Trade Show Tips

"CURVENY Spring Summer 2016 Collections"

Above: Tia Lyn at CURVENY. Photo by Hank Pegeron.

“Five Tips To Make Your Next Trade Show Visit Successful!”

by Holly Jackson

Holly Jackson is a online copywriter and lingerie columnist. She can be found blogging at her website http://www.thefullfiguredchest.com or on working on her goal of filling up an entire closet with lingerie on Twitter @fullfigurechest.

Trade show season is upon us again, which means that we are all getting ready to market like fiends. However, there’s some easy things you can do early on in the process to make your next trade show visit much easier and more productive. Some of these are items you can check off before you even get on the plane, but others are good to focus on while you’re there. Read on to pick up some tips that will make the next two or three months of your life much easier!

1. Design marketing materials that are memorable.

Slick Chicks

Above: at CURVENY, Slick Chicks gave out memorable flip books to showcase their brand.

“The brands that make the biggest impact are the ones that go beyond great lingerie to make a statement or really flesh out a theme.”

When buyers and media members go home from a trade show, what they are left with at best is blur or lingerie and some standout pieces. At worst, all they have is a big bag stuffed full of catalogues to remind them about what they’ve seen. Therefore, your catalog needs to make a case for why your brand is worth their time and money.

Ensure that your catalogue and associated materials are both stylish and functional. If you’re handing out extra swag, make sure it it stuff that people actually want and not more things that will junk up their life. The brands that make the biggest impact are the ones that go beyond great lingerie to make a statement or really flesh out a theme.

2. Take detail oriented and well thought out photos.

Your photos need to do two things: make a statement and show the lingerie exactly as it is. Buyers want to know about details, but they also are impressed by creative and interesting photography.

– Don’t shoot bras in bold colors in black and white.
– If details are important, like prints, patterns or laces, make sure you show them in the promotional images.
– If applicable, use models in multiple sizes ranges so buyers can see how your lingerie would fit their customer base.

Remember, these photos may be used by more than wholesale buyers. Boutiques that have special order programs are becoming more common, so your product photos will also be used by individual customers to shape their purchasing habits. Style counts, but so does accuracy.

3. Create a story.

Oh la la Cheri booth

Above: Oh la la Cheri booth at the International Lingerie Show in Vegas.

Images are a big part of this, but so is your presentation once you’re happily ensconced in your booth. When someone asks you about the new pieces, you should have a better reason for why you created them than the latest Pantone color trend. Think about how to present your lingerie to the public in a way that is intriguing and honest, especially if you’re sticking with the major trends of the season. Otherwise, you’ll be lost in a sea of bras with no way to stand out.

4. Network.

CURVE Las Vegas Aug 2014 Photos

When you don’t have buyers in your booth, you can still be marketing your brand. Make sure to schedule appointments with press if you have time, since they normally won’t ask for specific appointments unless they’re really interested in your brand. You can also use this as a time to check out various press outlets and bloggers that might be good to work with in the future and quickly develop a relationship with them.

5. Be nice and don’t make assumptions.

CURVELV by Charles Roussel

Above: CURVE Las Veags. Photo by Charles Roussel.

“The lingerie scene has become extremely democratic, with bloggers of all shapes and sizes driving sales and marketing for various lingerie brands.”

At my first trade show, a brand refused to talk to me when I approached them as press when I described myself as a blogger – at least until they realized I was wearing one of their expensive bodysuits as a blouse. They kept the appointment, but it left a bad taste in my mouth where they were concerned for ages.

The lingerie scene has become extremely democratic, with bloggers of all shapes and sizes driving sales and marketing for various lingerie brands. Every blogger has a story of a brand making assumptions about them or deciding that they aren’t useful and most of them turn out badly. The year that Huit, Aubade and Cadolle shut out The Lingerie Addict at a trade show became lead story of the trade show season online – all because the brands were rude to a blogger.

You don’t have to have time for everyone and buyers should always come first, but don’t assume that the young looking blogger approaching your booth isn’t worth your time. In the current lingerie landscape, that blogger could be your next best media partnership. Be smart, be kind and most of all stay openminded about the people you meet.

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