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March 29, 2019
Maria Pesin

Should new fashion brands do trade shows?  There is a lot of conversation about whether trade shows are still relevant.  We know that traffic is down and many companies feel they do not do well at a show.  They are expensive both in time and money.  New lines get poor placement at shows and the shows are so big that it is hard for a buyer to walk the entire venue.  So as a new fashion brand is it worth it to do a show?
According to an article by Graeme Moran of Drapers on Line,  where they did a study on the relevance of trade shows,  “The overriding conclusion was that trade shows are still an important element of the industry and will, in one guise or another, continue to be so. Yes, they can be expensive and time consuming for exhibitors, but they can also be one of the best ways to introduce brands to the market.”
A new brand has to weigh the cost versus the benefit of doing shows.  The key thing to remember is that doing a show is not going to be the way you do business.  It is a tool in the tool box and you will need many tools.  Creating a synergy between all your marketing efforts is the way to do business.  So doing a show which will get you exposure will also have to be done in conjunction with having a showroom to see buyers and traveling the road to see buyers.
When you are new it is important to have as much exposure as possible.  One of the biggest mistakes I see new brands make is doing one show and then not doing it again.  Many buyers want to see you several times before they take a chance on your company.  They want to make sure you a not a fly-by-night company.  Success at a show is a building process and it may take several before you are happy with the results.  If you are going to only do one, don’t even bother.  It will be a waste of your money.
So the bottom line is, if you can afford to do shows they are worthwhile.  Just make sure you choose the right show for you.  You prepare properly to maximize results and commit to the long haul.

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Maria Pesin

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  1. Thank you for your post . While I agree that tradeshows are important for new brands , my experience in Small Business Development , Consulting and Sourcing is that most start ups and new brands are not adequately prepared for business at their first tradeshow and therefore do not reap the benefits their investment should bring. The areas where they fall short extend from prior marketing leading up to the show , adequate sourcing of fabrics, sewing factories etc to sucessfully complete and ship the orders they get , and lastly ; proper follow up on the leads they do get at the show to turn those leads into business .
    Strong preparation in all the above areas is needed for success before and after a tradeshow appearance . Good Luck !

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