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.
Maria Pesin knows fashion, especially the business side of the fashion industry. Do you know how Manolo Blahnik got his start in the industry? How he leveraged a paltry 3 grand into one of the world’s most famous luxury brands? While she doesn’t take credit for Manolo’s success, Maria has walked a similar path on numerous occasions. The world of fashion is not silicon valley, and it has nothing to do with Madison Avenue marketing. In this industry there is ALWAYS room for something new and exciting, but you have to have your ducks in a row. If that’s what you need, believe me, Maria is the General Patton of fashion ducks!
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