As we enter the first trade shows of 2018, it’s a good time to look over your show strategy, whether you are exhibiting at ENK Children’s Club (January 7-9) or another upcoming show. We routinely attend trade shows and can give a few pointers on what works and what doesn’t- here are our tips:
1. Your booth’s aesthetic. While you can spend a small fortune on your booth display, often it’s the smaller, more personal and clever touches that make more of an impact. String lights, marquee signs announcing your show specials, and felt letter boards are fun accents. One strong image on a poster board may be more impactful while buyers are walking by rather than several tiny images that are hard to see from the aisles. Make sure you have adequate lighting (often you pay extra for additional lighting) and request your booth’s general location when negotiating, if possible.
2. Your booth’s layout. Is there an easy way for buyers to enter your booth and inspect your collection? Or do they awkwardly have to dodge a mannequin and squeeze past desk & chairs to make it through? Make it easy to enter your booth.
3. Be prepared with materials. It may seem obvious, but make sure to bring enough line sheets, lookbooks, business cards, and other marketing materials to offer buyers. If they are pressed for time, they may want to take home the lookbook and place their order at a future date. Also know your wholesale and suggested retail prices.
4. Keep it positive & productive. While it may be tempting to complain to your booth neighbor about the lack of buyers or sit in your booth stewing, it’s not a good look and won’t compel any buyers to stop by. Keep it professional and be proactive.
If it’s a slow time at the show, use it as an opportunity to do a Facebook Live sharing a sneak peek of your upcoming season. Take photos for future content when the collection launches, or to include in follow-up emails with potential buyers showcasing pieces they liked.
5. Be social. Speaking of social media, utilize the trade show hashtags (often posted on their signage and Instagram accounts) to attract attention. We have met a few buyers by simply using the show’s hashtags and posting images of new brand offerings or show exclusives. Be sure to use the trade show’s location in case people are searching through venue images and include your Booth # in all posts.
6. Takeaway Items. Branded tote bags, candies, lip balm, pens, water…All of these are popular at shows and help people remember your name beyond the show.
7. Follow Up, But Don’t Be Annoying. After the show, make sure you follow up with all leads- if someone has requested you send them a digital lookbook (even if they already have the paper one), send it with a brief summary of your offerings and more information on any pieces they were eyeing.
While it’s important to stay on their radar, do not annoy buyers with constant emails- stick to brief, friendly communication (perhaps each new season) sharing new developments that may interest them. Focus on building an ongoing relationship rather than a transaction.
We hope these tips are helpful, as always please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our services for growing children’s fashion & lifestyle brands. Happy 2018!
As 2017 winds down and we prepare for the much-anticipated New Year, you may be wondering how to maximize press for your brand in 2018. A few tips to get a head start on good public relations:
1. Dust off your website & social media. Take a peek at your website and social media channels to see if they have outdated info (we often overlook our short bios/about us sections on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with old info, expired promotions, etc.) that may give media outlets the impression you’re not currently in business or active on these channels. They want to know the latest and greatest, so update your blog with a brief post to keep them informed on your newest developments- what trade shows you’ll be exhibiting at in 2018, a link to your latest lookbook, recent press, etc.
2. Make a content calendar. Schedule consistent posts for your social media channels- if you’re pressed for time, pick 1-3 of your preferred social media outlets to zero in on. Select evergreen/always relevant posts, finalize your holiday promotions for 2018, and decide on a doable number of posts per week and stick to it. Looking for ideas on relevant content & holidays for nearly every day of the year? Check out this resource.
3. Think like an editor. What is press-worthy? A one-day 10% discount code probably isn’t going to interest a print publication, but perhaps your dress was just worn by an A-list celebrity. Or the Pantone color of the year has been announced and your collection features several pieces in this hue. A unique and timely story angle will intrigue the media and can lead to press coverage with proper planning and being mindful of PR lead times. For print publications, this is often 3-6 months ahead, digital is shorter and can be immediate up to a couple months range. Offer the media exclusive coverage if possible.
4. Become the go-to expert. Journalists routinely need sources for articles, ranging from quotes from professionals or “regular” people. Share your expertise on your social media channels (and bios) and respond in a timely manner to queries for quotes, even if it’s not directly related to your brand. For example, our client was recently quoted in an article on realistic New Year’s resolutions for moms, and her fashion label was mentioned and linked alongside her quote in a major website.
Where can you find these queries? We are members of a few networking and PR groups; free resources are also available- many writers are active on Twitter and will tweet out queries when they need to crowdsource information.
5. Research & decide on your attainable media wishlist. When we work with brands, we always ask for a list of their goal publications/media outlets. While everyone wants to be on the Today Show and in O, The Oprah Magazine, brands often overlook outlets who are also influential and may be even more targeted to their niche audience. Major editors often scour other smaller publications for ideas, so don’t discount in-flight, regional, and trade publications.
Be honest about where your brand is at today- is the price point, brand positioning, and photography up to par for Vogue? Can you provide over 500 product units for an audience giveaway on Ellen? Maybe not right now, so focus on relevant media as you establish your brand and grow to the next level.
6. Have good images. When the media is interested in covering your brand, they will often ask for high resolution product images (flat images of just the product with a white background) and/or lifestyle images (for fashion, these are often images of clothing on models/editorial-style photo shoots by professional photographers). This is not to be overlooked- if you don’t have quality images at the correct resolution and dimensions, they will swiftly move on to the next brand who does.
Also, make sure you can easily share your images- Dropbox folders and shareable links are much preferred over huge files that clog up editor’s inboxes and take forever to download.
To take the guesswork out of product images, we refer our clients to a trusted and cost-effective studio who can quickly shoot magazine-ready images. For professional lifestyle photo shoots, we also have a list of photographers and stylists we trust with various specialties and price ranges located in the U.S. and abroad.
7. Don’t stop after you’ve secured press. Some brands think they can invest in PR for a few months, score a few great press hits, and abruptly stop without affecting their sales and brand recognition. Unfortunately, PR thrives on consistency and momentum, so we discourage brands from “taking a break” as they risk falling off the radar and being perceived as an unreliable source or no longer in business.
8. Leverage the press you have secured to your best advantage. Is your press coverage prominently displayed on your website’s press page (you do have one, right?)? Do you regularly share your press features on social media? Do you have “as seen in ____” in your Instagram bio? Being in respected media outlets elevates perception of your brand and its legitimacy, so share away!
9. Hire a professional. If you’re like many brand owners, you are probably busy with design, production, and fulfilling orders, so PR is often inconsistent, by chance, or left by the wayside. We’re here to help make PR a mainstay of your business with regular media outreach, strategizing, content creation, social media, influencer/celebrity outreach, and everything else that generates positive brand awareness.
Magnolia PR is happy to take this task off your plate, please email email@example.com to learn more. Cheers to amazing press in 2018!
Happy New Year!
We are now accepting new clients for 2018! We work with brands worldwide and customize our packages & projects to meet the unique needs of our clients, who range from start-ups to established labels needing a brand refresh.
A few of our services:
-Media + Influencer Relations
-Social Media Strategy + Execution
-Brand Strategy + Consulting
Our goal is to cultivate consistent, favorable press coverage and brand awareness for our clients and only accept a limited number of clients to ensure personalized attention. To discuss the opportunities, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Head on over to PetiteParade‘s Instagram and enter to win 12 cool kids brands, including Namoo shoes! Made in Spain, Namoo‘s slip-on burgundy kicks are perfect for a casual day of exploring.
Enter here: www.instagram.com/petiteparade
The December issue of Parenting OC Magazine, serving families in Orange County, CA, features Ciao Bimba! Their natural fiber luxury doll, Julia, was chosen for the holiday gift guide and can be purchased at www.ciaobimba.com.
To view the entire issue, visit www.parentingoc.com – print copies are also distributed across Orange County.
HelloGiggles‘ holiday gift guide for fashionable kids is here & features Blade & Rose leggings! To view the entire guide, visit here.
With over 2.2 million Facebook fans and 252,000+ Instagram followers, HelloGiggles is a leading positive online community for women covering the latest in beauty, fashion, lifestyle, friendship, and issues that matter most to young women’s lives and was co-founded in 2011 by Zooey Deschanel as a place on the Internet to inspire a smile.
Blade & Rose is an U.K.-based brand of well-priced, cheeky children’s clothing & accessories sold at over 200 U.S. stores, including Nordstrom. To learn more, visit www.bladeandrose.com.