Fashion trade shows and expos can be a great way of gaining inspiration, knowledge, contacts and suppliers. Attending as a visitor to a show can be an overwhelming experience, especially if it's your first time so use these tips and tricks to help get the most of your trip.
The five minutes it takes to register online are worth their weight in gold when you arrive and see the queues to register on the day.
2. Plan your route
Work out how to get to the show in advance so you're not wasting time on the day. Get clued up on public transport or book rides to and from to the venue prior, avoiding huge taxi queues at the end of the show.
3. Dress appropriately
Venues are generally hot, and filled with swarms of people. Layer up to allow for variances in winter. Most expos have a cloakroom so use it. After stand 30, you'll be ready to give away your Burberry Trench just so you don't have to carry it. Dress for comfort, including practical footwear as those feet are going to hurt!
4. Take some snacks
There are never enough places to eat or grab a drink, and there are certainly never enough seats, so taking some water and pocket size snacks like seeds or nuts will keep your energy levels up.
5. Do your homework
Most trade shows will publish an online show catalogue in advance. Locate your "must sees", note their stand number and if possible schedule an appointment.
6. Have a plan
Pick up a show catalogue if you don't already have one. Use the bathrooms (they'll be scarce!) and drop off any items at the cloakroom. Head for your furthest away point and work your way backwards. Not only will these stands be quieter, your feet will thank you later.
7. Take what you need
Make sure to remember all items of stationary, contact info and literature about your brand. It's handy to keep this all in a separate folder which you can easily access or take out from your bag.
8. Manage your time
Allow yourself plenty of time. From experience most shows take longer to get round than you think. The larger shows need more than one day so factor this into your schedule. If the show has numerous halls, areas and pavilions then split these into chunks over the days.
9. Be respectful
Taking photos can be a sticking point. It's a good idea to ask permission about this from the stand staff.
10. Be selective
It's tempting to grab every piece of literature you see, but after a few hours you're going to regret having to carry this around. Don't pick up every brochure, only take what you'll truly use.
Hopefully these tips will help streamline your experience!
I'm attending a lot of shows in 2019, finding new suppliers, new inspiration and fabric innovations for my design clients www.michelleramsaydesign.com
Which trade shows are you attending this year or next?
Comment below and let me know...
The Fashion Expert ®