One of the best ways to discover hot products, learn about new trends, or meet diverse groups of vendors is to attend a market or trade show. The events create a sense of excitement and make participants feel they will greatly benefit by taking three or four days to engage in activities prepared, especially for the occasion. Typically, home improvement markets are high-energy affairs held in cavernous convention centers crammed with booths. They are staffed by enthusiastic folks who would like to get a few minutes of your time. Ultimately, it’s all about buying and selling.
However, before heading to the show, there are a few things you can do to prepare and ensure things go smoothly. Working the market floor with a detailed plan lets you manage your time wisely. You’ll accomplish the tasks required to get the best deals on the products your customers will need next season.
Create a “Must Do” List
When you register for a market, you’ll receive tons of information from wholesalers and vendors about exclusive 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. Remember to download Apps that will help you navigate the floor and receive updates.
Schedule Meetings in Advance
Long lines can be the norm at Market. However, 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 will eat a late lunch, or have to deal with long lines. Come prepared with snacks and water to tide you over–it also saves money.
Get Educated on Products
The Market is a great time to get educated about the features and benefits of new products. Ask the salesperson to show you how the product works. Find out if it is currently popular with consumers, or if it is a new product launch. Visit the vendors on your list on the first or second day. However, don’t wait until the last minute since some vendors pack up and leave before the final day of the Market.
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. Bring two pairs and alternate days. 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. However, don’t overpack, you may need space for a few things you pick up on the trip.
Be Social 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 new vendors. 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 Badge
Things can get a little hectic when you’re wheeling and dealing. However, 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 checking out 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.
Work the Floor
Be prepared to come home with new products for your customers and plenty of ideas to share with your staff. At times, Market is a crazy, busy place. Yet, it is well worth the trip if you know how to work it to your advantage.