Shows

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Last year I did a ton of Vendor based Shows. Some I loved and made tons of money (Iowa Comic Con was a big hit) and some I hated because I stood around and didn’t make one sale at all (Small Waukee, Iowa Show). All of the shows had their own uniqueness to them of course, but I started realizing a set of things about each show.

  • There is a difference between Craft Fairs, Craft Shows, Vendor Shows, Tradeshows and Expos
  • Craft fairs/ Craft Show

    A craft fair is an organized event to display crafts. There are craft shops where such goods are sold and craft communities, such as Craftster, where expertise is shared.

  • Tradesman/ Tradeshow

    Main article: Tradesman

    A tradesman is a skilled manual worker in a particular trade or craft. Economically and socially, a tradesman’s status is considered between a laborer and a professional, with a high degree of both practical and theoretical knowledge of their trade. In cultures where professional careers are highly prized there can be a shortage of skilled manual workers, leading to lucrative niche markets in the trades.

  • A vendor, or a supplier, in a supply chain is an enterprise that contributes goods or services in a supply chain. Generally, a supply chain vendor manufactures inventory/stock items and sells them to the next link in the chain.

    Vendor

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    For the unincorporated community in Arkansas, see Vendor, Arkansas.

    A vendor, or a supplier, in a supply chain is an enterprise that contributes goods or services in a supply chain. Generally, a supply chain vendor manufactures inventory/stock items and sells them to the next link in the chain.

    Vendor However, today it means a supplier of any good or service. A vendor, or a supplier, is a supply chain management term that means anyone who provides goods or services to a company or individuals. A vendor often manufactures inventoriable items, and sells those items to a customer.

    Purchase orders are usually used as a contractual agreement with vendors to buy goods or services.

    Vendors may or may not function as distributors of goods. They may or may not function as manufacturers of goods. If vendors are also manufacturers, they may either build to stock or build to order.

    ‘Vendor’ is often a generic term, used for suppliers of industries from retail sales to manufacturers to city organizations. ‘Vendor’ generally applies only to the immediate vendor, or the organization that is paid for the goods, rather than to the original manufacturer or the organization performing the service if it is different from the immediate supplier.[1]

    Trade fair

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    IBM stand during CeBIT 2010 at the Hanover fairground, the largest exhibition ground in the world, in Hanover, Germany.

    A trade fair (trade show, trade exhibition or expo) is an exhibition organized so that companies in a specific industry can showcase and demonstrate their latest products, service, study activities of rivals and examine recent market trends and opportunities. In contrast to consumer fairs, only some trade fairs are open to the public, while others can only be attended by company representatives (members of the trade, e.g. professionals) and members of the press, therefore trade shows are classified as either “Public” or “Trade Only”. A few fairs are hybrids of the two; one example is the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is trade-only for its first three days and open to the general public on its final two days. They are held on a continuing basis in virtually all markets and normally attract companies from around the globe. For example, in the U.S. there are currently over 10,000 [1] trade shows held every year, and several online directories have been established to help organizers, attendees, and marketers identify appropriate events.
    Now that I have given you a little history, onto the lesson….

  • Not all shows are planned well
  • Not all shows are marketed well
  • Not all Vendor Planners know what they are doing
  • Not all areas are best to sell at
  • Some shows are just NOT worth the drive
  • Some shows provide a table some dont (Make sure you have your own set up just in case. Table, chair, tablecloth covers, business cards, a candy bowl, info about other shows you are going to, a newsletter sign up if you have one, at least $100 cash, your app for selling with a CC (Square, Pay Anywhere, Swipe, etc) and most of all your smile))
  • Some shows are NOT worth the cost
  • Some shows you barely make your table rent
  • Some shows you will never make back your table rent
  • Some shows are worth making NO money at the show, because you will make TONS of money in leads after the show
  • Each show price seems to have it’s own meaning behind it
    • A $25 show generally seems to be a craft or church show. Great for starting to do shows and get your name out there
    • A $50 show is a set up. Generally you will make money at these shows and the planners generally know what they are doing
    • A $100 starts becoming a risk. Some planners jump into these big shows and they have to have high rent to pay for their spaces. This does NOT necessarily mean they know what they are doing or that it will be a good show
    • Anything over $100 tend to be an Expo. Expos I just found out last weekend as I just did my first expo is a catch 22. For me, I barely made my table rent but I got a ton of leads from others and handed out tons of cards. Of course being I JUST did this show, I won’t be able to accurately say at this time if I will make money off that show or not.For others, they were either in the same boat as me or they sold like hotcakes, doing very well. I seem to notice the majority of those were food vendors.So it would seem to me that if you are a food vendor, you will do well at any show as long as you have samples.
  • Amount of spaces matter for certain types of business
    • A small show tends to be about 20-25 spaces. This is best for those who do crafts, handmade items and want to start doing shows.
    • A medium show tends to have about 25-50 spaces. This is better for those that have been doing shows for awhile and have established a following
    • A large show is about 50-100 spaces and best for small business and direct sales teams
    • An expo is best for companies, organizations and possibly a small business that wants to leap into the next step of shows.
  • Vendor Drama. Wow I could write a whole series on Vendor Drama and I jsut might. Locally it has been crazy here. We have had people being taken by vendor planners left and right. We have had people stalking other vendor planners. We have had people bad mouthing other vendor planners. We have even had people pretending to be other vendor planners and steal their clients and money!!
  • Facebook/ LinkedIn Groups for shows
  • There are a variety of groups for shows so it would be crazy to try and list them all, especially since each are is different. I will tell you however, what to search for…
  • Local
  • Vendor
  • Tradeshow
  • Tradefair
  • Craft Show
  • Stay at Home Groups who sell
  • Handmade
  • Direct Sales
  • Small Business
  • Business Groups
  • Then search for anything that is in the field you do… like I do Fashion, Handmade, Local and Aprons so I would look for those groups

Lastly, I want to tell you to do your homework. On everything. Don’t just jump into a group. Read the rules and get to know how others do things. Check up on all Vendors and Planners and make sure they are legit. Search things out and check things before giving money. Make sure the planners can tell you where the money is going, how they are advertising, how many attendees they plan to have, is this their first show or do they have experience, etc. That doesn’t mean don’t go, it just means you now know what to expect once you have that info.

Try out a few shows. See what works for you. See what set ups you need. I have changed my set up over and over and am always looking for better ways to do things. I enjoy going to shows but it does get exhausting. Long Expos like I just did that are FOUR LONG DAYS wore me out, so my lesson there is for me not to do too many of those. All shows I feel are worth trying once.

Oh also, don’t be afraid to ask if there are other options, especially with big expos. They want the $$ but if you ask enough times you will find they might have a special handmade section of the show or All Iowa that is a cheaper booth rent and worth you being connected to that show!!

Hope this has helped you to know more about shows as a Vendor and a Vendor Planner. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

If you are a guest only at these shows, perhaps this has helped you see what chaos goes into these shows and might help you to appreciate them more! 🙂

Until next time,

XoXo Trisha Trixie

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Relative Fashion Terminology

I have learned while being a business owner that there are relative terms that do not necessary mean the same thing to all.I do not mean your relatives.. Sometimes those are bad enough but what I am talking about here are those words that mean one thing to you and can have a WHOLE other meaning to someone else. Watch out! Here is a little more definition on what I am talking about…

A relative word is a word that does not have an exact definition, and can change depending on the context and is very subjective

This list will grow and grow as I go along so I know this post will row and change and I might start making a page of these as a joke, but here are a just a few issues I have had with :

  • ALL: When someone tells you they are going to give you ALL of something you need, make sure you know what their definition of all is and what is yours
  • Help: When someone says they will HELP you make sure you know in what form and what style and how much of their time. Be very clear on expectations for both of you or one of you (I mean you) will be very disappointed. (also goes with volunteer)
  • Carry your line: When someone says they want to carry your line, make sure you know completely what that means to them. One piece? The whole line? One portion of that line?
  • Read :When someone tells you they have read the rules, instructions or directions for something, make sure they truly have because “read” can mean skim, glance, read enough to take a test on it, etc, it does NOT necessarily mean they truly read it
  • Late: Late to you could mean 5 minutes. Late to them means the end of your event
  • Consignment: Consignment can mean 60/40 60 to you 4 to them or 60 to them 40 to you. It can mean 70/30 either way. It can mean you have a side of the boutique or a side of the wall. Make sure you really know the details and get it all in writing
  • Trust: There is no trust. Get that in your head now. The person who is your best friend will and could steal your idea, forget to pay you, not think they should pay you and so on. I am not trying to be cynical, but real.
  • Guarantee: I have heard models tell me the “guarantee” they will be there for a fashion show. Photographers “guarantee” their images, their time, etc. I am learning this means nothing. There is no Guarantee. I have now lumped this into the same as Trust. You can’t trust anyone and there are no guarantees in fashion
  • Wholesale: Lots of stores want wholesale pricing. This has a been a hard lesson for me to learn. I of course feel like I would love to get my items out there in the stores, but learning pricing can be difficult. Some stores mean they want 50% off your MSRP and some stores are willing to go with 25% discount. Make sure you know up front what you are willing to sell your items are wholesale too and keep with that. Store owners do talk to each other and if you give one percentage to one and then change it to another be ready for drama.
  • MSRP: Manufactured Suggested Retail Price. There has been a controversy on what that actually means. Make sure you are clear on this and then when you are marking things down, you are getting your value and profit back
  • Tradeshows: I call everything I do as a show a Tradeshows. To some people a Tradeshow is only a huge big event with high priced tables. Craft shows, trade fairs, hobby shows, and art shows all have many different labels. I am very concerned with changing up what I call these mostly, because the viewpoint of others for selling my items at Craft Shows versus TradeShows. Also on Shark Tank Mr. Wonderful often downgrades and demeans others by telling them they don’t have a  business, they have a hobby or a craft. Be prepared for a variety of shows and call them what you will, just be warned your version of that and others might be two different things.

So there are the words I have for you today. As I said, I am sure I will add to these as I go along. Enjoy these terms. Just be warned and make sure any of those words you are unsure about it get clear definitions and means for what both of you might mean.