Trade Show Experience
Posted on 03 October 2016
Since Copper Dust had its first trade show at Top Drawer this year, we thought it would be a great idea to share our experience with you.
We did not have a huge selection of booths left to choose from since we booked it quite last minute, only a month and a half before the show actually started. So we ended up picking the H-B13 stand in the home section, this booth was 2.5 square metres by 2 square metres, which only covered costs for the physical booth. Since we booked late, we had a slight disadvantage, as the booth was further away from the entrance so we had to rely on traffic flowing around from the other sections.
One of the key things we found useful was having a booth plan before you start anything, so you know what furniture or display items you need to look for. Also, you don’t get a trial run of how to arrange your booth too. We literally turned up one day before to set up and it was the first time seeing the booth physically. So planning ahead is a must and allows preparations that is out of your hands too such as having x amount of outlets for your extension cords, knowing what you can hang up on the walls etc. To add to this, everything costs money so planning ahead will definitely help with budgeting. We opted in for the walls to be painted by their contractors at an additional cost, to save the stress of painting it ourselves and buying all the tools, we had four power outlets at the top for the lighting, and one power socket for the floor, which was also an additional cost.
So depending if the contractors painted the booth or yourself dictated when you could come in and set up, we had one day to set up and didn’t expect it to take so long. We also had to book an unloading time slot beforehand for set up and take down so having your van ready and on time is extremely important.
We had some unexpected turns whilst setting up such as the vinyl wasn’t sticking on the walls, when mounting the frames, it kept falling off, tearing some paint off the wall with it. Alongside this, it’s trade secret to always have a ladder to hand, which we as newbies was not aware of. As you might imagine set up was stressful, but we got there in the end! We also found that little details was essential so don’t think it is a waste of money.
Since it is our first trade show, we did not know what to expect so we ended up making tons of freebies and leaflets since Top Drawer has a lot of visitors. We soon realised that not every visitor who comes along to Top Drawer will be looking for lampshades or illustrations, common sense you may think, but we were so thrilled to be in the show we over anticipated the process. Trade buyers are more likely to find products relevant to them since it is a trade show. So after this realisation, we changed our targets to aim to get 10 leads each day rather than 50 or 100. We also opted in for their scanner that costs, which can be used on multiple devices. This was a very good investment as we could get a lot of detail about a customer through scanning their badges, and many of them did not have their business cards with them either so it was a quick and easy way of collating their details and being able to write notes too. One lesson learnt from this experience was to not make too many freebies, have enough to give out but don’t waste money on making too many, however we was lucky because we had another pop up shop to set up for the following week.
Was it worth it? We definitely think it was worth it as we gained a lot of interest from various buyers from interior stylists to stockists. It also exposed our products to individuals too who were interested in buying items for themselves, as they’ve never seen anything like our products before and allows them to see the products up-close and really admire the fabrics, especially as we are currently only available online. So it definitely was good exposure for us. Most of all, we got to speak to other exhibitors and build contact and gained a lot of advice from them as many of them have been exhibiting for years.
All images are copyright of Copper Dust