Phew! It has been a very hectic month for all of us! Like most of you reading this, we have been all over Europe travelling to the fashion trade shows – from small local fairs like Kleine Fabriek to specialised international fairs like Pitti Bimbo in Florence and even Seek, Bright, Premium and Panorama in Berlin. As we are resting our aching feet and going through the stacks of business cards, leaflets and catalogues, we can’t stop ourselves from going through the shows once more in our mind.
What went well? What was the biggest benefit?
As FashionTrade.com, we walked the fashion show’s floors to talk to our existing customers and to meet potential new customers. We are currently in a pilot phase (you can request an invite as a brand here, and retailers here) for our one-stop marketplace with selected children’s fashion brands and retailers – and while we are improving the experience and working on adding more features, we are of course scouting the next brands and retailers to join us.
Kristel and Robert – from our sales team – spoke with over 200 brands and countless retailers to arrange meetings that fill their calendars for the next half year. Together with Kristel, we set out to review the past month and the different shows that she attended. Here are her learnings to share with you!
- Preparation is always key. Have a short, poignant pitch ready and you are half-way there.
Kristel: “My approach really depends on whether I have been in touch with a brand prior the fair, if I have the name of a contact person or if I am completely new to the brand. But, no matter the prior knowledge, I love to have short and positive conversations about FashionTrade and the possibilities to take their business online. Acknowledging that time is precious and our meet-up spontaneous, I like to convey that we aren’t pushing for an immediate meeting and taking up a lot of their valuable trade show time.”
In hindsight, trade shows are a way of introducing ourselves. With the brand and retailer relationship being the focus of attention, it is not the moment to ‘get stuck into business’ and the goal should not be to sell but to familiarise and set up a meeting at a later date.
- Trade shows are a great opportunity for retailers and brands to catch up. It really is a sacred place in the heart of the fashion landscape.
Kristel: “Trade shows are great events for quick meet-ups and networking, simply because of the sheer number of brands and retailers in one space. However, time is precious and if you don’t have a pre-planned appointment, meeting or talking with the right person can be quite a challenge. Experience has taught me to be better prepared and set appointments, so we can run through the day smoothly – talking to the right partners more quickly.”
We love seeing the creativity of brands via their breath-taking stand decorations, whether it’s a jungle-scape, delicious pastries, or a cheeky afternoon cocktail. It’s often too tempting to just walk past without stopping by.
Kristel: “Stands that value public engagement, definitely garner the most attention. One great example was the underwear brand A-dam who had a little stand at the fair, but had a bumpercar drive around with two male models wearing the brands’ underwear, serving drinks and such, was really an eyecatcher. It was funny, attractive and bold all at once. You could not help look for the stand to see what it was all about.”
Have you also attended trade shows in the last months? Then check out our blog posts: