How to Survive a Tradeshow
This past week the Fluffians tackled the Las Vegas Market tradeshow. 2 days, 3 buildings, 15 floors each. It was a lot of work (no word of a lie, the airport staff offered us wheelchairs), but such a source of inspiration.
It was interesting to see how the trends we predicted were present throughout the showrooms. Mid-tone walnut wood, matte white accessories and an updated mid-century modern look were all prevalent.
Through our years of participating in tradeshows, be it working as a supplier, or visiting suppliers, we have developed guidelines for surviving this feat.
Research ahead of time:
- Assess what type of items you need i.e. accessories, sofas, art .
- Research the suppliers websites to see if they are a style you work with i.e. contemporary, traditional.
- Create a printed document to bring to the show with suppliers names, images of stock, and room for notes.
Bring a bag, and pack it:
- Bring a small roller suitcase large enough to fit catalogues, but not so large that you overfill it and can’t lift it.
- Pack snacks! This can’t be stressed enough. Food at trade shows is limited, and you need major fuel! Granola bars, water, coffee, whatever it takes…bring it!
Plan of action:
- When you arrive at the show, plan a route and stick to it. Go building by building, and try to implement a system like doing the circumference of the floor first, then inside rows.
Two is better than one:
- The only way to talk to enough suppliers, and make good use of time, is to conquer this battle with another body. Plus, the extra muscles help in hauling around the catalogues.
- Since both team members know which styles to look for, it’s best to divide and conquer to talk to as many suppliers as possible.
Take a lot of photos and notes to refer to once you’re home. And finally, although you may be tempted to place orders at the show…DON’T! Wait until you get home to review your budget & inventory needs.
~ Jordan, textiles & designer