Want to be in the know? Attend a trade show.
Many folks who make soaps and other body care items develop their business from the love of a craft. Oftentimes, they find it difficult to connect to what is happening in the larger market; to understand trends; to find suppliers; to source new services and products. Oftentimes it is difficult to take their business to the next level because of lack of understanding of the big picture.
One of the ways to understand the big picture, that is, how to place your business in the context of the larger market is to attend a trade show. Information gathered at trade shows helps you to take a small company, and make it seem big or to expand to other markets or get new products and services.
Trade shows provide an eye to what is happening in the industry. Attending a trade show will allow you to:
• Make valuable contacts
• Network with other business owners with similar interests
• Better understand the market
• Get ideas for new products
• Communicate directly with suppliers of goods and services
• Have a good time
• Business cards – bring a stack of them with you. Give out business cards at these events. Make connections, become memorable, connect with business owners and suppliers, and make your presence known.
• Be prepared to talk about your business. Prepare a short summary of your business, where it is headed and the services and products you are looking for.
• Have an understanding of the general market and specifically your market. Be prepared to discuss this. Remember suppliers also want to understand their customer’s needs too.
• Appear professional and take people with you to the trade show who have a good understanding of your business and customers needs. Businesses are not obligated to sell or provide you with service. Some suppliers only supply legitimate businesses or companies that seem to be headed somewhere. If your business appears too crafty, some businesses will not take you seriously.
• Get listed with some professional organizations.
• Have a website? Get it in order before going to the trade show, or if that cannot happen, take it offline for a while. This is especially important if your website is listed on your business card.
• Dress comfortably
• Things they don’t need to know:
1. That you are operating on a shoe string budget
2. That your employees are your relatives and friends
3. That you operate out of your spare room or garage
Find a Tradeshow:
Tsnn.com - International tradeshow search engine - Click Here for Website.
GLM (George Little Management LLC) trade show organizer. They organize many different trade shows, from table top shows to gift, stationary and luxury gift shows. Some of their popular trade shows for bodycare manufactuers and retailers are Extracts and the New York International Gift Fair. Click Here for Website.
Jacob Javitts Convention Center, NYC - premier trade event host. Listing of trade shows with links to their websites. Click Here for Website.
Spa Trends - Spa and wellness tradeshow directory. Click Here for Website.
Eastpack is the largest packaging trade event in the easten United States. Underwritten by Canon Communications LLC, organizer of medical device and packaging tradeshows. Click Here for Website.
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