Last week we wrapped up our booth at the Seattle Gift Show, and we had a great time!
We have some exciting new stockists I'll tell you all about once their orders ship, but for now I've been sewing like a madwoman to get their awesome orders out the door. :)
Trade shows are definitely a totally different animal than retail craft shows.
My booth was loaded in with one trip on my hand cart (I won't tell you how many trips to and from the car it takes for retail craft shows!).
The pace is quite a bit slower (at least for this particular show; I'm not sure of the pace of other shows, as I'm just getting started). It was my first time doing this particular trade show, but I heard from people who were veterans of the Seattle Gift Show that attendance was down from previous years. It doesn't help that there was also a similar trade show in Las Vegas the same weekend. I still made great contacts, obtained some new and exciting accounts, and got to have some amazing coffee (no, it was not Starbucks).
But it's a chance to get to know Buyers and their respective shops, and it's also an opportunity to get to know your booth neighbors. I was surrounded by SO much handmade talent, and I'm so glad I got to know these awesome people.
Suze of Dreamspirit
Jeana of The Fox and Stone
Scott and Sarah from Kopa Haiku
My sales rep Heather came with me, and I'm so glad she did- while I've been in the retail industry pretty much my entire working life (customer service, sales associate, Buyer, you name it), when it comes to selling my own stuff, I'm, well, not as good as it! I guess I'm just too close to the product itself. That's where Heather comes in- she knows how to talk to Buyers, is fantastic at following up with them, and she has longer arms than me.
I signed up for the smallest booth (translation: it was a table) for the Seattle Gift Show; it was my first time doing this show, so I had no idea what to expect. The only challenge with the small booth (table) was that I felt I was crowding the tiny space we had to work with Buyers when they came to check us out. So there were times where I left Heather to her devices and went exploring in Seattle.
If I do the Seattle Gift Show again, I'll probably sign up for a slightly larger booth. Overall, it was a great show, and I'm super excited for the opportunities I'll blog about in a few weeks, and the exciting things to come!