Trade Fairs and Joode
Learning *all things* Trade Fairs
This year I decided to do *all the things* to give Joode the best start I could. When I saw a Facebook Ad for the Gift and Lifestyle Fair, I asked my local gift shop if they go and they did, so quick sticks I signed up - four weeks out from the date. And then began my real hustle. I have never been to a trade fair or ran any kind of event. I researched and decided I would have two back boards made and a pull up banner. Lucking I was gifted four hours of a coaching session after I applied for a Boosting Female Founders Grant pre Joode. I didn't get the Grant but I did receive the coaching which has been amazing.
Things I learnt from my first bump in (set up) and show:
- You need a high vis top to set up your stand when bumping in (opps, luckily there was vending machines with them)
- You also need closed toe shoes when bumping in and out (que a dash to the shops to buy some quickly)
- Have a trade show special
- Be prepared to have people walk past and not look or make eye contact
- Be prepared for people have just come along to chat
- The biggest thing I learnt was, when my people saw me - they were my people. They would come up and squeal with glee at my socks and designs. They'd order almost immediately or take a flyer and come back or email that night.
- I know this goes across almost all the trade show advice i've been given but I didn't see any point trying to convince anyone to talk to me or take details or do a 'sales job'. They were just there for other things and I get it. All sorts of people and businesses attend these shows and not all need socks. I let the people come to me and I am fine with that.
- Make sure you are fully aware of the bump out times. I went the following day when the entire show had packed up because I got the dates mixed up and it was like doing the walk of shame, just my little stand left in a giant room.
After the Gift and Lifestyle I signed Joode up for the Reed Trade Fair in Sydney. That brought a whole differnt hustle to get ready for another four weeks away.
One thing I would recommend is make sure you don't sign up for one over a Easter school holiday. And that is where I made a mistake, I never checked my dates. After two long years of covid, Easter 2022 was the biggest travel event and that meant sorry trade show and hello holidays. Nether the less it was an amazing opportunity and experience. Not least because I got to hang out with my bestie, and see my VA who has worked with me for more then three years.
I realised I couldn't take my two new hook board, so I hired a desk and chair, brought two banners and a hundred clear hooks which we just stuck straight onto the back and side walls, the socks looked amazing.
There was plenty of awesome stalls and small businesses all around. Drinks were served from 4pm and one evening we had a trade show event where there was food, drinks and a DJ which was pretty cool.
Would I do it all over again? Heck yes. Just not at Easter.