There are plenty of good reasons why attending a trade show can help grow your emerging fashion brand. Whether it’s for inspiration, trying to increase your brand awareness, or network with prospective fashion buyers, here’s everything you should know going into your first trade show.
Find the right fit
Before getting started, do your research and decide which trade show is right for your brand. Popular list aggregator 10times created this comprehensive list of fashion trade shows across the globe. Lists like that one and this one, focusing on fashion trade shows happening in 2020, can be good resources to help you figure out which shows to attend. Your decision will come down to your brand’s budget and the specific goals you’ve set for attending each show. Get a good grasp of your target audience, and determine which show will best help you reach that audience.
Create a game plan
Once you’ve done your research and decided which trade show is right for you, it’s time to start planning. When the trade show you’re attending posts its schedule for the days you will be attending, make two lists: one of all the different classes/meetings/speeches that you must attend, and one with events you’d like to attend. Prioritize these based on your brand’s needs first, and then attend any events you think may aid in your personal development or understanding of the industry you’re in. Try to make the most of your time at the show, and treat it like any other work day.
Make a map
In the days leading up to the event, get pragmatic about your planning. Figure out how to manage transportation, where and when you will be able to eat, and plan to bring your device chargers with you so that you can charge up whenever you’ve found yourself with some down time. You may also want to check the app store, as many of these events make apps to help you keep track of last minute scheduling changes.
Network the right way
Before you even attend this event, it would be in your brand’s best interest to know who else will be attending. Make a list of any brand, person, or service you would like to learn more about, and set aside time within your schedule to talk to them. If you really want to do this right, reach out beforehand via social media or email, and try to set something up by just letting them know that you’re attending the same event and you’d love to connect. Come with an idea of stuff you’d like to know more about, but be prepared to talk about yourself too. Once the event ends, don’t lose contact with the connections you made. You never know what opportunities may arise when you keep in touch.
Trade shows can be daunting for newcomers, but follow these steps and we guarantee this experience will help benefit your brand’s growth.