Gift Focus inc Attire Accessories - March/April 2023

114 Louise Prance looks at how to make the most of shows in order to bolster your in-store offering and appeal to your desired consumer As the cost of living crisis continues, attending trade shows may seem like precious time away from your store or boutique. However, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Even during times of austerity, consumers want quality product for their precious purchases, and visiting events such as Spring Fair, Top Drawer and Home & Gift are ways in which to stay ahead of the curve and offer product too good to miss. Here, we highlight the five benefits of trade shows. 1. Future trends Staying abreast of what product trends are set to come is invaluable to keep your boutique up-to-date and ahead of competition. And there’s no better place to immerse yourself in the future of retail than a trade how. Companies exhibit with the sole purpose of securing orders of their up and coming products, so the showcase is something you can’t find elsewhere. 2. Networking Establishing a good rapport with companies is essential for a productive and cost-effective relationship with longevity. There really is no replacement for meeting up face-to-face over a stand, or better yet coffee or wine!, where you can get to know the face behind the phone and get to know each other, and your wants and needs, in person. 3. Offers Trade shows are well known for their exclusive offers. Have your eye on a new company you’d like to stock? Heading to an event will often pay dividends for your order, with many offering new order deals or exclusive show discounts. 4. Variety While you will almost certainly have a well-honed in-store offering, there’s nothing like a trade show to open your eyes to new possibilities. Whether that’s new brands or new product areas, the myriad of companies and products showcasing their wares could be the inspiration you need to explore new avenues that spell commercial success for your business. 5. Trade talks Interested in expanding your social network? Want to know the best way of cultivating a community? Looking to evolve your eco-offering? Trade shows offer a wide selection of insightful and informative talks from a diverse range of speakers – check out the schedule ahead of attendance and leave armed with a bucket-load of new knowledge. EVENT OPPORTUNITIES