Join members of the ETC team at the following trade shows this week/weekend to learn how we can help your business grow and thrive!
Express Trade Capital is inviting wholesale businesses to apply for the first annual ETC Trade Show Grant & Community Outreach Award! This award reflects our personal commitment to helping our community and encourages our friends in the wholesale industry to join us in giving back.
Requirements to apply for the 2019 ETC Community Outreach Award are:
- Application must come from an owner or authorized representative of the nominated wholesale business.
- Nominated businesses must sell consumer goods to retailers in the US with a minimum annual sales volume of $100,000 USD.
- Applicants must demonstrate their business’s commitment to the community at large, whether through charitable giving, volunteer work, or other creative methods.
- All applications must be submitted by February 28th, 2019.
We will announce a winner on March 28th, 2019. The winner will receive $3,000 USD toward a booth at a trade show of their choice.
Click here to apply today!
Ari Markowitz, Express Trade Capital
As a product manufacturer you are always considering ways to grow your company and get your products in front of the people who are most interested in purchasing them. There are several ways of approaching the sales process, and through this post we explore several of the most important.
Likely the most formal and most traditional method of reaching potential buyers for your products is through trade shows. Events like Moda, Mobile World Congress, and the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Expo are excellent ways of getting your products in front of hundreds if not thousands of prospective clients.
Trade shows offer exposure to an audience that is more interested and relevant to buying your products than any audience or venue. There will be buyers from multiple organizations walking around looking for products just like yours, and they will be interested in speaking with you to either set up a meeting or learn more. It’s a strong way of breaking into an industry and reaching the right people at the right time.
The downsides to a tradeshow can be burdensome however, and especially taxing on smaller companies. One of the most common problems with tradeshows is the cost. To have a booth and present at a tradeshow, you need to come prepared. Typical costs include registration fees for the actual booth, materials needed to show off your products, transportation and accommodation required to attend the show, the cost of amenities within the venue including things like Wi-Fi, and lastly the setup and teardown costs mandated by the venue staff.
Where traditional methods of getting your products in front of retailers may be inefficient and difficult to scale, online platforms allow the introduction process to yield a greater benefit.
Services like RangeMe, Maker’s Row, and ThomasNet bring suppliers and retailers together in an entirely new way, creating an easier method of introducing value to both parties. With modernization and the age of the internet have come new efficiencies that coincide with the transactional process between buyers and sellers. The other important benefit that comes from using services like these is the capture of data and potential application of that information across various analytics channels. This kind of data is important because it allows for better decision making across every element of a business and informs relevant stakeholders on where to focus to drive the greatest amount of value.
Unfortunately, digital aggregators also present the threat of competition, leading to marginalization of product portfolios. As multiple aggregators materialize, similar products are spread across each of them, thus requiring buyers to spend more time searching for your product and often causes them to overlook your product entirely.
Often, the best approach to reaching retailers and potential customers is multi-pronged. It’s more effective to try a combination of both tangible and digital methods in pitching to potential customers and expanding into what works best for you and your products. Having a presence in both types of media is important to reduce the risk of being overlooked, however, it’s certainly tenable to throw more resources at one method over another once you learn what’s best for you.
Having a multi-channel presence is also important because it encourages your business to explore all open opportunities. There are constantly new channels, platforms, and events that might be relevant to your business and having an open mind in exploring them is essential. Your competitors will fight just as hard to get in front of retailers, so it’s important to never let your guard down or get too comfortable in the notion that what you’re doing is enough.
This piece is intended to provide an opinion on how a business can best use its resources to grow. At Express Trade Capital, we work with hundreds of small businesses and entrepreneurs every year, and we are happy to provide a closer look at your business and how we can assist in your growth. You can reach out to us here.
Join us at BOOTH 511 to meet with some of our staff and learn how our financial and logistical solutions can help your business grow and thrive.
We are thrilled to attend this event for the third year running and look forward to networking with old friends and new!
Sadie Keljikian, Express Trade Capital
Trade shows are a useful resource for designers and wholesalers, but they can be difficult to navigate successfully. They provide the opportunity to interact with retailers and pitch products face-to-face, which is extremely valuable. However, the attendees are almost exclusively buyers looking for products to meet specific commercial requirements. Selling to buyers who focus solely on how profitable a product will be can leave less-than-ample opportunity for vendors to express the thought, care, and love that they’ve put into their products.
While some trade shows will attract people with a passion for a given industry, few offer the kind of audience one will encounter at fan-based conventions. Events like these present a unique opportunity for vendors: the ability to interact directly with consumers whose interests align directly with their goods. The beauty of these interactions is that they have the potential to build a brand’s equity by taking the goods directly to the consumers from all over the world who will appreciate them most.
Below are a few tips to getting the most out of a convention as an exhibitor:
Choose Your Con Wisely
Many people (even non-fans) are aware of large-scale events like SDCC (San Diego Comic Con) or the D23 Expo (Disney’s fan club convention), both of which host tens of thousands of people, but there are dozens of similar events that take place year-round all over the world. Many are much smaller and more specifically focused: Leaky Con in the UK is focused on JK Rowling’s Harry Potter universe, Anime Con in New York is entirely about Japanese anime and manga, etc. All events, regardless of size, share the same structure: a gathering of vendors, entertainers, and industry leaders at an event that is 100% designed for the fans.
Unless you sell products that fit into an obvious genre or subgenre (ex: if you make Cowboy Bebop figurines, you’re likely to do well at Anime Con), you should find your fans before you choose an event. This will require some rudimentary market research but, ultimately, it’ll not only help you find events to exhibit your goods, it’ll narrow down your search for retail leads.
It’s also important to consider your budget and any locational preferences. If you can’t afford to travel a long distance or pay the exorbitant exhibitor fees at a large-scale convention, you should research cons in your local area that are smaller in scale and thus, more accessible to local businesses.
One of the perks of exhibiting at a convention is that usually you don’t have to convince attendees the way you would with buyers, since they’re already fans and aren’t concerned with selling your goods to others. Fans are much more moved by your passion. This means that rather than focusing on the potential value your products might have to a retailer, you can focus on the hard work and love you put into creating them!
While this difference in dynamic is, in many ways, an advantage, it also means that you need to reconsider the way you pitch to attendees. Avoid the proverbial “hard sell” with convention goers. As mentioned, they aren’t going to sell your goods again, so the only convincing they need from you is that your product is high quality and relates to subjects or genres that interest them. If you’re an independent publisher selling comic books or novels, give the attendees your elevator pitch. Think about what you would want to hear in a movie trailer or read on the back of a book and remember that if you are passionate about your product, consumers are far more likely to jump in and, ultimately, share your passion.
Plan Scrupulously and Be Flexible
This goes for any trade show, but even smaller conventions can be surprisingly popular and therefore logistically complex. Plan your booth carefully and make sure you’re prepared for the space and layout to be different from your expectations. Make sure any displays are adaptable and bring additional materials if necessary. If you find that your booth’s position isn’t as “central” as you were hoping, don’t be afraid to send someone to the trade floor with flyers, an arrow sign, or just a brief spiel to bring up your traffic. Flexibility is the name of the game.
Bring a Team
One of the best ways to make sure you get your money’s worth when exhibiting at a convention is to bring a group of people to man your booth. There are a few reasons for this: 1. The booth should never be unattended, 2. It’s always a good idea to put someone out on the floor to bring interested attendees back to your booth, and 3. Conventions are typically held over 3-5 days and each day is at least 7-8 hours long. Ideally, you should have around five individuals for a small booth, but three is the bare minimum to ensure that everyone gets a break and doesn’t lose energy early in the con.
Cast a Wide Net
You may have found that, historically, your product appeals to a certain kind of person. If you sell comic books or toys, you may have found that children, teenagers, and parents are your niche market. Again, you must remember that at a convention, almost everyone is a fan. This means that ages, genders, and “types” are functionally irrelevant. So, if you see a variety of ages, genders etc. looking at your products, all the better! Give everyone who shows interest equal attention at your booth and you may be surprised by the diverse fans you acquire.
While conventions aren’t necessarily best suited to every kind of business, they certainly provide an ample platform for small businesses with a “nerdy” following to increase that following and build a formidable brand and audience. Get out there and find your nerds!
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Express Trade Capital is excited to announce that we will be attending this year’s Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore!
The show will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center starting this Thursday (September 14th) through Saturday (September 16th).
We take great pride in working with businesses that not only make quality products, but take care of the earth in the process. We hope to see you there!
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This week, the Express Trade Capital team will attend several trade shows across the country. Here’s where you can find us:
International Home and Housewares Show (Chicago) – Established in 1927, the International Home and Housewares Show hosts over 2,100 exhibitors from over 45 countries, as well as over 62,000 attendees from over 125 countries. The show displays a wide variety of home goods, including furniture, lighting, appliances, and accessories.
ASD MarketWeek (Las Vegas) – Marketweek hosts nine trade shows, making it the largest selection in the country. It is held at the Las Vegas Convention Center and hosts more than 45,000 buyers from over 88 countries. The show includes beauty products, apparel, housewares, outdoor equipment, smoking accessories, and much more.
Global Pet Expo (Orlando) – The Global Pet Expo is hosted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and the Pet Industry Distributors Association. The expo hosts over a thousand exhibitors and buyers from 76 countries.
If you plan to attend any of these shows, find our representatives for detailed information about our services!
Read about our trade finance solutions on our website.
Contact us with any questions or to coordinate trade show meetings.
The semiannual (bi-coastal) trade show features eco-friendly alternatives to standard products as well as home goods to help you reduce waste in your every day life.
The event will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center this weekend!.
Learn more about Express Trade Capital’s trade finance solutions on our site.
Contact us for more information.
Sadie Keljikian, Express Trade Capital
This month, Texworld USA celebrated its tenth anniversary at this year’s installment of the fabric sourcing trade show. The event was held July 12th-14th at the Javits Center. “We’ve been working really hard on diversity and feel we’ve made headway,” said Jennifer Bacon, Show Director. Indeed, this year’s Texworld show featured over 485 exhibitors from 15 countries, including Japan, Lebanon, Indonesia and Colombia, as well as a new pavilion from the Korean Textile Trade Association. The Lenzing Innovations pavilion returned to the show, featuring 25 exhibitors.
Ms. Bacon’s mention of diversity goes beyond cultural variation, as the show has expanded its repertoire to include styles Among the new additions to the show were categories like faux fur, jacquard, and shirting resources. The show still, however, maintains concentration on denim, activewear and a growing functional-apparel section.
Design Knit exhibited at the show for the tenth time, according to marketing and product-development manager Pat Tabassi. “We come here because we want to reach our client base and keep that connection,” said Tabassi on involvement in the trade show. She also mentioned exciting new trends in knitwear, including unusual patterns and textures for the fall.
The show most notably emphasized sustainability, with exhibitions from companies like California-based SG Knits and Texollini. The eco-friendly brands presented new yarns that limit waste, garments made from recycled materials, and dyes that don’t waste water. Said Texollini Director of Merchandising, Sherry Wood: “We’re one of the two vertical mills left on the West Coast…sustainability is very important to us. People are looking for more organic and recycled fabrics. Activewear and swimwear brands are using recycled nylon and polyester, and we use Repreve [recycled-fiber yarns].” Texollini was awarded with “Best in Sustainability Practices” by show organizers Messe Frankfurt.
Sales manager for Laguna Fabrics Matin Roshan agreed that eco-friendly practices and transparency in manufacturing have become extremely important to consumers. “We have a niche of customers only buying eco-friendly, sustainable fabrics from us. I get one email per week asking ‘Is your dye toxic?’ ‘Is it eco-friendly?’ They want total transparency.”
Texworld USA will return, along with its partner show, Apparel Sourcing USA, will return to the Javits Center in January for the Winter 2017 edition.
Visit Express Trade Capital as we host a booth at the Small Business Expo, June 9th at the Javits Center from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm. The nation’s largest business-to-business expo offers invaluable insights and exclusive networking opportunities to help entrepreneurs and small business owners. Throughout the day it will host a number of business workshops, seminars and presentations from top industry experts.
Learn about Express Trade Capital here.
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