Follow our four part blog series “Growing Your Fashion Business” to get on the path to success with your fashion brand.

Magic, Coterie, EDIT – oh my! It’s that time of year and everyone’s asking “Should I – or should I not – do a trade show?” Assuming you’re in the market, here are five things to consider before you take the plunge:

1. Build it in your budget.

You may be looking at this year’s budget for trade shows but you should times that by three. You should commit to showcasing at at least three shows. Buyers often don’t place an order with a brand in their first year and will wait at least two seasons before taking a chance on a brand new brand. If you sign up for a show, be sure you have allocated your budget wisely and make sure you are in it for the long haul to make the most of the commitment and the relationships.

2. Specialize. Specialize. Specialize.

Don’t go big or you’ll go home…empty-handed. Consider starting off with a niche show such as EDIT or Capsule. There is a lot of noise at shows, and the bigger the shows, often the bigger the price tag. Get more for your buck by specializing around your best sellers.

3. Try before you by.

Have some time?  Attend the show a season before.. See what the floorplan looks like and where foot traffic tends to go. Talk to people and ask other brands how it’s going and what they’d recommend. This will help you make the best decision on placement, attendance, and size of booth.

4. Figure out your price point.

Finalizing your price point is absolutely necessary to do before you commit to a show. You want to make sure you are competitive and you know your numbers and why they are where they are. Make sure the audience for the show fits with your price point and get ready to take notes on questions around pricing to help see if there is usable feedback from buyers (especially in your first – of three! – shows).

5. Bandwidth ready?

Do you have enough bandwidth before and after show to do the necessary follow up and outreach? You want to make sure you will have time to set up appointments and make it worth your while. This is where a great support staff and interns come in (link to blog). You may be able to get just as much done with a strong team outside of the show then from within it.

These are our tips to consider when trying to determine if you are ready for a tradeshow! If you do decide to move forward with a show, your Nineteenth Amendment team can help you create line sheets and showroom ready samples to put your best foot forward. Email us if you have any questions about these services or any other tips for the trade(show)!

That concludes our “Growing Your Fashion Business” miniseries. Loved it? There’s more for designers to discover in our Tools & Tips  blogs. 

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