We started to think about trade shows for this year, and decided to take part in our first overseas trade show, ShowUP in Amsterdam. A fellow designer from the Netherlands recommended it to us so we decided to give it a go. We were interested in showing our work to a new crowd, particularly out of London, so this was a good opportunity.
Although it was an event abroad, we found that it was probably one of the smoothest we've had to prepare for. I think it helped as we had taken part in many events before, trade shows and pop-up shops so it was good training. Our only limitation was the weight and size of what we were going to take, as we had luggage restrictions. An edit of our collection was packed into one suitcase, which was a good challenge!
When we arrived in Amsterdam, we headed straight to the show venue. Fellow designers and brands were already setting up. As we had a very tight edit of products, we were pretty quick to set up which meant we could have a good look around the show while everyone was prepping.
It's always inspiring to see how other brands curate their stands and display ideas. The show was so well organised. It was also great meeting other brands and chatting with them. We gained more stockists which was great and also good fun too.
Things to think about:
When looking into accommodation, it’s a good idea to stay somewhere close to the event venue so that its not far to travel to rest up and so that it's quick to get there each morning.
Ideally travel as light as possible. We think its a good idea to take 2-3 spares of each item, in case one gets damaged in transit, or if a buyer may like to take a sample. Additionally think about the small items you can take to dress your stand, for example, signage, descriptions etc.
3) Price List:
As we were in Amsterdam, we decided to convert our trade price list to Euros to make it easier for the buyers. We also put a note that prices were an approximation as the exchange rate would naturally change a little when they place an order.
4) Promo Materials:
Make sure you have plenty of cards, flyers and brochures for buyers to take away with them. As the show is so busy, its good for visitors to take something visual away with them, to remind them of your work.
As we were in Amsterdam, we couldn't assume that people knew that were from the UK. So we had a little signage to explain who we are and that we're from London. We found that the buyers were interested in this.
As we had to pack light, we couldn't take any of our usual display items with us, like our large wall display board. Luckily the ShowUp stands were so well made, we didn't really need to do much to it. A month before the show, ShowUp organisers contacted us and asked if we wanted to hire a clothes rail - we used this to hang our prints on but we had to remember to bring our own hangers. Its worth contacting show organisers to see what equipment you can hire whilst your there, which may help with your display.
7) And Relax…
After the show, we stayed on for a couple of days. A nice treat!