One of the ways we attract VASH stockists is by ‘showing our wares’ at trade shows. Simply put, trade shows are markets for businesses to meet, greet and sell to other businesses. Exhibitors also use shows as an opportunity to test new products and connect with their community.
This month I was fortunate enough to attend two of our key shows, Life Instyle Sydney and Coterie New York. At both shows, we showcased our new look range ‘Voyage of Life’. It was important for me to attend so I could hear first hand what the market was communicating – about our industry, retail as a whole and most importantly feedback on the new direction of VASH.
WHAT WE LOVE
THE FASHION FORWARD
The fashion when you walk around the show is hypnotising. Both buyers and exhibitors are uber trendy, while the cultural and stylistic diversity adds to the feeling of being in a melting pot of cool.
The attendees are all business owners or buyers, meaning all conversations offer valuable insights from differing perspectives. There is no point creating a beautiful bag no one will buy, so understanding the stockists’ challenges and having the time to problem solve together face-to-face is invaluable.
In this group of highly creative people you ‘get as good as you give’. By being friendly, helpful and supportive throughout the event you come away with a group of trusted advisors. Other brands will promote you to their stockist, offer leads and share their experiences on challenges you are facing.
You come away feeling connected and supported. When you are building a brand with a small, lean team it can feel very isolating. Trade shows offer an opportunity to connect and celebrate – an opportunity one would miss if stuck in an ultra-competitive mindset.
I am madly in love with my husband, children and business…my fourth love is travel. Being away from home without the structure of running a household sees me enjoy theatre, art galleries and exotic food. In my downtime, I wander the streets admiring the architecture, street art and sculpture.
MORE ABOUT TRADE SHOWS
If you are an up and coming Australian lifestyle brand, the Life Instyle show series could be a good one to consider. The Reed group describe it as “a one-of-a-kind event that brings together retailers and wholesalers bi-annually… over four days. The event brings together over 7000 Australian retailers to meet 400 wholesalers with unique and innovative products.”
If you are an emerging women’s fashion brand looking to grow your American market, Coterie is one to consider. The UBM group describe the show as “the premier global event that connects women’s apparel, accessories, footwear designers with the international ‘who’s who’ of retailers. Coterie builds exclusive shopping experiences from the ground up so that the brands and buyers can create synergies that fuel their businesses.”