Trade Show: Should you go?
Trade Show: Should You Go?
Tradeshow: Should you go? Have you thought about going to Quilt Con or Quilt Market? Do you wonder which one to go to? Is it worth the money? In this episode I share what to have before being a vendor, and who should go as a guest. I share tips on what I’ve seen in booths that are successful and what to be sure to do if you do go. See how going to a quilt trade show can be good for your business
In this episode, I cover:
- What the difference is between Quilt Con and Quilt Market.
- Why you should consider going to a quilt trade show or market and why going as a guest and or a vendor is beneficial to you and your business.
Have you considered being a vendor? I share some things to prepare for and think about before you register. Some of the things I talk about are:
- Do not go until you have nailed down and very specific niche
- Plan for your booth display. How are you portraying what you offer? I suggest a simple, clean display that clearly states you and your business.
- Know your audience. Do a little research on the show to find its purpose and to make sure it is a good fit for you.
- Be sure to sell a tangible item…something they can walk away with.
- If you are at the point in your business that you need more exposure and you are ready to grow?
- Make sure that you take advantage of the time you have there to chat with people and make connections. This is great for your business. Make those connections with customers and other business owners.
- Provide a way to gain others emails to help grow your email list. Offer a coupon or a giveaway…something that will intrigue people and make them feel it is worth it.
What if you aren’t ready to become a vendor and just want to go as a business owner? You will never regret going as a guest! Here are some things I have learned as I have attended several trade shows:
- You meet new business friends! Friends that you can collaborate with, that will inspire you, help you get out of a rut and gain new ideas.
- As you visit the shops, you are making connections and gaining long term business opportunities.
- It is a great time to do market research and observe while you are there.
- Don’t be afraid to tell people who you are. Do something that will become memorable.
- Bringing business cards or something else you can share is a great way to not only share your information but gather others as well.
- Jot down the names of those you meet so that you can be sure to stay in touch.
Helpful links referenced in podcast:
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Laura L. Strickland
Thank YOU!!! This podcast is my favorite and you provide such good and timely information. I was so pleased to hear I was on the right track. I knew if you were recommending certain things, they would most always be wonderful to implement. It made me sigh with relief knowing I had made a few good decisions that were validated by Quilter’s Candy podcast. Fingers crossed it continues to grow my business. Thank you for such an amazing, encouraging and supportive podcast.
Laura L. Strickland
I am an avid listener to your podcast, but this is the first time I’ve left a comment. Your podcast is amazing and I loved your talk about trade shows. I formed my LLC in October of 2019. Yes! That’s six months before the pandemic. So year one was a roller coaster. I attended Quilt Festival in Houston at the end of October 2019. I did not have enough capital to attend both market and festival. I made wonderful mentorship connections at the show. Before opening by pattern design business, I managed my local quilt shop and attended regional shows as a vendor with the shop. That experience was so valuable to my own pattern design business. I survived the pandemic by hosting a 54 day sew along called “Less Panic More Disco” all focused on the 1970’s complete with a Spotify 70’s playlist and Saturday night watch party. So my business survived and even thrived in the pandemic. I was encouraged to plan on vending at Quilt Market this last October. So, I took the leap! I signed up to vend at Quilt Market AND Festival in Houston. Well, as you know Market was cancelled but not Festival. I went and had a fabulous experience. One of my quilt designs was featured in the Quiltcon Magazine. Because of this I was invited to vend at Quiltcon in February; which I did. These show were a giant leap of faith but they were both so worth it. I had several of the tips you gave in this episode in place before I went. Niche market, cards to stay connected, demos to engage my audience, limited edition patterns, and branded merch. This last year has just been fabulous with taking my business to trade shows. I’m sorry we did not get to meet at Quiltcon. Thank you for validating this crazy quilting journey. I found vending at trade shows to be wonderful for connection and my business. Carolina Moore even hosted a designer meet-up while we were there to network. I have a collaboration in the works. I’m looking forward to seeing and meeting you in Houston this fall or in Atlanta for Quiltcon 2023. Take the leap and vend you won’t regret it.
AnonymousLaura L. Strickland
I’m so glad you had such a positive experience attending the Quilt Market and festival! Sounds like you went in prepared and really got a lot out of it. I hope to meet you in Houston or Atlanta! Thank you for sharing your story. –Elizabeth