tradeshows

Get the inside scoop on the latest in men’s streetwear trends, plus the defining elements for menswear in 2015! We’ve got a stunning visual recap of trend-heavy trade shows and a sneak peek of photos brought to you by Zhi Wei Check it out: http://lb.nu/1tMoriC

**Family seen at the Liberty Fairs show in NY.

Thoughts on Apparel Trade Shows

Pitti Uomo, the menswear trade show Pete recently wrote about, just ended last week. It happens to be one of the most publicly watched trade shows among menswear enthusiasts, but it’s hardly the only industry event. A number of “fashion shows” just ended in London and Milan, for example, and Bread and Butter is going on right now. After that, there’s Capsule, and then a few others. 

I actually went to apparel trade shows in the mid-1990s, when I worked in print media. At the time, we had streetwear brands as advertising clients, so we’d go to do business. We also needed to make contacts in order to organize fashion photoshoots. I’ve never been to Pitti, but I’ve gone to a number of Magic shows (one of the biggest apparel trade shows in the US) and ASR before they shut down. 

One of the things not captured by media coverage of these events is their size. Some of them are huge. At Magic, for example, you can almost walk continuously every day for the duration of the show (usually three days) and still not see every booth. Tons of brands are there, each with their own collections, and buyers from stores making their purchases. It’s kind of incredible to think of how much stuff is being produced, sold, and bought at these things. I mean, at the last Pitti Uomo alone, there were 30,000 attendees, 21,000 of which were buyers (21,000 buyers!). And after each round of shows, there’s another round in six months for the next season’s collections.

Anyway, it’s been about fifteen years since I’ve been to one of these events, but every time Pitti coverage comes up on my RSS feed, I’m reminded of an interview Move did with my old friend Jeff Ng, who’s a pioneer in the streetwear scene with his company Staple. On the issue of trade shows, he had this to say:

Fashion to me is a riddle. It’s this riddle I am always fighting with because, you know, you walk around a trade show like Bread & Butter and you see all these brands, and you’re just thinking to yourself, “how many jackets do people need? How many pants? How many jeans?” I feel kind of disgusted that I’m just adding more stuff into this world.

But I do realize that everyone sitting here is wearing clothes. Clothes are necessary, but what is the solution? Yes we do need multiple options, but do we need this many? […]

Fashion as you know works on calendars and seasons. You have to do a spring/ summer; you have to do a fall/ winter; you have to do a holiday. And as a designer and creative person, it’s like why? Let’s say I created a dope ass jacket in the spring. Why do I now have to make another one in the fall? Just because you have to make another collection? Maybe that one’s a great jacket and I don’t wanna make another jacket. But in fashion, no. “That was good, OK, but now do five more in thirteen different colors.” Like, really? Do we have to?

I’m certainly no saint, and I admit I like seeing new collections come out every season. I also enjoy purchasing new things, and the feeling of wearing them for the first time. But, every time Pitti coverage comes up on my RSS feed, I think about Jeff’s point. How does the cycle of seasonal collections and trade shows relate to clothing production, and how does that production relate to our consumeristic desires?

I don’t have answers to those questions (causality can run in either direction, or even both, I’m sure), but they’re food for thought.

(Image from Christian Boltanski’s installation No Man’s Land)

anonymous asked:

Is there any particular reason why it seems a whole bunch of companies have stopped showing at at E3 over the years? Is this temporary or is E3 in a state of decline?

So… the thing about E3 is that it can get really, really expensive to exhibit there. We’re talking multiple millions of dollars spent for 3 days at the show, and that doesn’t include the press conferences, interviews, demos, hardware, etc. that will be necessary to promote the game. E3 costs a lot of money to run, because an event with 50,000+ attendees at the LA Convention Center requires a lot of work and planning to run smoothly. 

Just imagine for a moment that, to exhibit at E3 for this year, you’ll have to spend $5 million USD for the materials, the booth, construction, convention fees, shipping, and so on and so forth. If you’re the head of marketing, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re getting a decent return for that expenditure, right? You wouldn’t just throw away $5 million for nothing, after all. So what sort of reception can you expect?

Everybody showing their stuff at E3 is competing for press attention and viewer eyeballs. The convention goers are going to file through your booth and probably won’t really come away with many memories unless you spend to impress. But then consider, how many people will actually buy the product when it launches if they saw it at E3? How much will your money really buy?

Then consider - if you could spend that same $5 million for a really bang-up press conference that showcased your game lineup for the rest of the year that every member of the gaming media would be covering, wouldn’t you do that instead? Sure, it might not get the attention on every single game, but the gaming media would cover it as part of the press conference rather than as an afterthought… and it might even generate buzz for less likely games, like the reception for Unraveled.

Really, it’s a question of whether spending the money to host a booth at E3 is the best way to convert marketing dollars to actual sales. I’m sure that the public and the press will eventually get tired of the big press conference events and such and the marketing departments will have to look into a new way to economically convert marketing dollars into sales. It might even be possible that exhibiting at E3 might become more efficient somehow as well. But that’s the ultimate crux of it -  on recent years the return for the investment just hasn’t been there, especially compared to other options. This is why the bigger publishers have been pulling out of E3.

Tradeshow Do's and Don'ts

DO

Stand out!  Ensure you have signage that represents your company.  Use another color drapery or skirting on your table to stand out from the other exhibitors.

DON’T

Ever sit down.  I know it is hard to be on your feet all day, but sitting down will make you look like you are not interested in talking or even interested in your own product.

Order a bar stool for your booth so that you may lean on it a bit but still be at eye level with your customers.  It might even be worthwhile to get a couple of the stools that way when engaging in a conversation with a potential client you can offer them a seat and keep them at your booth longer.

DO

Have a draw in your booth that will enable you to collect business cards and compile email addresses, phone numbers, etc. to add to your database. 


DON’T

Block off your booth by putting a large table in front, this does not welcome anyone to come into your booth.  Put your table at the back or the side to allow people to come into your booth.

DO

Smile.  It really does go a long way, it makes you more approachable.  Even better, say “Hello” to everyone that walks by.

DO

Your research, check to see what the attendance was during the previous year, if it is a new show, find out what they are doing to advertise and draw people to the show.  Find out what you can to see if the show’s demographics match yours.

DO

Something to get your potential new customers to your booth, short games or contests are great, something interactive but not time consuming works every time. – once you get a few people to your booth, others will come… just out of curiosity.  Another great draw is popcorn, you will be amazed at how many people will be drawn to your booth because of that smell!

DON’T

Forget your information– business cards, pamphlets etc.  Sometimes they may not seem interested at the show but after they have time to read your information they may contact you.


DO

Have a “Show Special” that will entice those who are already interested to purchase.

DO

Have Fun!!! – it will show

About the Author:


anonymous asked:

Should I take "small versions" of my resume to games conferences as a developer? I've been told festivals and conference are good places to meet influential people and make strong networking opportunities happen. Should I prepare a sort of short CV or a simple business card is good enough? Have you ever "recruited" someone at a festival? (Or point them to people that might?)

So the answer to this is both “yes” and “no”. Festivals, conferences, tradeshows, conventions, etc. are fantastic places to meet and network with people. I’ve met a lot of people from all walks of the industry at conferences like E3, GDC, various game conventions, and the like. It’s a good opportunity to talk with and get to know people. That said, you should limit it to a business card at most if the people aren’t explicitly recruiting - the last thing you want is to leave the person you were talking with a negative impression by saddling them with something big and unwieldy at a tradeshow, like a piece of paper or a burned disc. I personally have had people hand me things, but I’ve never recruited anybody at an event that wasn’t explicitly through the recruiting section.

Let’s try thinking about it from the other person’s perspective for a moment. 

Keep reading

Is this the end of the tradeshow?

Chris Ziegler, The Verge:

In a post on Microsoft’s official blog, the company’s communications VP Frank Shaw says that its “product news milestones generally don’t align with the show’s January timing.” It’s a line that Apple has long taken, having pulled out of Macworld several years ago to focus on its own events; indeed, Microsoft now hosts a number of significant conferences of its own every year including MIX and BUILD, both venues that it has used recently to make major announcements.

While I won’t speculate on the true circumstances surrounding Microsoft pulling out of CES, it’s hard to ignore the trend going on here. The era of the large tradeshow is slowly coming to a close. The pressure put on companies like Apple (who famously pulled out of Macworld back in 2009) and Microsoft to have a big presentation and innovative new products ready to showcase in time with a third-party event is too great. Now that the world is watching these companies individually, they can hold events whenever they chose and receive much more attention than they would mixed in with the rest of the exhibitors at a large tradeshow.

I enjoy yearly events like E3 - which is one of my favourite weeks of the year - and I see these types of shows sticking around for a little while at least. But it is not difficult to imagine a future without them.

Be Bold

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

That is a Wayne Gretzky quote. For those that do not follow sports, he is one of the greatest hockey players of all time. It also happened to be the words that were on my mind as I started hitting up tradeshow booths during the last day of the AAOS show to pitch them on using Enhatch. What was I thinking going up to these folks to pitch them and distracting them from the surgeons attending the show?

Well, it turns out things went way better than expected. But I had to get out of my own psychology and hesitancy in being so direct. I had to battle through possible rejection and humiliation and ire. The thing is, those are scenarios that exist in your head and have nothing to do with reality because they never happened yet. They are misguided fears that the mind conjures up to stop you from taking that first risky step.

Now mind you, I am probably a bit more forward that most and I have been selling stuff for quite a few years. This seemed different though because I know next to nothing about the medical device industry, I have no network to rely upon, and the atmosphere is decidedly more professional than other industry tradeshows. I really felt out of my element with little to help me stand my ground. I was going in cold.

I was at a distinct disadvantage. It would be awkward though to simply go up to a booth and ask for the “marketing person” or the “head of sales”. So I decided to take a different tack and target only the bigger booths (representing companies that most likely had the money to buy our type of solution given the marketing spend) and gather a few key names of folks at those companies through LinkedIn. I then had my list.

With a plan in place, I went in with confidence. I tackled booths one by one, making sure that they were not too busy so as not to distract them from their focus on surgeon customers. I walked up to a free person, asked if such and such person was around, and let things proceed from there. Sometimes said person was not there so I left a card and got their contact info. Sometimes the person was there, so I got an introduction and went into a quick two minute pitch with demo in hand. Sometimes I was guided to someone that was an even better contact. I never got a flat out rejection. Instead of missing 100% of the shots I never took, I got 100% of my shots off and they could very well lead to a few goals down the road.

Be bold. We all hate rejection, so the challenge is to overcome our own fears and simply plow ahead. When you go in cold, find a way to get an inside advantage and increase your odds of success. Having the names helped measurably because it instantly broke the ice and established credibility. But the point is that rejection is not something to fear. You can never find success if you hesitate and hold back. In fact, your greatest successes may come when you thought you never had a chance.

Bluetooth - it goes through walls

I do tradeshow setup (and tear-down), among other things, in my day job.

One of the challenges I often face is that we have a display on a wall driven by a computer of some sort - that is behind said wall.

Obviously, it can be a pain (and sometimes nearly impossible) to get behind the wall to gain access to the machine.  Network accessibility of the machine is hit-and-miss since they’re normally rented machines and we often change network topology (or simply don’t have the machine connected for one reason or another).

So normally, this means I have to run a USB extension cable through the wall and conveniently hide it behind the monitor.  That works, but it’s a bit of a security risk (any putz can come and plug something in to mess up my demo), and if I want to hook up both keyboard and mouse, I need to run two cables or have a bus-powered hub handy.

I like to use laptops to drive these screens since they’re easier to stash and have integrated displays.  Luckily, the last batch of laptops we rented had built-in Bluetooth, and I had my Bluetooth keyboard I (rarely) use with my phone!

Instant remote control!  Next show I’ll bring my IOGEAR GKM611B multi-link Bluetooth keyboard, so I can control up to 6 machines.

Mind you I wouldn’t trust this more than a few feet, especially in a radio-heavy tradeshow environment, but it sure was convenient for the occasional presentation-swap!