Our Reflections, Tips, and Experience from Our First Indie Trade Show! What To Do| What to Expect| What to Avoid||
We’re excited to announce that we survived our first Indie trade show. During the dates May 9-11, 2017 we shared Rivers Et Roses with the Indie community at the Indie Beauty Expo Dallas. The Indie Beauty Expo is a tri-state expo, exhibiting in the states of Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York. The IBE team specializes in discovering and connecting beauty brands in natural cosmetics, while also providing them with exposure to some of the most desired retailers such as: Nordstrom’s, Neiman Marcus, and Sally’s beauty just to name a few. So, after being a part of such a progressive and professional community, we were able to recognize what worked, what didn’t, and what could be improved for an excellent trade show experience.
Be Organized – Have deadlines on your products to be in, and leave a margin for delays. We had a few products and labels that did not make it in on time. Despite the promises of our production houses. So, a lessoned learned, leave more time then suggested.
- also, be organized with products prior to set up. You think you know how you want everything to look, but once you get there and feel the atmosphere you may want to tweak a few things. If your products are already pre- organized this will be a breeze.
*** You’ll be surprised how much time this will save you. Indie Beauty Expo was exceptional on their timeline for events, therefore there was no room to misuse anytime. Customers and Retailers were all on time as well. Do yourself a favor and be on time as well. You will not regret it.
Monetize – I think if you are already an established brand this may not be at this top of the list for you. Your main priority may just be to get in the good graces of retailers. However, for much smaller brands, I think conversion is top priority. Why? Because, you probably spent a lot of money to get there, a lot on your products, and whatever else costs to make your dream bloom. Therefore, if you can create conversion, create a conversion. This will allow you to continue to invest in your brands with much less stress. Don’t be afraid to get your product in people’s hands, homes, and mind’s. When people spend their hard earned cash on a purchase or a brand they are unfamiliar with, please trust they will be into it. With that being said:
- Make sure you actually have products on hand to sale. As we mentioned before, there will be brands with no actual products, only presentation. Why? because, everyone’s goals differ at a trade show. However, one underlining goal does not change. Exposure. Exposure. Exposure. How all the brands go about it are different. We highly recommend sales.
- Have your receipt book ready, and more than one way to take payment.
- we experienced technical difficulties with wifi and our square app. This caused us to almost lose conversions. Luckily, our customers were patient and kind. This permitted us the time we needed to adjust.
- Lastly, don’t be upset if you don’t make conversions, because the bottom line is exposure. We’re just emphasizing to be prepared, just in case.
Take advantage of promotional options – For us this was a great move, because this allowed other markets to reach out to us before the actual show. Promotional options can be costly, but in the end they pay for themselves. Be wise in choosing which promotional optional is best for your brand.
Connect – Be sure to connect with other brands, influencers, retailers, and potential customers. This is your community now. You are all on the same journey, working toward the same causes. You will most likely see them at future trade shows and pop-ups. This is great, because now you have a tribe and can look out for each other. Share information, name drop in interviews, or simply share/ re-share posts with each others tags on social platforms
- To ensure the success of this connection, be genuine in your efforts.
- Have your social media platforms on your business cards, flyers, runners, and anything else someone can comfortably walk away with.
Engage – Beforehand, really engage with the team behind your expo. Build a relationship and know what’s going on. The Indie Beauty staff really made this easy. They were very punctual and accommodating. We found the engagement increased our excitement and confidence for the show.
- Don’t be afraid to email or call to ask question. Trust me, the team wants you to succeed just as much as you want. The better you are, the better they are. It’s a team event.
Support – The first day it will be nerve racking for everyone. Ease the nerves by getting to know your fellow vendors, and show support. Most likely, they will return the favor creating a nice start for everyone.
Have Great Help- This one is tricky, because we all know good help is hard to find. However, it makes a significant difference at a trade show. Business Entrepreneur, Ming Lee, once said in her business vlog, ” There has to be someone to grow the business, and someone to maintain the business.” If conversion is your goal, then more than likely you will find your booth filled from corner to corner. While one deal is closing, another is opening, and then new people are approaching, and everyone is inquiring! To successfully navigate through the waves, your team will need to be:
- Knowledgeable about your product
- Passionate about your brand
I feel extremely blessed to have had a team who matched my excitement and passion for Rivers Et Roses each day. Though, we did experience overwhelming traffic flow at times, the keys above really helped.
Have Your Prices Listed – This helps everyone save time, energy, and awkwardness.
Smile– Never underestimate the power of a smile. This warm curve will draw people to your booth. This is your chance to share what your brand is all about, introduce yourself, and create beautiful relationship.
Avoid at all cost
Over Design– Be aware that you may have limited space to move.
- Add shelving, if possible
- Make your products stand eye level
- Be creative in your space
Compare Your Brand to Others – You all have a different story, different energy, and more than likely a different target audience. We know on the surface it may not seem this way because duh, you’re at the same trade show. Trust us, you do.
Be Late– IBE did a wonderful job starting on time, which means the audience they invited was on time. So it’s just professional courtesy to be on time. However, if you are late…
Don’t Freak Out – Just go with the flow. Things happen, traffic stops, things break, no matter what keep calm. Stay in control. Everyone is always watching, and first impression is everything. You’re not just representing yourself, but you are representing your brand. No one wants to build a relationship with someone who can’t manage minor issues, ie not problems.
Wearing Uncomfortable Clothing/Shoes– You’ll be surprised how much moving you’ll be doing. So when thinking of what to wear, Look to industries that are already established doing what you are aiming to do. This will allow your audience to make an association with your brand before actually meeting you. Also, we recommend the professional standard:
- No flip flops
- No jeans
- No hats
- No T-shirts
- No shorts
***If you want people to take you seriously, you first have to look like you are ready for the job.
A Great Outcome– You will definitely get what you put in, and maybe more.
Business Growth – There is no going back. Your name is now out to the masses
A Trusted Family – When you partner with an Expo that aligns with your mission, as we did with Indie Beauty Expo, you’re adopted into the family. So, no matter what may come your way, you can always look and trust that your family will be moving in the direction of the overall goal. For us, it’s clean beauty and saving our planet earth.
Team Indie Beauty will undoubtly provide you with immeasurable amount of knowledge to ensure your success!
We found ourselves very lucky to have been apart of a vibrant, purpose driven, and distinguished community for our first trade show. Thanks #IBE Dallas!
More Photos from the event Below: