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I have a big weekend ahead with a trade show on Saturday and a Craft Fair on Sunday.  I've done plenty of craft fairs, but I've never done a trade show!  This is a trade show for women business owners and entrepreneurs and I've got my set-up and my banner all ready!  Does anyone have any tips for doing trade shows, such as offering coupons or other incentives?  My goal is to drive people to my website to shop.  I have free samples to add to the bags for those who make purchases, and they can sample just about everything in my line while they are there.  I'm thinking of adding a 10% off coupon code to my business card (just writing it in) to encourage people to visit the site and consider doing some holiday shopping there.  Any other ideas?

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Thanks, Jeanne!
Thanks, Ginger!  I actually hadn't thought about wholesale and private label, so I don't have brochures available right now.  It does give me something to think about though - formulate a response if someone inquires!  I think this is going to be a relatively small trade show - not enormous with hundreds of vendors -so that gives me a little wiggle room!  I've been holding off on the wholesale end so far simply because of limited manufacturing capacity, but I will definitely keep this in mind for tomorrow and future shows!

Katie,  If nothing else, just print up post cards or 4 up cards with a brief wholesale marketing plug and invitation to contact you to give out.  Just use whatever graphics design software you have, print a master and then copy at the local staples or print off all you need in house onto card stock. Staple on a biz card and you're done.  You can later use this same design to get them professionally printed at VistaPrint or other printer.

 

Ginger

"Chuffed to bits!"

Now that is good, Susan, just really good.

I'm stealing ...

:)

Okay, Update:  I made it through a very busy and successful weekend!  The trade show was small and manageable, and I managed to get my coupon code up and running on facebook beforehand, thanks to Alicia!  Someone has already taken advantage of it!  I made quite a few sales and distributed tons of cards.  I put free perfume balms and a business card with a 20% off coupon code in each bag for purchasers.  I wanted people to purchase from me at the show and not just walk away with a coupon card, so the coupon code only went to those who made a purchase to be used for future purchases.  I wavered back and forth about the decision all day, but I think it was the right one.  A couple in the booth next to me were very kind: they are in their 70s and are running an online greeting card business.  The man had a lot of experience as a salesman and offered me some tips.  He agreed it wasn't a good idea to be handing out free stuff and coupons because it would keep people from making any real purchases with no guarantee that they'll ever use the coupon online.  I did make some connection with local businesses who were interested in my products: one was a woman who runs Ladie's weekends at a local resort and was interested in my products for that, and the other was a massage therapist.  I haven't quite looked into those things yet, but I will soon!

Sunday was an outdoor craft fair in my town.  I did equally as well there and also received some business cards from people interested in my products for their practices/businesses.  So I'm really going to have to buckle down and work out a business plan - thank goodness that is the theme of the month right now!  It was ridiculously hot here in Vermont this past weekend, and it confirmed for me that I really don't want to do outdoor markets much.  The heat is just too much for my products.  They hold up fine under the heat, but regular exposure will definitely shorten their shelf life.  The winter farmer's markets are going to be my best local option, in addition to some of these networking opportunities.

The worst part of the weekend is that I got a cold!!  I can't believe it!  I've gone a year and a half without a cold and I woke up Saturday morning with a sore throat!  Oh, well.  I made it through anyway!

Yes, Ginger, you may use the photos of my booth if you would like!  : )

Katie,

 

I can't find those photos you posted now. Can you send them to me in an email along with a brief describe.  I'd appreciate it.  This presentation is shaping up nicely. 

 

Ginger

neoscreations@live.com

What kind of products do you make? I have been in business making pain relief, healing and skin care products with Emu oil and natural ingredients for 8 years. I have had little response to coupon discounts - on my business card or otherwise. We would have them  handed out at the entry to attendees to drive them to our booth and out of 8-10k people, I might get 5. What we do that works the best - we have very small sample jars that we give away samples of our products. Usually we make them while the person is waiting so we can talk to them while we are doing it. It always impresses them that we make the samples of whatever THEY want rather than offering whatever we have. Plus the language engage on the "why" of what they want to use gets to the point of interest. Always offer them a brochure and business card so they can reach you. Also if you have any way of touching the - if it is a skin care product of some type, they will remember you more easily. Physical contact is very memorable.

 

Also, if they are not telling you much about why the stopped or their interest, be willing to share (briefly) your personal experience that has brought you into doing what you do. That is important to make your interaction with them memorable and help them relate to you

 

Julie Stauts

Emulate Natural Care, Inc.

Boise, ID

Hi, Julie.  I do skin care products and natural perfumery.  I set up my table so that all of my products could be sampled easily.  I agree that when they have a chance to sample the product it is very powerful.  I also gave free perfume balms out to all those who made purchases.  I did give individual take-home samples of products to some people who expressed more than a passing interest..  It seemed to work pretty well.  Thanks for your input!

Katie

Sounds like the show went well for you. Glad to hear it. Thank you for your reply! -- Julie

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