Home
Business-Wise
Kate's Collage
"Vinny Da Vendor"
"Benny Da Buyer"
Kizer & Bender
Memory, Paper & Stamps
Category Reports
Designing Perspectives
Scene & Heard


Creative Leisure News
306 Parker Circle
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone: 785-760-5071
Email: mike@clnonline.com


 


Challenges, problems, and triumphs -- from a manufacturer's perspective.

Printer Version

Planning the Perfect Trade Show

Ten tips for CHA Winter Show exhibitors.

by Sue DiFranco (December 20,2004)

(Note: This article is reprinted with permission from Fun Facts Publishing.)

True trade show success hinges on proper planning, especially for a show as large as the CHA Winter Show in Atlanta. Here are 10 tips for success for vendors who are exhibiting.

1. Promote To Buyers Before The Show.

Obtain a list of pre-registered attendees from show management. CHA is offering this database to exhibitors for $350.00/labels, $550.00/disk. The deadline for ordering is January 3; the list will be mailed on January 10.

Send a direct mail piece to attendees – marketing sheets, brochures, or even postcards. Make sure you list show specials, new products, and your booth number. Give them a reason to visit your booth – incentives like "Mention this postcard at the booth to receive a discount/gift/special" really do work!

Follow up with an email blast. Remind the recipients of show specials, incentives, and your booth number. Email programs such as Intellicontact can make this part of marketing simple. To learn more visit www.funfactspublishing.com/email.htm.

2. List It Online.

Make sure you list complete information about the trade show, including your booth number and show specials, on your company website.

3. Train Your Staff.

They should know the product line thoroughly and be able to answer any questions that may come up. It’s always a good idea to do some role playing before the show – go over every possible scenario you may expect to encounter with buyers and other booth visitors (members of the media, other influential people in the industry).

4. New Products? Promote them in the Innovations Showcase.

The Innovations Showcase is a highlight of the CHA Winter Show, one of the first areas buyers visit. Exhibitors are welcome and encouraged to display their new product releases here. Visit the CHA web site to learn more (please note, the deadline is December 17).

5. Get Media Exposure.

One of the benefits of exhibiting is the opportunity to display your press materials in the CHA Press Room. This is the meeting ground of all media in attendance – newspapers, magazines, television stations, and radio stations from all around the world.

Send in your media kits prior to the show (the deadline is January 28), or you can hand deliver them to the press room during move-in.

CHA recommends providing at least 100-150 kits. If there are any left by the close of the show on Tuesday, you or one of your staff can pick them up.

6. Research, Learn, Discover.

Walk around the show and get a feel for the new products, new companies, new trends. Visit the booths of the consumer and trade magazines and introduce yourself. Industry trade shows will provide you with some of the best insight and education you'll receive all year.

7. Be Social!

Take part in as many activities as your energy will allow. These events are a great way to network and get to know others in the industry. As large as the scrapbook industry is, bonding and making new friends happens naturally because we're talking with others who actually understand what we're going through! Michael and I have found that each new show feels like a reunion with some of our greatest friends.

8. After The Show, Stay in Trade Show Mode.

At least for a few days! Hold a post-show meeting with your staff and analyze the show. Use these reviews and analysis to begin making plans for the next show - repeat what worked, and improve anything that didn't. (The next trade show will be ScrapbookBIZ in April 2005, followed by the CHA Summer Show in July 2005, and MemoryTrends in September 2005.)

9. Follow Up!

One of the goals of any smart exhibitor is to collect leads, as well as sales. If people aren’t ready to buy at the show, make sure you get their business card and/or contact information and follow up with them. The truth is, so few people actually perform this crucial step, and it's easy to understand why -- once you’re back in the office, trying to catch up on regular work activities usually takes up most of your time.

Try scheduling in your "Follow Up" activities, and stay focused during that time. Use direct mail, email, and/or the telephone. If you'd like to contact all of the attendees, CHA also offers a post-show attendee database. The cost is the same as the pre-show list, and is mailed out in April 2005.

10. And Finally...Relax.

Take some time for yourself, do whatever it is that relaxes you and makes you feel good (non-business related, of course!). You've made it through an entire trade show, which is no small feat. Take some time to relax and regroup - you deserve it!

(Note. Fun Facts Publishing offers a variety of services and publications related to scrapbook businesses of all types. Visit www.funfactspublishing.com where you can sign up for a free email newsletter, the Platinum edition, and a new publication shipping this month: Inside The $3 Billion Scrapbook Industry: Statistics, Research, Analysis, Forecasts & More - The Only Complete Industry Resource for Scrapbook Professionals.

To read previous columns by "Vinny" (various manufacturers, writing anonymously), click on the titles in the right hand column.)

xxx

 

horizontal rule

horizontal rule



   
   

Vinny's Recent Columns...
ADVICE ON EXPORTING TO THE UK AND EUROPE; An interview with the former CEO of HobbyCraft.

THE HISTORY OF WALNUT HOLLOW; One of the genuine pioneers of the modern craft industry.

HOW MICHIGAN SCRAPBOOKER WAS LAUNCHED; Substantial growth in 3+ years.

THE HISTORY OF PLAID ENTERPRISES, INC.; It's come a long way in 36 years.

"FLASH" SALES COME TO THE INDUSTRY; Q. & A. about the newest way to introduce new products or dispose of overstocks.

SITTING ON A BULLS EYE; What to do if competitors want your market share, or customers want to cut costs.

IS YOUR COMPANY ON THE VERGE OF BANKRUPTCY? 5 SURVIVAL TIPS; Time for a reality check.

FIVE COMMON AFFLICTIONS OF SALES TEAMS; The result: Bad morale and lower sales.

BEYOND MARKET MULTIPLES: INCREASING THE VALUE OF YOUR COMPANY BEFORE THE SALE; How to create a company with greater appeal to buyers.

CHA SHOW NEW PRODUCT REPORT; Hundreds (thousands?) of products, many from new exhibitors.

THE SOLUTION TO MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS; A sure fire way to inspire them to quilt.

ATTRACTING YOUNGER CUSTOMERS; Yes, we aren't our mothers' knitters.

NEW PRODUCTS TO BE UNVEILED AT THE CHAS SHOW; Two parts: new exhibitors and veterans.

WHAT SCRAPPERS ARE SAYING ABOUT MANUFACTURERS AND PUBLISHERS; Scrapbook Updates' readers analyze the problems.

ANALYZING THE CHA ATTITUDE & USAGE STUDY; The rationale and the science behind the number.

REST IN PEACE: JEAN HOWARD BARR; JHB International's Founder and CEO.

POSITIVE NEWS ABOUT THE INDUSTRY; What they want/need from the industry.

COMMENTS FROM INDIE CRAFTERS; What they want/need from the industry.

UNDERSTANDING INDIE CRAFTERS (BY AN INDIE CRAFTER); What they want, what they buy, and how to reach them.

CHA EVENTS FOR MANUFACTURERS; How to get more out of a trade show besides selling your products.

CREATIVE INDUSTRY TURNS TO EDUCATION TO BEAT RECESSION; Simple solutions for vendors and retailers to create online video classes.

WHAT HAPPENED TO CREATIVE MEMORIES? Not adjusting to the times.

COMPLAINING ABOUT SHORT-SHIPMENT PENALTIES; Who pays retail? The vendor?

HOW A VENDOR SCAMMED A SCAMMER; A sharp eye, a sense of humor - and be wary.

HOW A SMALL VENDOR WAS ALMOST SCAMMED; A savvy, suspicious mind averted a serious financial loss.

COMPANY FOR SALE; The owner is retiring.

EXHIBITORS: YOU'RE WASTING YOUR MONEY! Check your customer list before pre-show mailings.

PLAID CONSERVES TO PRESERVE; Simple changes can mean big savings.

SUGGESTIONS FOR THE CHA SHOW; How to attract more buyers and exhibitors.

CHANGES AT A.C. MOORE; They may not be what they seem.

THE TERRI O SHOW IS COMING; Building industry sales by empowering consumers' creativity.

SOME THOUGHTS ON BANKRUPTCY; It's unfair, but...

BOTTLES OF HOPE; A polymer clay grassroots movement.

SEWING SMILES FOR KIDS; Pillowcases and quilts for kids in hospitals.

HELPING THE WORLD IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE; Mrs. Grossman's, C&T Publishing, and Tara Materials.

HELP PEOPLE -- AND THE WORLD; How one company contributes to charities and to Mother Nature.

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS AND HELPING THE WORLD; Plaid employees' long list of charitable activities.

A SAVVY WAY TO INTRODUCE A NEW LINE; Put it in the hands of consumers and teachers.

CHA AND PMA: SHOULD IT BE EITHER/OR? Why not take the best of both worlds?

A VENDOR'S RESPONSE TO THE PROVO/CRICUT ISSUEE; It's not easy to take sides.

RESPONSES TO CLN'S CODE OF ETHICS...from chain store execs, vendors, and reps.

PROVO RESPONDS TO CRICUT CRITICS; Unexpected demand caused problems.

ADVICE TO VENDORS; Common sense, please!

HOW TO HAVE A GREAT TRADE SHOW; It takes more than great products.

KEY CHALLENGES/OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE CRAFT INDUSTRY IN 2006; Office supply, private label, and direct import.

IS MIKE DUPEY RIGHT? The industry's retail pioneer's criticism of chain stores elicits strong reactions.

RETAILERS: CREATE A "PLACE," NOT A STORE; Customers return if they feel a sense of community.

"HOW AND WHY WE CHANGED OUR BUSINESS"; Sometimes necessity forces gutsy businesses into new, scary areas.

WHY INDEPENDENTS ARE DECLINING AND THE INDUSTRY IS SOFT; We can't improve the situation until we understand the causes.

HOW TO MAKE THE SCRAPBOOK PIE LARGER; "Keep it simple and non-threatening."

INDEPENDENTS: SUPPORT VENDORS WHO SUPPORT YOU; "Support goes both ways. It is a relationship of trust and consistency."

WHAT MAKES A GREAT SALES REP? Colleagues and customers remember the late Bob Watikins.

TRADE SHOW PRESS POINTERS; Maximize your publicity for a minimal cost.

HOW CAN A SCRAPBOOK START-UP SUCCEED? The answer may be a "Group" away.

DO TRADE SHOWS REFLECT THE STATE OF THE INDUSTRY? If we're like other industries, trade shows may be in trouble.

DO TRADE SHOWS REFLECT THE STATE OF THE INDUSTRY? And if so, are we in trouble?

THE STATE OF THE FLORAL MARKET; A blunt interview with Aldik's Larry Gold.

YOU WANT JUNK? YOU GOT IT; Pricing pressures are ruining good categories.

PLANNING THE PERFECT TRADE SHOW; Ten tips for CHA Winter Show exhibitors.

MORE VENDORS RESPOND...; A dialog between vendors and a savvy but unhappy independent.

VENDORS RESPOND TO INDEPENDENT'S PLIGHT; Why vendors have minimums and what retailers can do about it.

RETAIL, E-TAIL, AND "UNFAIR COMPETITION"; Expensive advertising, false promises, and little education.

THE TRIALS OF A SMALL COMPANY, PT. II; Expensive advertising, false promises, and little education.

THE TRIALS OF A SMALL COMPANY; Talent, drive, and product -- but no money.

GETTING READY FOR A TRADE SHOW; Go MAD at HIA.

THE THREE L's: YOU CAN'T SELL WITHOUT THEM; How to look, listen, and learn.

IT WASN'T ALWAYS THIS WAY...; but why does that matter?

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO STRAWBERRY?; Does every new product have to be cheap?