Preparing for a Wholesale Trade Show

Exhibiting in a Wholesale Trade Show is a huge undertaking — and not something to be taken lightly!  The expenses alone can be overwhelming.  But, with some careful planning, Wholesale Trade Shows can be fun and profitable.

Picture courtesy of WikiMedia

Personally, I have exhibited in a few Wholesale Trade Show (Portland Gift Show and the Idaho Wholesale Gift Show – which is no longer operating!) and have shared many tips that I used successfully during those shows.

The Art Business Institute has published a Checklist for Wholesale Success.  Here are some of their tips:

So you’re ready to begin wholesaling your handmade products, and you’ve been accepted to a trade show where you can meet the buyers and start writing orders.

Let’s review some basics to help you have a successful first show:

Web Presence

Aside from meeting you in person, buyers will be visiting your website to get to know you better and see what you have to offer. This is your home base, so you need to create a website before your show that is credible and professional….


With an important trade show coming up, you need to get out the word and draw people in….

Do your Pre-Show Marketing

Do you have postcards and invitations ready to send to prospective new accounts? Use email newsletters and social media as well to let all your contacts know about your upcoming show….

Build a Booth that Works 

Even if you’re flying to the show and want to keep your booth lightweight, you can use exciting banners and large format photos that draw the eye….

Show Strategies 

  • Do you have a plan to maximize your booth experience and close sales on the show floor? …

Follow Up

Meeting buyers at the show is just the beginning. It’s a launching pad to landing new accounts and orders afterwards. That means you must plan follow-up calls, emails and mailings to interested prospects you meet at the show….

One of the best books I have read on the subject is written by Meryl Hooker and Rob Fortier called SHOWTIME.  Check it the review I wrote last year when the books was first published (and is still full of wonderful advice for today!):  Showtime:  Guide to Gift Show Success.

Watch for our announcement in the next weeks about our newest EGuide:   Trade Show Exhibiting Secrets

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