time, was keeping a lower profile at these shows. Most of the manufacturer reps at this show (and I suspect at most trade shows) are in ‘sell mode’. They want you to place an order. There was a lot of aggressive “show only” discounting going on and the expectations were along the lines of “give me an order or move on”.
Now this is well and good if you’re a brick and mortar retailer with shelf space to fill and you have specific merchandise in mind. But for me, the stockless home-based retailer, it was more about getting ideas and doing product and vendor research. For me, the weekend turned out to be a delicate balancing act between getting good information from the reps and not letting on that I had no intention of placing an order (at least not at the show).
Having said that, I still maintain that Trade Shows are one of the absolute best ways to get product sourcing ideas and make contacts. That’s all for today; I’ve got tons of Trade Show material to review!