Sore Feet, Long Days, HOT Leads| 4 Tips to Own Trade Shows

Sore Feet, Long Days, HOT Leads| 4 Tips to Own Trade Shows

Trade shows, trade shows, trade shows! Aren’t they just great? Maybe if you’re a sadist (like me).

NCD has been involved in a couple of these evil little blighters this year already, with several still to come… We’ve just returned from a very successful trip to IFE (International Food and Drink Event) at the ExCel in London. To our surprise, the venue was actually in Canning Town and not next to Powerpoint, like that Paperclip said.


IFE was a great show for our client, Chill Pill who have developed a really cool and functional herbal tea brand to help with emotional conditions like anxiety, stress and insomnia. The client has been making these tasty and very helpful teas for over 20 years, but now feels that the stigma around these conditions (whilst still prevalent) has lifted enough to make these products prime for major retail.

This served as Chill Pill’s launch and was a really great way to meet buyers for huge UK retailers, hotels, spas and a few multinationals face-to-face. Dates in the diary to meet formally with several.

We also worked the Spring Fair in February for our longest serving client, Batela, selling a huge range of gifts and housewares with a nautical theme. Delighted to report that we saw record orders from multiple repeat trade customers with coastal gift shops and opened no less than 45 new accounts.


So how do we prepare for trade show success? Well, we start by asking ourselves is the trade show the right one for us…

This is the fundamental question to ask yourself prior to engaging… Trade shows are EXPENSIVE. Not only in square metres, but also in your time and people who sadly need feeding, watering and boarding if away from home. Bring on the robots, I say (This is a joke. Boss, if you are reading this, please don’t replace me with a self service checkout).

I promised four tips in the heading of this article, if you are still there. By way of a total cop out, I have dusted off my trusty marketing textbook (Marketing for Total Dummies) and read up on the 4 P’s: Product, Price, Place, Promotion…



is your product or service right for the trade show in question? The Spring/ Autumn Fair at the NEC in Birmingham is good for just about everything in the world of product, but clothing doesn’t do well here and would be much better suited to a show like MODA or Pure. Don’t be pulled in to shows with tenuous links to your market early on. Our tea client was approached by a rep for a consumer show selling to practitioners of Yoga, which does make some sense, but not when we consider the objective our client currently has (engaging with large scale B2B opportunities).


Do you have your commercial offering worked out? Do you know your trade prices, how much margin you want to give away, RRP’s, MOQ’s, lead times, etc? It would be good to know all of this before exhibiting, as you only get one chance to make a first impression and if you fluff your numbers in front of Tesco’s buyers, it could be years before you get another chance at them – as an example.


are you well placed to meet the sorts of people who can give you the sorts of life changing orders you are there for? Is the footfall good? Are the right people going? These are all things to ask the very eager sales person, who will be used to answering these questions.


it is really important to stand out from the crowd, because odds are, there will be several competitors offering products and services very similar to yours… Thinking outside the box can really help. Batela, for example have constructed a stand which invites visitors in via the use of translucent panels and only two entrances either side of the large stand which gives passers by the impression of an underwater (nautical) treasure trove. It has been very effective!

So there you have it, that’s a short precis on what we’ve been up to in the midst of show season and a few tips to help out if you’re considering one for your business.

Believe it or not, we love trade shows and look forward to being at more… If you need any help selling your wares at a show, drop us a line. We could also support with pre show invites and post-show follow ups using our large network of buyers and sales process.

Start by filling in our form or giving us a call…


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