Friday, May 28, 2010

Trade show or not?

Above image is a glimpse of my booth with the last 2 items being new products (that were very well received!) coming up soon. The 2010 NSS (National Stationery Show) was ended last week, and now I have enough time to look back and reflect. I don't want to write up report on what's going on at the NSS, for there are plenty of other blogs that you can read about that. However, I want to share what I have learnt and hopefully this shed a different light and point of view on the trade show.

Well, the NSS is really where the buyers and manufacturers meet up to find out latest trend and products. For me, a lot of work went into the show (not only physical work, but also emotionally and mentally). after all this is my first trade show. Here are some points that I'd like to share:
1. Give yourself enough time. I had 6 months to prepare just for the show, which is plenty of time. However, I should have been more decisive, and early decisions can save money. Every single details of the booth should be scrutinized. This may be a given, but trust me, there's always something that's missing or wish you have done. For me is lighting. I wish I had some light spotlighting my booth!
2. Meet your expectation with the reality of the world. The economy is not very good right now. That should be in your mind. However, that's not the only thing. For me being a new comer in the world of stationery with limited amount of exposure is my reality. So I consider this show as a good show since there are many people responding to my designs (which I consider as my strength). I didn't make a million dollars worth of orders, however, the contacts that I get are really priceless. The contacts are the ones that is hard to come by, and no matter how much you pay, getting that targeted customer is really important. That leads to...
3. Be nice! I'm glad I get to talk to people. Not only the buyers, but also designers, my booth neighbor, and suppliers. It's unnecessary to be rude to anyone (and there are some rude people at the show). I believe that you never know who you run into, or at the very least, how karma will get back to you.
4. Support group! If you can bring someone with you, it'll be much better than being alone. Not only during set up, but having someone to talk to during the show that's on the same side as you is nice. I had my sister helped me during set up and the first day. We had a good time. The next 3 days I was alone, so I had the chance to compare and contrast the situation.
5. Have fun! I was nervous on the first day, but the next days, I was able to relax and had fun. It's hard specially with the thought of how much was spent on this show. But after I was relaxing and having fun, I was able to enjoy the process. I met so many people that otherwise I won't be able to, I learnt so many tricks of the trades, and much more other things that otherwise I won't be able to learn sitting in front of computer in my own little world. All of these I did while I lost my voice on the day of set up until the end of the show.
Lastly, realized that the real work happens after the show. Following up.. orders.. new items.. and the cycle goes on.

Now I want a piece of cupcake and a nap. Happy friday! and enjoy the long weekend for you state side readers!

Friday, May 7, 2010

thank you...

... for mothers and mother figure in the world. for your love has been received and understood.

happy mothers day.