The weather’s snowy and cold in most of the country, but Orlando is a balmy 82 degrees. That’s heart-warming news for the thousands of retailers who are headed to the Orgill Dealer Market in Orlando that takes place February 21-24. Over the years, I’ve attended dozens of wholesale conventions, and they’re always busy affairs packed with non-stop activities from morning to night. How you approach buying Markets depends on your point of view and the reasons you plan to attend. However, if you’re a retailer, vendor or wholesaler, it’s ultimately about buying and selling.
The Orgill Dealer Market is one of many conventions being held in 2019 to support independent retailers in the home improvement industry. Ace, True Value, and Do It Best are other leading wholesalers who also have markets this spring. Before heading to your destination, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Having a plan helps you complete the tasks required to purchase products for the upcoming season in the limited time available at the market.
Create a Market
When you register for a market, you’ll receive tons of information from various sources about special deals, new products, networking activities, and educational sessions. Take the time to read it. Consider dividing everything among those who will be attending and ask each person to create a list of five top priorities. Get together to review everyone’s suggestions and now build a master list. Be sure to include the contact person or vendors name, booth number, the reason for your visit, and time restrictions if applicable. Be sure to download Apps that will help you navigate the floor and receive updates.
Schedule Meetings in
Long lines can be the norm at Market. But there are ways to avoid them. Pre-register or schedule meetings before you arrive to secure a seat or time slot for activities that are high-priority. There are days when you eat a late lunch, or the lines are long. Come prepared with snacks and water to tide you over–it also saves money.
Dress for Comfort
Walking the market floor for two or three days is an excellent exercise, but it’s tough on the feet if you aren’t wearing comfortable shoes. Dress in casual clothing typically worn on outings with family or friends. If you plan to go out on the town, you might want to change into dressier attire.
Meet New People and Network
People from every state and countries around the world attend Market. Many retailers take this opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet retailers they haven’t met before. Sharing ideas and discussing common business challenges are often the beginning of long-term friendships. Remember to bring along business cards to share with other attendees.
Keep Track of Your
Things can get a little hectic when you’re wheeling and dealing. But, remember to keep track of your badge and cart. It’s not uncommon to mistakenly grab the wrong cart after talking to a vendor or demoing a new product.
Tour the Sights
Families often go on vacation during, or after the market. If fun is on your agenda, check into discount tickets and special offers at theme parks, restaurants, and tourist attractions. The information may be included with your attendance packet or App, or you can see what’s posted on Groupon or other online sites that promote discounted products, services and vacations.
Go to market prepared to come home with new products for your customers and plenty of ideas to share with your staff. At times, it’s a crazy, busy place. But, well worth the trip if you know how to work if to your advantage.