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5 secrets to a successful trade show! (Part 2)

Picking up from where we left off last week, this week we dive into the final 3 must-have tips for making sure your trade show season is a success.
To recap:

  1. Setup measurable objectives.
  2. Prepare ahead carefully.

3. Use the best tools at your disposal during the day

You have set up your objectives and prepare everything you could possibly think of. The D day has finally come: you are at the trade show! Here again, your day should be all about efficiency. Hopefully, technology is here to help.
To start with, most of the trade shows have developed apps allowing you to navigate easily on the site, access the agenda and get all the latest updates. Make sure to download it before you enter the show.
But most importantly, you should have the best tool in hands when it comes to sell or buy. For years, we have seen brands and retailers struggling with heavy and hard-to-read line sheets. Writing down orders on paper takes time during the trade show.  But is also very inefficient, as sales reps have to re-enter everything again in their system once back at the office! At fashionTrade, we strongly believe there is a better way to trade.

This is why we developed an app that allows you to scan the products you are interested in. Imagine if you could just go through the racks with the sales rep, point your phone towards the articles you like, scan their barcodes and then have a look at the overview together on a tablet or laptop. Well, this is what you can expect if you try our app. All the orders taken from it can easily be viewed and modified from any device. They can also be shared digitally with your colleagues or partners. This will definitely save you time (and headaches) during the trade show, allowing you to do more in less time.

4. Follow-up quickly and efficiently

Your work doesn’t stop once you step on the plane back home (sorry!). Your trade show success also depends on how you follow-up. What can do to wrap-up the fairs with class?

  • Finalise the orders initiated during the show and send confirmations to your brand or retailer partners.
  • Get in touch with the new partners you have just met, via email or phone. Try to set up a follow-up meeting asap so they have no time to forget about you.
  • In case you missed a few partners, also get in touch with them and tell them, for example, about the next trade show you will attend.

If you use fashionTrade in the first place, following up will be pretty easy. All orders taken during the show can be found, tweaked or shared within our platform. Brands can update retailers on the status of their orders. Retailers can easily access an overview of their orders and access data reports to go a step further. To sum-up, fashionTrade drastically reduce your administrative work after the trade show.

We think that your time can be better spent on more strategic tasks like strengthening your relationships with partners or getting ready for the next trade show.

5. Evaluate your objectives and calculate your Return On Investment (ROI)

Here again, this should be quite easy to do providing you have followed the 4 rules listed above! 
How many buyers visited your booth? How many new potential consumers have you met? Has anything gone wrong? The answers to these questions will allow you to evaluate the objectives and action plan you had in the first place and tweak them for the next trade show.

Finally, your ROI is the difference between the money you spent on the trade show (booth, planes, hotels, etc.) and the money you earned out of the trade show. Your ROI is easy to calculate when your main objective is to sell products. But your other goals can also be measured. Was your primary goal to meet new buyers? You can estimate how much a new buyer represents for your brand and calculate your ROI out of it. This estimation may not be very accurate in the first place, but it will give you a sense of how much you earn out of this event (VS how much you spent).

To sum-up: how to make the most of trade shows?

  1. Set your objectives: they will allow you to set the right plan of attack and to evaluate your success afterwards
  2. Prepare ahead: let your partners know that you will attend trade shows; share your collections and orders online; browse for new brands online
  3. Use digital tools to boost your efficiency during the trade show. Download the trade show app and the fashionTrade app to be able to scan products and order in no time
  4. Follow-up quickly and efficiency
  5. Evaluate your success looking back at your initial objective

We hope that these tips will make your life easier next year!

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