The Manic Trout Pooltradeshow booth at Magic, February 2013 in Las Vegas
An unexpected side from doing Magic this past week was the inspiration for doing Deep Thoughts posts! I love writing them but when all I do is work in my studio all week, the content can get a little stale. I shared my Deep Thoughts on preparing for a trade show last week, so I feel its only fitting to give you my Deep Thoughts on actually being there this week. So here goes...
1. The boy scouts are onto something...Be Prepared. Plan your booth out on graph paper, have items pre tagged and be organized when you pack. It will make life easier on the set up day to not have to be stressed out about something you could have done leisurely at home...such as tagging all of your jewelry. Knowing how you want to set up and having all the pieces ready will make your life easy and awesome and lets you relax before the real work begins.
2. Wear flats.
3. You will (need to) consume crazy amounts of water and energy drinks while exhibiting. Partly due to flying, partly due to the dryness of Vegas in the winter and partly due to talking all day long, my throat (and skin) were super dry. I was thirsty for an entire week, no joke. I had the foresight to go to Whole Foods after set up and bought water, snacks and energy drinks and they were all life savers. Especially the energy drinks as I didn't want to drink coffee all day as 1. it was $6 for a tiny cup and 2. it gives you coffee breath.
4. Wear layers and make sure to have extras to add. The set up day it was crazy hot in there and I was glad I was in a t shirt. The last two days were so chilly that I added a sweater AND a huge scarf just to stay warm...it happened to be Manic Trout pink (totally planned...I am a branding machine) and my wearing fuchsia ended up encouraging people to look into the booth...bonus!
5. Ship your goods ON TIME. If your materials weigh under 150lbs, you can ship them to a Fed Ex location off site where they will hold them free of charge until you pick them up (rent a car, take a cab...whatever). It will make life easier...and save you money even with a cab. Well, unless you miss your ship deadline by one day and then you will have to pay $700 instead of $125 to ensure it arrives in time...oops.
6. Smile until your face hurts. No joke, at the end of each of the three day the show was going on, my back teeth and face actually HURT from smiling all day.
7. At a trade show as opposed to a show with shoppers, everyone is there to buy. Maybe not today, but it could be next week, next month or even next year. Your job is to make sure that anyone who is interested in your brand has all of the information needed to buy later if they do not today. In a perfect world they would orders right then and there. In an almost perfect world, they would hand over their cards and you would be able to follow up with them. In what sometimes is the case, they stop in their tracks to look at something you offer but are being dragged along by the person they are with and in a rush. At the very least get your line sheets in their hands so later on they can get a chance to see the item again!
8. Sleep is your friend. I am in my mid 30's so still on the younger side of things, BUT I know my limits...if I am tired or hungover I am useless, grumpy and not the best version of me. Therefore I made sure to be neither of those things.
9. People watching can be pretty amazing...some of the outfits are exactly that and provide amusement during the lulls. You are at a Fashion trade show after all, and that alone brings out the crazy in some people!
10. Its not about "today" at a trade show. It's about what being seen "today" can do for you in the future. (I thought I'd end on the deepest thought possible)