Trade shows are great, but are they worth the cost? If you have been reading all my blog posts, you may be detecting a theme! I attended the ABC Expo in October (All Baby and Child Expo). I paid for the new entrepreneur space, which was like a large walk-in closet, and significantly cheaper than a full booth. I didn’t get many interested buyers, just two boutiques. There were many solicitations for PR and advertising services, and I just wasn’t ready for PR. I fell short of my goal for meeting small retailers, However, there were lots of benefits:
· Made contacts with two boutique owners\potential retailers
· Learned about MomGenius (that’s a topic for another blog post)
· Made a contact for product liability insurance
· Made a contact for a manufacturer that works with silicone in China, Kenvox.
· Made some great new friends who are also new entrepreneurs (this alone made the whole trip worthwhile) New friends are Bo from Sippy Sauce and Jayna with Beben. Good luck to you guys!
· Had lots of fun in Las Vegas
Here is a picture of me with some corvettes in Nevada.
My husband and I rented for just one day and drove to Hoover Dam. Now I want a corvette. I can put that on my dream board, and think about it when I need to put in those extra hours.
Overall, yes, the show was worth it. However, I don’t think I’ll go to ABC Expo next year, due to the lack of retailer interest, and the buzz that attendance is declining. I am going to the JPMA Show (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) in Orlando in April. I signed up in December when I thought surely, I would have product ready to sell by April, 2019. JPMA has two days that are open to the public for product sales, and Orlando in late April seems the perfect kick-off. Now I’m not so sure I’ll have product by then. I’m three months behind where I thought I would be so I’ll have to report back on whether the JPMA show turns out to be worth it. I’m also planning to attend a conference in the fall for swim schools, 100% of those attendees are likely to be interested in TrustyTrunks.
Gem of Wisdom: Be clear about what you expect to gain from attending a trade show, and then decide if those anticipated outcomes are worth the cost. If you go, write down your trade show goals, but be looking for unanticipated benefits too.