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ReCon Prep 101 – Top Ten Tips to make your Retail Trade Show the best EVER!

True, what happens in Vegas should stay in Vegas (hey we’re not snitches :P) but if you’re going for the ReCon 2019 show this year at the Las Vegas Convention Center, well then, you’re there to work, and that comes with a few more rules. Trade Shows are notoriously busy and bustling affairs, and it is incredibly easy to get mixed up in the fray and walk away after the entire thing exhausted, full of exotic concession food, with only a vague haze as to what was actually accomplished. But fear not; to make sure you make the most of this year’s sure to be amazing show – GST Retail is providing you a top 10 list of tips to make sure you maximize your trips ROI and bring home the good stuff to show your boss / staff / significant others (oh, they’ll have the most questions for sure).

Tip #1 - Make a plan

The key to a successful trade show is to get organized, focus, and work it like a pro.

· Review last years sales. This will give you the power to project the future and make smart, well-informed decisions while you’re on the floor.

· Think about the ups and dons from last year. What worked, what didn’t, and why. Keep an open mind at the show and explore different ideas that fill that failure gap.

· Talk to your staff and customers about what they’re looking for as well. Your ideas for what is needed may need to be adjusted based on real world information.

Tip #2 – Map it out

Go online and get the lay of the land. Every large trade show provides a map of the show well before the date itself. Decide how much of the show you need to see each day and go from there. The last thing anyone wants is to race around the floor in the last few hours as everyone’s shutting down.

Tip #3 – Set Appointments

Reach out to the top vendors you want to visit and set an appointment during the show. Plan what you want to discuss with each of them (better terms, problems and resolutions, things you’d like to change, etc.)

Tip #4 – Take your numbers

Vendors will have questions. You need to have the answers. Without them your not empowered to make any real decisions, and any deals that can be struck at the show will be based on a lack of knowledge. Also, it just looks good.

Tip #5 – Set a budget

Decide a total amount your going to spend. Most importantly, stick to it – no matter what. It’s painfully easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour, but at the end of the day, you’re there to improve your retail business. Everything else is simply unimportant.

Tip #6 – Hit the Sales

Any good vendor will have a trade show special or deal. Now that you have a budget, you can use that to negotiate those specials to fit your needs and save a TON of money. Sometimes vendors will extend that deal beyond the show to accommodate your situation as well. You’re there to negotiate. Get on it.

Tip #7 – Ask for Discounts

Why not? Do you like spending money you don’t have to? (if you do, just skip past this one :P). I don’t mean show specials. I mean across the board. Whatever your spending with your vendors, face to face is the best way to build a relationship to ask for those concessions. They want your business. Make them earn it.

Tip #8 – Every booth counts

Visit every booth. Period. There will be amazing ones, there will be sad “OMG why did they even show up” ones. But you never ever know who your going to run into. The person running the saddest booth in the show could come back next year as a VP of one of your top vendors. Build relationships. Meet people. Anyone and everyone. You simply never know.

Tip #9 – Attend the classes

Go to at least one business development class / workshop. Industry knowledge is one thing. Practical applications in today's marketplace is another.

Tip #10 – Have fun!

Trade shows may be an endurance test, but making sure your running it with a smile on your face is just as important. Be sure to take some me time. You are in Vegas after all.

So that’s our tips for a great ReCon 2019. Remember to stop by GST Retail and check out all of our new retail display solutions, we’d love to meet you and show you around! See you in Vegas!

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