Fashion Trade Shows: How do you prepare for your first exhibit?

Once you’ve created your clothing line and are ready to expose it to the world, you’ll want to attend and exhibit at one or more trade shows to promote it. With just a glance at the options in the United States or the United Kingdom and Asia, it’s clear that you have various options when it comes to fantastic fashion trade fairs. It’ll be up to you to figure out where your company fits best.

So, when does the fashion trade show happen?

Throughout the year, fashion trade shows are held. These exhibitions are more prevalent in the first few months of the year, as designers and retailers prepare the new trends they’ll be providing for the coming year. These activities, however, continue throughout the rest of the year, and it’s customary for traveling fashion trade exhibits to offer a variety of events as the seasons go.

As you prepare to show off your new trends at a trade exhibition, here are some of the most crucial procedures to take:

1. Make a list of the show’s objectives

What exactly do you hope to accomplish during the trade show? Define your goals & objectives and stick to them with the right strategy.

2. Do your homework

This is taking the effort to research where your target consumer buys a stock and actively narrowing down your possibilities. You’ll also need to perform some preliminary cost investigation, as this will certainly influence your decision.

3. Inquire About The Vendors And Speakers

You’d like to make two lists. First and foremost, who are the vendors you must see? You’ve done your research and believe they’ll be a suitable fit for your requirements. Make sure you’ve written them down and added them to your calendar. The names of the seminar speakers are also included on this list. What are their names? To whom would you wish to make contact? Make a mental note of their names, when they’re speaking, and what you’d like to say when you connect with them.

Then, if you have time, prepare a second list of companies and speakers you’d like to see. As a result, if you push through your “must” meetings, you’ll be prepared to make the best use of your time.

4. Schedule Appointments Ahead of Time

Don’t expect your ideal customer to come to you. To make the most of the trade show, you must advertise yourself in the weeks leading up to it, which involves contacting your desired shops in advance and seeking to set up appointments with them to ensure they see your products on the big day.

5. Customize Your Booth

It’s critical for your booth to speak to your customers right away and tell your brand’s story. Everything from the d├ęcor to the employees to the minor aspects like business cards must be planned ahead of time.

6. Have a Plan

Never try to “wing it.” Prepare a pitch for each of your product lines. Be sure to have all of the necessary information on manufacturing, textiles, minimum order numbers, and price. Once you’ve got a buyer’s attention, don’t lose it by engaging in a haphazard, disorganized conversation.

7. Examine Your Supply Chain

For everything, double-check and double-check your timing. If you’re having extra stock created, make sure you know when it arrives. If you’re bringing in new things for the booth, don’t wait until the last minute to do so, and make sure your travel plans are solid, so you don’t waste time setting up.

8. Plan Your Social Media Strategy

As a result, you most likely already have a social media marketing strategy in place for your company. Attending a trade fair, on the other hand, allows you to have some fun while also diversifying your material for your target audience. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Remember that what you do and how you do it is of interest to your followers, community, and customers.

Create a satellite approach to capture and share what you’re up to, aside from what you regularly post. Show them what it’s like to put together a collection by giving them a glimpse inside the fashion design process. Make your followers feel like they’re a part of the process by asking them what they think of the textiles you’re looking at or by writing a diary-style blog post. Have a good time.

9. Keep in touch

During your time at a trade show (as an exhibitor or a visitor), you’ll almost certainly meet a slew of new industry contacts, and you’ll want to make the most of every opportunity. Write yourself notes on the people you meet as often as you can throughout the event, whether it’s adding a few information to a business card to keep your memory clear after the event or keeping a notebook on hand. Even if you aren’t explicitly conducting business, follow up on your introductions after the event. This expands your professional contacts in the sector and maintains your brand or business at the front of people’s minds. When faced with a plethora of possibilities when choosing your first trade show, the first step is to start cutting down your selections by determining which events aren’t quite ideal for your business. You must determine where your target consumer will be and devote your entire attention to these specific exhibitions, even if this means traveling internationally.

10. Make A Plan For After The Show

You might end up with a stack of business cards, pages of handwritten notes, and swatches of textiles you genuinely want to buy when it’s all said and done. The greatest thing you can do is make sure you have a post-show plan in place before the show so that follow-up is quick and easy.

Follow up with vendors, connect with industry contacts you met at the show on LinkedIn and Instagram, go through your seminar notes, and make a list of actionable activities to apply the tips/ideas you learned into your business.

That’s all there is to it.

How long does it take to prepare?

Preparation can take as much time as you want or as little time as you desire. However, after a while on the fashion trade show circuit, you’ll notice that planning for these events becomes a year-round endeavor; you’ll always be looking forward to the next event, and you’ll constantly be coordinating with your new contacts and favorite brands to figure out the next step in your collaboration. In general, preparation for a fashion trade exhibition should take at least a month. It’ll be time to start reaching out to your contacts, booking plane tickets, and booking hotel rooms once you know you’ll be attending a specific show. You may want to make logistical plans long in advance, depending on the popularity of the event you’ll be attending; for example, guests of Fashion Week in New York City frequently make hotel reservations for the following year while they’re still in town.