Attending Gift Shows
Twice a year in our large regional markets there
are enormous gift shows that draw thousands and thousands
of prospective buyers, retailers, distributors,and wholesalers
to these convention. They are seeking new handmade crafts
to purchase for their gift stores and other retail outlets..
In Chicago, Atlanta, New York, and Las Vegas, huge convention
centers fill. The cost of getting a booth at one of these shows
can run into the tens of thousands. Even small booths
can be prohibitively expensive for the handmade soap maker.
To be able to attend you must show proper qualifications.
Join an association of gift store retailers, or importers.
Members can be exhibitors, independent or associated
with sponsored vendors. Some dealers associations also have
open membership, check around and see which is easiest to join.
Should you attend these shows anyway? Yes. There
are many activities seminars and meetings that you can attend
that are sponsored by the conventions. Make sure to wear your
name badge at all times. When you sign up for the event and
they ask for your company name make sure to tell them it is
"Wholesale Soap Company." If you get your badge
at the entrance of the show tell the person making out badges
the same thing. You want everyone at this show to understand
what your business does. Bring good walking shoes and get ready
for a long day.
Be as visisble as you can. You will get people
stopping and asking where your booth is. Have business cards
and info ready to hand out. Take business cards and get them
organized right away. This is the whole reason you are there.
Some super aggressive sales people have a before dinner cocktail
hour in their hotel room for all the potential customers they
have met. This is a lot cheaper than renting a booth and would
just cost you the price of a few bottles of booze. Keep some
samples to give away at the cocktail hour. After all
this is where you shine. This is your booth and you have a captive
audience that is not distracted by other wholesale vendors.
By the second day people will begin to recognise
you because you were everywhere the day before. You will get
even more contacts this day. These are serious buyers who have
spent a lot of money to travel to these cities in search of
new products. You will make great contacts here. Introduce yourself
to as many people as you can. If you see people with the name
of their business on their name tag, and it sounds like a cute
little store, make an excuse to talk to them. Small talk about
their home town is always a great icebreaker.
Going into this convention with a plan of attack
is important. You will be competing with many other wholesalers,
distributors and manufactures. Have a promotional offer
ready to go. For this month only, buy two lots and get one free.
Something to get the prospective buyer to take action. This
is a great opportunity for the serious handmade crafter who
wants to grow their business.
cash and carry
, Discount Store
99 Cent Store
One Dollar Shop