ANATOMY OF A DAY AT A TRADE SHOW!
When attending these shows I am neither buyer or exhibitor. Each show categorizes me differently: “attendee” “guest” “special guest” and so on. No matter; I am free to wander!
Off to the market on Saturday, January 9, 2009. For those of you not really familiar with trade show markets, I offer you this synopsis:
It is something for which you definitely get “up” for! Must look your best (first things first, right?): just the right outfit (preferably something new…), hair maybe cut and colored, nails, well, if you follow my blog you will know that I DO wear nail polish, and anything else that makes you FEEL good.
I went to sign in, i.e. register, at 7:30 yesterday morning. Oh dear: I left my wallet, with photo ID, up in the room, but they handed me my badge anyway. Rushed back to the room to get the wallet. Back down through the hotel, through the wind tunnel, aka walkway, to Building 2. Round and round on the escalators, ever ascending, to the 18th floor, for my first appointment in a client’s showroom. Darn, I had forgotten to pick up the hefty show catalog back down at registration, so had no handy reference for looking up showroom numbers. Not to worry, I had printed out (oh so organized!) my list of appointments and showroom numbers and had even added to this list new and potential customers.
Meeting #1, then to meeting #2, then much walking up and down and back and forth, taking notes, taking some photos (a definite no-no, but they DID give me permission when I asked..), over to Building 2 West, back to Building 2, and finally a break to get some tea. And then…. I realized I had somehow lost a folder with papers I was holding for a meeting in the afternoon, and the list of showrooms , and no ID in the folder. Maybe just as well there was no way of tracking me??? Still, I had that sinking feeling for a few hoursl No way to retrace my steps: there were just too many of them.
Mid-morning (yes, it’s still only mid-morning!) I met up with one of the artists I represent, Rebecca, to go to a meeting with a client for whom she is doing A LOT of work. What a meeting! We saw many, many photos of her products, still in the sampling stage, from the factories in China. We discussed changes, color revisions, shapes, additions, new backgrounds, the manufacturing process and more. Then we moved on to some brand new projects. I took copious notes; he talked; Rebecca listened and offered many suggestions and ideas. We went back to the showroom to see the existing line of products, were graciously offered a buffet lunch in the showroom, and finally said goodbye.
Off to another client meeting.
And so it went for the rest of the day, until a well-deserved glass of wine with friends, and then out for an early dinner.
In the next few days I will report on the actual trends I saw and all the great products.