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the giftware association


We kickstarted our new look The Gift Stop last week with our focussed subject of Trade Shows - View the recording here or take a look at the meeting notes below

00:00 - Intro

00:05 - Julie - Positivity surrounding live events. What's next for Hyve and its live events?

00:11 - Will curated meetings be part of the app?

00:14 - Courtney, how have you found the show and have buyers behaviors changed?

00:18 - Julie leaves

00:18 - How did Craig and Therese find the trade shows?

00:22 - Refresh the room

00:23 - Therese views on trade shows she's been to

00:26 - Louise - how can brands use social media for B2B at trade shows and make the most of it? 

00:31 - Could a larger brand do the same?

00:32 - how does Courtney use social media around trade shows

00:34 - Stuart - What have you seen around social media in terms of trade shows from companies that you worked with?

00:36 - Louise leaves

00:38 - Alex about marketing at trade shows

00:39 - Refresh the room

00:40 - For those with new products trade shows feel out of reach because they’re expensive. What's the most economical and best way to get in as a first timer?

00:46 - How have buyers' attitudes changed?

00:52 - Should employers be putting something together in terms of HR around Trade shows?

00:54 - Sustainability at trade shows

00:58 - End



00:05 - Autumn fair was the largest trade show post the pandemic. Many eyes on Hyve to see if they can run an event safely and securely. The whole team worked very hard to ensure they made a brilliant risk assessment document and to make the show safe in terms of covid and everything else. The success of the trade show means that the community can get together again if they do things safely. Big thank you to everyone and the Giftware Association for making an effort to make the show so safe.

Everyone gets a sense of “wow we’re back together!”. It’s the first live event people have been at since the pandemic and everyone has done their research. Customers have a lot of pent up demand. People are happy being able to be together again because everyone as a human being and wants that interaction. Felt a lot like a celebration. Lots of tears in the isles as the retailers met up again after years. Curated meetings were launched in Autumn Fair and it has been very successful. Can buy meeting packages to be able to meet with vetted buyers as a retailer. Very high level matchmaking to ensure everyone meets the right people at the right time. Great to be back as human, we are social animals after all.

00:11 - The app is something separate but it's for everyone. We invested a lot in it. It’s a lot like Google Maps where you can locate any stand you wish to see. Spent a lot of time during the pandemic speaking to retailers to see how they operate. Which led to them changing….. Feedback has been great, able to now find anything that retailers are searching for. Curated meetings are all arranged prior to the trade show so anyone who wants to, should sign up now as the matchmaking can take some time. Now able take the meeting to the next level thanks to technology we acquired. You can choose who you want to meet and we will attempt to match you with people who meet your requirements. 

00:14 - The lockdown affected business but we have had success thanks to being able to do business online. These trade shows have been the most successful shows I think we’ve ever done. Customers are back and it was great to be on the front lines seeing everyone both old and new. Cannot believe how many customers we picked up. Trade shows came back with a bang. People say it's not the same as 10 years ago but that's just the way the market changed. There's still certain retailers that like to buy face to face rather than digitally. Things have changed due to new platforms and it's for us to utilize all these in different ways. If done correctly there is definitely potential in trade shows to make money and to have great trade show experiences. Nothing beats having a face to face conversation with someone. 

00:18 - The covid hangover is still here but it’s really interesting. This is now an even playing field for all businesses. Trade shows were getting mundane so they needed a circuit breaker. Some were getting stale because they didn't have time to think about new things. We’ve learned to buy and shop differently over the last 18 months. We became more tech savvy and became bargain hunters.We do miss that see, feel, touch interactions with people. It’s great to see trade shows evolving and becoming more creative. When it comes to successful trade shows, it’s all about the prior, during and after elements and what you do during those times. I can only see it getting better and better. Hope that all the trade shows next year have something creative and different every time so we don't fall back into just doing it for the sake of doing it. Should be unpredictable and exciting when going into them.

00:23 - Really enjoyed it, it was nice to have a break for the same reasons as Craig. But it was great to be back together since we value conversations and being face to face. So much is missed out on with zoom and emails as you can do so much more and chat a lot more when seeing someone face to face. Wasn't that same rush as we get online. More orders and bigger orders which was really good. Exhibitors did a good job; don't think we can do that online. 

Can't Have the same conversations online. Finding out a lot more about peple when face to face. 

People can sell their products to their customers much better face to face. Can get the customers more excited about the brand.

00:26 - Important to treat all customers the same way no matter if they're B2B or B2C. Trade shows are important to bring people back and connect them again. Now think about how you can keep that momentum going. What have you done to make people excited to see you at trade shows? You want people to be seeking you out and provide a great experience to the customers. It's not the same anymore. Customers are desperate to meet you and to buy but there is still so much you can do to build excitement. Apply some real love to social media. Social media is not just about selling. It's about building a community which will give more of a reason to purchase. Build more lasting relationships to sell better. Make people excited and share that love through social media. Social media plays really important part with telling a story and getting people excited. 

00:31 - Absolutely, what do you want to be known as, what your approach to sustainability is, a lot of storytelling to be done everywhere, even for big firms. Have to sell the dream.

00:32 - Used LinkedIn for B2B, Twitter and Instagram only B2C and linkedin for B2B. Also do a mailing campaign with mailchimp. 

00:34 - It was interesting to see the trade shows all at the same time. Lot of shows offer free food/drinks. Been akin to European trade shows where you are treated slightly better. Might be due to venues. Something a little bit nicer about being in a European trade show. Need to look at what Europe is doing and follow it. 

00:38 - Should use other activities at trade shows where you fill in the gaps and stories for the customers. A lot of people just go there to sell and not do anything else for the customers. Seeing non competing stands and getting to know them. Get to know people, grab lunch with someone, don't waste any time, get your business out there and spread it.

Have your eyes open, go see your competitors. Get to know people, you might find collabs. Take your time to see what’s out there, explore and see what opportunities you can create and don't wait for everything to fall into your lap.

00:40 - Launch pad. They all have small business areas and curated meetings which is a great way to meet new customers. New business sunday is also a thing. Theo from Dragon's Den bought stands and gave them to businesses for free. 

Can be hard to justify the £300 per square meter  (maybe even higher now). British pavilion will help if you want to sell overseas. Only for the first few years as a business however. Cannot keep using it forever. Can also win gift of the year for a free stand! 

Pitch to some retailers before making that jump and make sure to choose the right show. Brand new businesses, please seek advice from someone who is more knowledgeable. Go and visit the trade shows before you exhibit. 9 out of 10 times if you only have 1 product, don't go! Go with more products, create a need first and then go but make sure to seek advice! Talk to your local business gateway and department of commerce, grants and other various things available if you dig around.

00:46 - Can reserve products and get orders in the books. Shipping is a nightmare right now. If you're unsure just confirm and we won't hold you for cancelling. That strategy really worked. People placing bigger orders. People are a lot more open to spending more money up front. People were a lot more pleased to go out and see products. People who have attended have bought which allowed people to have better conversations as exhibitors as they knew the conversation would result in an order and not just people taking up your time without ordering. Smaller brands can breathe because larger brands haven't been there so they also gain more exposure and recognition.

00:53 - Yes but it depends on when and where the trade shows are. Communication with staff is always the key. Have it written into the contract 

00:54 - A lot more cardboard rather than plastic. Recycle your lanyards at a show Alex went to. Some dont even give lanyards out. Really annoyed Courtney that the information from lanyards wasn't there. There is a need for them but some don't do name badges anymore. They are so important so you can instantly see who's a buyer as some are color coded. Would be so much better if you recognize them and are so much more personal. A lot of carpet also gets used which ain’t great for the environment. 


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