A trade show game plan for emerging designers
When you attend any type of event or convention, what attracts you to certain booths? The answer to this question probably depends on the context. When it comes to fashion shows, there is a detailed approach that emerging designers can take to help themselves and their stands stand out from fashion buyers at these events. Even with the rise of e-commerce and social media, a traditional fashion show can be an effective way for new designers to market themselves.
Preparing to attend fashion shows
Attending a fashion show is a great opportunity to connect and learn with others in the industry. It is important that emerging designers prepare before attending. Having the right mindset can be invaluable for both in-person and digital trade shows. However, given that in-person trade shows will eventually return after the pandemic, it is still helpful for designers to have a strategy in place for these events. Here are some things designers can do to prepare for a fashion show like MAGIC or Coterie:
• Determine what you want to prioritize and set concrete goals – Before even registering for a trade show, it is important to recognize what your main goals are. Some potential goals might include meeting a number of high-level contacts or gaining a certain level of engagement on social media channels.
• Practice your introduction – You will likely meet many new and valuable connections at a trade show. It can be helpful to practice your introduction and know what points you want to communicate to everyone you meet at the show.
• Look up the show’s city and hashtags – Once you’ve decided on a trade show, do a bit of research into the hashtags the show will use as well as the culture of the city you’ll be visiting. It can also be helpful to know where some of the companies you want to get in touch with are coming from.
• Create your calendar and social media plan – Get an idea of what your hourly schedule will look like during your participation. Make certain appointments in advance if necessary. Plus, have a game plan on how you’ll manage your social media during and before the event.
• Find vendors and speakers and schedule conversation starters – A trade show is a great opportunity to get in touch with other vendors to discover opportunities that can serve mutual benefits. Use the introduction you created earlier, as well as some thoughtful industry-related conversation starters. You can also potentially network before the show and make connections before you even arrive if you do your research.
• Create a post-show plan and schedule to follow up with new show contacts – Plan ahead what you want to do after the show. You may want to highlight your participation in the event on social media and reach out to any contact you have made through email, a wholesale platform, or LinkedIn.
How to set up a stand at a fashion fair
Once you’ve set your goals and made all the preparations to attend a trade show, the next step is to create a strategy for your business booth. Here are some things you can do to stand out and make the most of your time at the event:
• Mark your stand to stand out – Your stand is an opportunity to show your brand image and stand out. Make sure it’s configured to convey your brand’s message. Some ways to do this are to make sure your logo is printed large and can be spotted from a distance, as well as to highlight your core values in your booth design.
• Get a feel for where you will be located and make a strategic plan – Once you know where you will be located, see which stalls are near you. This will help you understand what kind of crowds will be drawn to your area in general. If there is a certain type of brand or audience you want to reach, make sure you have a logistics plan to reach them by fully analyzing the booth map.
• Get involved and get involved – When you meet people, be enthusiastic and engaged in every conversation. Again, this is an opportunity to showcase your brand personality and get your name known, so it’s important to put your best foot forward. Show the same level of commitment and interest when you get to know the owners of other fashion companies.
• Have a detailed list of all the connections you make so you can follow up later – As you build new relationships with booth visitors, have a system in place where you write down their information or collect their business cards. This information will be essential for following up with new members of your professional network. Fashion trade shows are a way for emerging designers to connect with fashion buyers, other brand owners, and industry experts to build awareness of their brand. In the near future, they will likely return to the in-person format, especially as the pandemic is finally reaching its final stages. Be prepared by following the tips above and keeping up to date with the latest fashion trends for this season and beyond.
This article was not edited by the staff of Fibre2Fashion and is republished with permission from makersvalley.com