Saturday, December 31, 2011

First-Time Tradeshow Round-up

                                My wholesale catalog of printed piddix collage sheets.
For the past two years I've been hard at work on a line of printed collage sheets. A couple of stores have tracked me down and carry the line. The collage sheets do well, but for some reason I've been scared to branch out. All the "hard" work is done (design, paper sourcing, printing, etc.). But still, I sit on them. I have a lot of fear around cold calling companies, "selling," rejection, and so on.

So the question is, do I take jump in with both feet for wholesaling? I was seriously looking at the Craft & Hobby Show this February. But after talking with the lovely Katie of Tradeshow Bootcamp, decided to postpone it for another year. (I'd be 35 weeks pregnant, and Katie, having done similar shows very, very pregnant, kindly suggested to wait if possible.)

But while debating whether to sign on for the tradeshow, I found some tips online for other first-time trade show participants that might be helpful. In no particular order:

Katie Hunt of Tradeshow Bootcamp writes about a "First Timer's Perspective at the National Stationery Show." I especially like her day-to-day summary of events. I also sprang for a couple of her classes and found them very, very helpful.

One of the blogs I most enjoyed on attending tradeshows was by Fig2Designs. You'll have to hunt around a bit to find everything in the right order, but it's worth it. I literally started at the very beginning and read every post in chronological order. Love all the lists (that's how I work, too).

Here's a simple, straightforward article summarizing Eight Success Tips for Your First Trade Show Booth.

And finally here's a ton of articles on tradeshows from Designing An MBA. I can (and did) spend hours and hours reading articles just on this one site.

For a detailed process of exactly what to bring to a wholesale tradeshow, I may end up getting Megan's ebook (from Designing an MBA) Guide to Wholesale and Trade Shows. I also need to re-visit the tradeshow section in Craft, Inc. (if I can find it somewhere on my shelf).

Now that I've decided to postpone the tradeshow until February 2013, I'll actually have time to prep everything and do it right. Wish me luck!

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