Hope that you are keeping well, safe and warm in the rough weather?
So, I’ve had a little time to recover, and thought I’d tell you all a little bit of my experience of exhibiting at Spring Fair International, at the Birmingham NEC – my very first trade fair!
I won my stand at The Spring Fair through the Prince’s Trust (such an amazing opportunity!) So, even though I had carefully chosen a smaller, very nice trade fair for my first fair to dip my toe into the water ( BCTF) I was given the opportunity to dive in head first, and I just thought....Why the devil not!?
I learnt SO much for doing Spring Fair and although it’s a big deal, it wasn’t this huge scary thing I had it in my mind as. So I thought I would share some tips that I found useful for this event, I will stress that this is just my opinion, and with Spring Fair being my first Trade Fair it is just from my experience so far...
1. Do plan out your stand at home so you don’t get any nasty surprises when you arrive! I made lots of little sketches until I got one I liked the feel of, and then began fleshing it out with real furniture.
Finally once I had everything I measured out the size of my stand and assembled it roughly at home to make sure it felt and looked right.
(I just used some masking tape on the floor to mark down the size of the stand.)
2. You do not need a huge range of products! I couldn’t get my head around this and really pushed myself to make a ‘range’ of products, but you really don’t have to do this. If you want to take just cards, that is totally fine! (Around 45 card designs is a good amount to launch with)
3. Take something along to sit on. You can’t sit down all the time, but quieter periods will come and a subtle sit down will certainly help those sore feet.
4. You’ll need some information to hand to give out to potential stockists. Don’t just hand these out to everyone possible as no doubt they will of been costly to produce and you don’t want them all gone when that buyer from Paperchase comes by ;) Hand them out to people who seem genuinely interested.
5. Things you might want to cover in your stockist information – Prices, product images and info, minimum order amount, carriage paid amount, your turnaround times and your general T&C’s.
6. When someone does come and have chat to you and asks for your information, don’t forget to ask some questions about them and make a note of who they are and what they were interested in. Then follow up, follow up, follow up!
7. Remember that on your stand, you are on show as the face of your brand, so although those days are super long, smile, be friendly and knowledgeable and most importantly, be you :)
I hope this helps a little and for some more in depth info check out Sue Bulmer’s fab blog series on her first trade fair and all the build up (I used this alot while doing some deep breathing) haha!
Remember to be nice and make friends with your stand neighbors, they will help you out when you have to pop to the loo and it breaks the day up a little to have someone close by to have a natter and a giggle with during a quiet period!
I was lucky enough to be next to the lovely Sarah Wardle - the lady behind Miss Nova Designs!
I will be exhibiting at BCTF in April and I already feel a lot more prepared, bring it on 2014! :)