Time For The Holidays

It’s hot. So hot that even being this close to the beach, I’m sitting here with a giant fan blowing on my face, even at the end of the day, but I love it. I really can’t complain since I moved from Maine to California to escape the cold. So bring it on sunshine!

But today I do wish it was slightly colder, as I’m writing copy for holiday newsletters. And the crazy thing is, I’m actually late on this.

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There are huge gift buying trade shows that are constantly upon us in the fashion industry. There are shows for apparel, specifically for gifts, even shows just for California brands and brands within other states or regions.

Buyers for these shops will generally go in with a set budget, but don’t always spend all of this. If you’re not attending as an exhibitor, before the show is a great time to get their attention, so that they’re keeping your brand in mind when they’re spending. Directly after is also an important time to follow up. And even if you can attend without having a booth, you’re bound to make some important contacts.

But first, a few tips:

1. You’ll need to be able to ship immediately – particularly if you’re in accessories, gift, or consumables.
2. Show that you understand the schedules – don’t call or email during trade show dates, and be sure to mention the shows they may be attending according to their demographic and location.
3. Sales at a first show aren’t common – but also not impossible, so plan for both scenarios.

Another upcoming show is the LA Fashion Market, held in varying times throughout the year on buyers’ schedules. October’s show is for Spring buying, so you can see how it can be confusing that one show held a month before the other is for a season that is 3 months later.

Understanding the way these trade shows work can take some planning, as well as simply attending a few, and talking with just about everyone you can. My new sales rep will be bringing the bands to a few shows before we dive into out own booth. I’m beyond excited to let her do what she do best.

No matter what show you find to be right for you, if you are showing at a booth, the biggest impact that you can make is in scheduling appointments with buyers ahead of time, as well as following up with those you meet to get orders placed (for that immediate shipment we talked about).

Get your marketing materials and your order forms ready – time to get those orders in time for the holidays.