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This episode is all about trade shows: which ones to exhibit at, how to put a stand together, what you need to take, what you should be prepping, and how to make the most of the opportunities there.

Who better to have on the podcast to talk us through all things trade shows than Therese Ørtenblad?

Therese is the founder of Small Business Collaborative, and works with product-based business founders who sell to retail stores. She shows them how to price their products for profit, teaches them how to sell in a way that doesn’t feel icky and shows them how to build a strategy with limited time so they can grow their sales and profits through wholesale without feeling alone and overwhelmed.

Therese had to learn how to sell as an introvert and has 14 years of experience heading up sales teams in the home and gift industry. She sits on the National Committee for The Giftware Association, and she’s the host of Let’s Talk Shop, a seasonal business podcast sharing stories and business advice. 

I asked you what you wanted to know about trade shows, and Therese had answered all your questions and then some. Whether you are just starting out or an experienced seller there will be something useful for you in this podcast.

Listen in to hear Therese share:

  • An introduction to herself and her business (01:29)
  • What a trade show actually is (03:12)
  • The benefits of selling at a trade show (04:29)
  • When is the right time in your business to exhibit at a trade show (05:46)
  • Useful things to have on your stand, from knowing your prices to having a catalogue (07:51)
  • How to make yourself memorable to buyers (10:46)
  • How to choose which trade show to attend (12:16)
  • How much to budget for attending a show and fitting out your stand (19:04)
  • The logistics of setting up your stand (20:47)
  • Top tips for displaying your product (24:57)
  • The most important thing people forget to do – get confident with selling (28:20)
  • Should you include your prices on the stand? (31:27)
  • Is it good to take another person or a friend with you to a trade show? (33:06)
  • Legal and insurance legislation to be aware of (34:49)
  • His number one piece of advice for anyone considering exhibiting at a trade show (36:50)

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Small Business Collaborative Website

Small Business Collaborative Instagram

Podcast Let’s Talk Shop

Small Business Collaborative Twitter

Small Business Collaborative Facebook

Lets Talk Wholesale Facebook Group

Small Business Collaborative Tik Tok

Therese Ørtenblad Linked In

LET’S CONNECT

Join my free Facebook group for product makers and creators

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Transcript
Vicki Weinberg:

Welcome to the Bring Your Product Ideas to Life podcast, practical

Vicki Weinberg:

advice and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products.

Vicki Weinberg:

Here's your host, Vicky Weinberg.

Vicki Weinberg:

Today on the podcast, my guest is there, Therese Ørtenblad Founder

Vicki Weinberg:

of Small Business Collaborative.

Vicki Weinberg:

So Therese works with product based business.

Vicki Weinberg:

Founders who sell to retail stores and we have had there on the podcast

Vicki Weinberg:

before talking about wholesale and how to get your products into stores.

Vicki Weinberg:

So today I've asked Therese to join us to talk about another aspect of

Vicki Weinberg:

selling b2b, which is trade shows.

Vicki Weinberg:

I put post on Instagram.

Vicki Weinberg:

A while ago and I also asked in my free Facebook group, and lots of

Vicki Weinberg:

you had questions about trade shows and, um, Therese has really kindly

Vicki Weinberg:

answered all of them as well as some of my own questions, um, which were

Vicki Weinberg:

very basic, I have to be honest.

Vicki Weinberg:

But I really think this is a fantastic episode and if you are even just

Vicki Weinberg:

considering, um, selling at trade shows at some point down the line, I think you'll

Vicki Weinberg:

take a lot away from this conversation.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I would now love to introduce you to Therese so, hi there.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you for joining me on the podcast.

Vicki Weinberg:

Again,

Therese Ørtenblad:

thank you so much for having me.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, you welcome.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, um, for everyone who hasn't listened to the previous episode,

Vicki Weinberg:

can you please just, um, tell us who you are and what you do please?

Therese Ørtenblad:

Yeah, so my business is called Small Business Collaborative

Therese Ørtenblad:

and for the last four years or so, I have been helping small business

Therese Ørtenblad:

owners start and grow their wholesale.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So anywhere from before you launch your products up till you know you

Therese Ørtenblad:

being stocked in the shelves and wanting to expand and sell abroad

Therese Ørtenblad:

or what, whatever it might be.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, I have a background in sales, so.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I come from a selling background with it.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I know a few people that do similar things come from a buying background, so

Therese Ørtenblad:

we have a slightly different take on it.

Therese Ørtenblad:

But yeah, I just run courses and do one to ones, um, mainly to, to help businesses

Therese Ørtenblad:

grow their business and sales, I guess.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I've invited you on today to talk about trade shows because after I

Vicki Weinberg:

attended, actually I know you attended the Top Drawer trade show this Autumn.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I've had lots of questions about trade shows, who they're good

Vicki Weinberg:

for, um, all kinds of questions.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, um, I dunno the answers, but I know you do, which is

Vicki Weinberg:

what I've had invited you on.

Vicki Weinberg:

So if it's okay, I'm just gonna run through some of the questions

Vicki Weinberg:

I have and, um, we can chat about.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Amazing.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I love trade shows, even if I'm an introvert.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Like I know that some people say, Oh, I'm an introvert and don't like

Therese Ørtenblad:

trade shows, but I love trade shows.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I like to complain when I'm standing there in my back aches.

Therese Ørtenblad:

But I like them.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So , uh, it's a good topic to talk about.

Vicki Weinberg:

Amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

I've only been to one and yeah, I, I really loved it and

Vicki Weinberg:

I do plan to go to, to more.

Vicki Weinberg:

I just think it's brilliant.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so let's start out, this is a.

Vicki Weinberg:

Sounds like a really silly question, but let's start by talking about what trade

Vicki Weinberg:

shows are, just in case there's anyone who isn't in, you know, entirely clear,

Vicki Weinberg:

maybe they haven't heard of a trade show, or perhaps their perception of

Vicki Weinberg:

what it is might be slightly different.

Vicki Weinberg:

So can we start there please?

Therese Ørtenblad:

Yeah, absolutely.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I don't think there is this, Such thing as a silly question.

Therese Ørtenblad:

It's, you know, if you haven't been, you haven't heard about

Therese Ørtenblad:

it, how are you supposed to know?

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, but for our industry it is definitely, you know, a place where you do B2B

Therese Ørtenblad:

selling as a business to business.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So brands, Exhibit, Exhibit, and they have a stand there and they

Therese Ørtenblad:

show their products to retail buyers.

Therese Ørtenblad:

There's both large ones that come and visit and small independent

Therese Ørtenblad:

shop owners that come and visit, and they are definitely for selling.

Therese Ørtenblad:

In some industries it's more like a meet and greet, but in our product based

Therese Ørtenblad:

industry, it, you are there to sell.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So expect that you will be taking orders if you're going.

Therese Ørtenblad:

That should be one of your goals, um, for exhibiting.

Vicki Weinberg:

Amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

So what are some of the benefits of exhibiting a trade show?

Vicki Weinberg:

Why might this be something we want to consider?

Therese Ørtenblad:

I still think, you know, despite all the wholesale

Therese Ørtenblad:

marketplace platforms that has popped up the last few years, I still think

Therese Ørtenblad:

there's nothing like meeting people in real life, seeing how they interact

Therese Ørtenblad:

with your products, getting to speak to them about their business,

Therese Ørtenblad:

and there's still no other way.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You can meet that many people in such a short amount of time and actually

Therese Ørtenblad:

making a real life connection.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So I think that is the biggest benefit with them.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Really.

Vicki Weinberg:

Amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I guess it's also great that you can meet so many people in

Vicki Weinberg:

one day or two days, or however long you exhibit that, can't you?

Therese Ørtenblad:

Yeah.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And you meet other brands too, perhaps?

Therese Ørtenblad:

Brands that are.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You know, new to it like you are.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So you can, you, you kind of help and bounce off each other or people with

Therese Ørtenblad:

a little bit more experience that you have and you can pick up tips and stuff.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So it is a really nice thing to do, um, when you are ready to do it.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And I'm, I'm sure we'll talk more about that in a bit.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Actually let's talk about that now.

Vicki Weinberg:

Let's jump straight in actually.

Vicki Weinberg:

So when is the right time to do it?

Therese Ørtenblad:

So I think that is really, really important that

Therese Ørtenblad:

you are ready to exhibit as shows.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I think it's really easy to get that FOMO.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You know, when everyone goes to Top Drawer for example, it feels like you should have

Therese Ørtenblad:

been there and it can kind of become a lot bit like you get pulled in and if you

Therese Ørtenblad:

start speaking to show organizers, you get even more like validation for that.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You should be there.

Therese Ørtenblad:

But I really think that it's important that you, I mean, if you don't have a

Therese Ørtenblad:

big budget, if you have a big budget, you can prepare and you can spend money

Therese Ørtenblad:

and get help to prepare regardless.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So you can exhibit from, you know, when you launch, but if you

Therese Ørtenblad:

don't have a big budget, I would.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Say that you should start to whole self first and get your first, your

Therese Ørtenblad:

stockers first, only because then you know your margins are working, your

Therese Ørtenblad:

prices are working, and you're not gonna go to the trade show and exhibit and

Therese Ørtenblad:

spend thousands of pounds to be there.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And, but for buyers then not to be able to buy from you because you haven't

Therese Ørtenblad:

considered your pricing in the right way.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So I.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Ideally, you have done some wholesale or you've had some help with your pricing

Therese Ørtenblad:

margins first and having your products retail ready, because I think it's, it

Therese Ørtenblad:

is an investment, so those things needs to be considered before you exhibit.

Therese Ørtenblad:

One reason why I started my business actually is because I was exhibiting at

Therese Ørtenblad:

shows and I was meeting so many small, amazing brands, but then the retail

Therese Ørtenblad:

buyers I was speaking to, they were saying, Oh, but I can't buy from them

Therese Ørtenblad:

because they haven't considered VAT.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I would lose money if I bought from them.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And I was just thinking, it's so sad that there's no one like.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You know, helping those people.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So that was my whole business idea many years before I started basically

Therese Ørtenblad:

. Vicki Weinberg: Thank you.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And as well as knowing your pricing and your margins, is there anything else you

Therese Ørtenblad:

specifically have to have to exhibit?

Therese Ørtenblad:

So, I don't know, do you need.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I dunno if catalog's the right word.

Therese Ørtenblad:

What do you need, like a catalog or a price list?

Therese Ørtenblad:

Do you need, is there anything else sort of physical you need, we won't talk about

Therese Ørtenblad:

sort of setting out your, your share or your space, but in terms of things that

Therese Ørtenblad:

you should have to hand or have ready.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Yeah.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I am a fan believer in having a physical catalog.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I know some lots of brands are moving away from it from a sustainability point

Therese Ørtenblad:

of view, a cost saving perspective.

Therese Ørtenblad:

But I still don't think there's anything quite like a buyer walking away with some

Therese Ørtenblad:

information that is like a magazine of your brand, really telling your brand

Therese Ørtenblad:

story, showcasing your products in a way that you can control, not just what

Therese Ørtenblad:

they're remembering, if they remember.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, and there's plenty of buyers that are just as old fashioned as

Therese Ørtenblad:

I am, , and they do like catalogs.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You know, if you have a catalog and you have a price order form that you can

Therese Ørtenblad:

give people, there's almost every show I've done, I've given it out on one day.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Next day someone comes back with a filled in order form because they sat down with

Therese Ørtenblad:

a glass of wine and you know, started, got a head start on their ordering.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And I don't think if you give someone a postcard where the

Therese Ørtenblad:

QR code, you will get the same.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I think that makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

I could, I, and I definitely can see your point about sustainability

Vicki Weinberg:

and why people might choose not to.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but I think also cuz I mean, I, cuz I mentioned I was at a trade show a few

Vicki Weinberg:

months ago and I came back, I'm just actually looking at the pile of stuff I

Vicki Weinberg:

came back with, which is walking around and um, a lot of it gets lost if you

Vicki Weinberg:

get a little business card or a flyer.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, it's not quite as appealing as the, you know, the brands who give you

Vicki Weinberg:

like a, even if it's like a, a leaflet and it's just got a bit more information

Vicki Weinberg:

on, on, on there, just a few pages even.

Vicki Weinberg:

Those are the ones that, that to me, like I remembered more.

Vicki Weinberg:

Afterwards.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Yeah.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Yeah.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And that's what you want, right?

Therese Ørtenblad:

You want the buyers to go through all the things that they gathered at the

Therese Ørtenblad:

show and remember, you, your business card is not gonna jig anyone's memory

Therese Ørtenblad:

about what kind of products you make.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You know, Well, at least not if you have the memory, I have . You know, you do.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And then like you question, will that person go and look you up on your website?

Therese Ørtenblad:

Will they go and check your Instagram to remind themselves of who you are

Therese Ørtenblad:

or will that be something they intend to do but never quite get around to?

Therese Ørtenblad:

And then all the catalogs they go through, and then they spent all their budget.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You know,

Vicki Weinberg:

And is there anything else other than sort of having a

Vicki Weinberg:

catalog, is there anything else you can do to make yourself memorable?

Therese Ørtenblad:

I think it's really important to be prepared to sell when

Therese Ørtenblad:

you are at the show, not in a sleazy car salesman sort of way, but having practiced

Therese Ørtenblad:

how you gonna open up a conversation, How you're gonna make a personal questions

Therese Ørtenblad:

that you can ask them to actually get a bit of interaction because it can be

Therese Ørtenblad:

a little bit scary in the beginning.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You need to be qualifying those people that stop quite quickly.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So you don't waste anyone's time.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Uh, so I think just by being really well prepared, you can stand out and

Therese Ørtenblad:

I think making sure that you have considered how the products will be

Therese Ørtenblad:

displayed in the actual physical store.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So it's not, you know, it needs to have your brand on there.

Therese Ørtenblad:

It needs to, you know, look like they can instantly picture

Therese Ørtenblad:

it in their shop instead of.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, Thinking, Oh, how on earth would I display that in my shop?

Therese Ørtenblad:

I think if you've thought about all those things, then you are off to a good start.

Vicki Weinberg:

Amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And in a moment we'll talk a little bit more about your space and how you might

Vicki Weinberg:

set that out, because, um, I've certainly noticed that there's, you know, there's a

Vicki Weinberg:

real variety in how people choose to kit.

Vicki Weinberg:

Their space and I'm sure you've got some thoughts and some tips on that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Another thing I would love to know before we go into like the logistics is

Vicki Weinberg:

how do you know which trade to choose?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because in our industry there are lots, um, And obviously they cost money, so

Vicki Weinberg:

you, you know, maybe you can't afford to be everywhere, so you, you pick one.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, how do you know what to choose?

Vicki Weinberg:

And also, is there, sorry, this is two questions, but is there a, a time of year

Vicki Weinberg:

that's, that's better to be exhibiting at?

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, cuz I know for example, Top Drawer have a spring and an autumn.

Vicki Weinberg:

Do you have any thoughts on whether, if someone has, you know,

Vicki Weinberg:

for the, for the year, they have enough budget to do one show?

Vicki Weinberg:

One time a year.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, what are your thoughts on all of that?

Therese Ørtenblad:

So, spring shows are generally larger than Autumn shows.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, some more exhibitors, um, Generally, big buyers will start buying.

Therese Ørtenblad:

They all work slightly differently, but as a general rule of them, they

Therese Ørtenblad:

will start looking at Christmas at their January, February shows.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So if you want to deal with large retailers, In a way, and you wanna

Therese Ørtenblad:

sell them Christmas, I suppose this spring show would be better for you.

Therese Ørtenblad:

But if you don't have any Christmas stuff to show them because you haven't

Therese Ørtenblad:

planned out your range a year in advance, then I suppose it doesn't matter because

Therese Ørtenblad:

at Autumn shows, people use meet.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Also the big buyers looking at next spring and stuff, but you also have retail buyers

Therese Ørtenblad:

placing orders for right there and then.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So you, I tend to say that you get more long leads in spring shows,

Therese Ørtenblad:

you still take orders for spring and all that, but you get slightly

Therese Ørtenblad:

more long leads are spring, but you get more shorter ones in the autumn.

Therese Ørtenblad:

But that is such a generalization.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, so it really depends on what kind of brand you are, what season is the best

Therese Ørtenblad:

season of time of the year for you, what kind of products you sell, and I guess

Therese Ørtenblad:

what's most convenient for you as well.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You know, you have a small business areas, it has to fit into your life as well.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, but yes, I think.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Spring or autumn, you can have slightly different experience, but I

Therese Ørtenblad:

don't think it's a huge consideration

Therese Ørtenblad:

on, um, you know, which one you should choose.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I, if you can, I would go and visit them first because it, there's

Therese Ørtenblad:

nothing the same, you know, it's not the same as seeing it online.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Right?

Therese Ørtenblad:

Go and visit a show.

Therese Ørtenblad:

See what draws you into people's stand.

Therese Ørtenblad:

What stand size do you like?

Therese Ørtenblad:

What location do you like?

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, What kind of layouts do you like?

Therese Ørtenblad:

You know, you can get a lot of inspiration by going to visit.

Therese Ørtenblad:

It's not always possible.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So if you can't go and visit, or even you can, might do.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Both of these things.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Have a look for who exhibited the show.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So if brands that are are stocked in your retailers that you already

Therese Ørtenblad:

supply, are they at those shows?

Therese Ørtenblad:

Because that might be an indication that that's the right show for you.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Or ask your retail buyers, which shows they visit, and if you haven't started

Therese Ørtenblad:

whole selling yet or you, you are just at the beginning of that journey, then

Therese Ørtenblad:

at least look for brands that you want to be stocked alongside that you feel

Therese Ørtenblad:

that you have a very similar customer to.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And that might be a good place to sort of figure out the show is right for.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really useful.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then I guess it's also like the geographical stuff, because

Vicki Weinberg:

there are shows in London, shows in Birmingham I believe.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I guess it also might come down to where you're located and

Vicki Weinberg:

where you can reasonably get to.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Yeah, there's also quite a lot of smaller regional shows.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I would say that they have not been as busy.

Therese Ørtenblad:

As they used to be.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So the bigger shows in London and Birmingham are probably more popular

Therese Ørtenblad:

now, but you can also think out, even in London and you know, Birmingham,

Therese Ørtenblad:

they, you can think outside the box.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Like I have a greeting cards, uh, publisher that I work with and she

Therese Ørtenblad:

mainly sells to like Farm Shops & Delis so she hasn't done like Top Drawer but

Therese Ørtenblad:

she did the Farm and Delhi show instead.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And, you know, she's one of the few card publishers there.

Therese Ørtenblad:

But she, she knows her audience.

Therese Ørtenblad:

That is really interesting.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Then I, I imagine there are other sort of, sort of shows specific

Therese Ørtenblad:

to certain types of retail.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Are there, so I don't know, news agents, so I can't think d you know, different.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Yeah, of course.

Therese Ørtenblad:

There's different, different niches like Lee, which is more for garden

Therese Ørtenblad:

centers and that sort of thing.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Of course, garden centers also visit the general trade shows, so, you know,

Therese Ørtenblad:

It depends on which one you wanna do.

Therese Ørtenblad:

That's pet ones.

Therese Ørtenblad:

If you make dog toys or you know, if you make children's like baby things and

Therese Ørtenblad:

children's stuff, maybe it's better for you to go to Playtime In Paris instead of

Therese Ørtenblad:

doing, you know, trying to fit into more a general area, a Top Drawer, for example.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So, you know, those are the sort of things I think are really.

Therese Ørtenblad:

It's easier to figure out if you can visit first.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

I agree.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think like if you've got the time to walk around and just see Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

What, I just think it's such so inspiring, isn't it?

Vicki Weinberg:

Just walking around and seeing what people are doing, what they're

Vicki Weinberg:

exhibiting, how they set their spaces out.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Yeah.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And you know, you don't have to rush into it like, I mean, in fact, like I think

Therese Ørtenblad:

trade shows is one of the few things I see brands rushing to do early on,

Therese Ørtenblad:g, it's gonna be a minimum of:Therese Ørtenblad:

pounds, probably a bit more than that.

Therese Ørtenblad:

More a two and a half, three.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Whereas, you know, if they are looking to get some help with their business, they

Therese Ørtenblad:

might come to someone like you and me.

Therese Ørtenblad:

But you know, they want, most of the time they will have a discovery

Therese Ørtenblad:

call first, and we're talking about like hundreds of pounds instead

Therese Ørtenblad:

of several thousands pounds.

Therese Ørtenblad:

But you know, that will be a considered decision to invest in help, whereas a

Therese Ørtenblad:

lot of people go to and book a trade show spending way more money without visiting.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And so I would definitely encourage people to visit.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:bout money, so there's two to:Vicki Weinberg:

Is that to have a space or does that include actually like

Vicki Weinberg:

fitting out your space as well?

Therese Ørtenblad:

Yeah, so if you have a small space, I would

Therese Ørtenblad:

say all in is probably more like two to three grand for most shows.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Uh, sometimes a organizer have like, you know, first time exhibitors kind of sta

Therese Ørtenblad:

packages where you get a little bit of furniture, you get, um, maybe you get

Therese Ørtenblad:

some lighting or some, uh, you know, a socket plug socket or some something,

Therese Ørtenblad:

but, or you might just be getting a shell scheme where it's just a few white walls.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So, um, It's good to figure that out beforehand.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I would say then to fit out your stand, even if you have some

Therese Ørtenblad:

sort of start to stand with a little bit of a table and stuff.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I think in most cases, It's gonna be at least 500 quid or something to fit it

Therese Ørtenblad:

out plus v t, because unless lighting is included in the stand, that's probably

Therese Ørtenblad:

gonna take up at least half of that cost.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And you're gonna need some sort of graphics, some shelfing of

Therese Ørtenblad:

some type, some storage to hide away, you know, your jacket or

Therese Ørtenblad:

your bag or whatever it might be.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And, um, Yeah, so, and then you need catalogs on top of that,

Therese Ørtenblad:

transport, storage, hotel, food.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So it all adds up.

Vicki Weinberg:

It does, and I'd love to talk a little bit about this fitting out

Vicki Weinberg:

your shelves as well, if that's okay.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because when you were just talking then I was thinking, well, logistically

Vicki Weinberg:

it's sounds like quite a job because unless I guess you're in a position

Vicki Weinberg:

where you can do it yourself, um, you maybe you have to find someone

Vicki Weinberg:

to do your lighting, someone to do carpentry, someone to do final graphics.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, how does that work?

Vicki Weinberg:

Is that something that you, as the exhibitor on charge, you get this space?

Vicki Weinberg:

You have free reign to bring people in or do the shows, have

Vicki Weinberg:

people who kind of do that.

Vicki Weinberg:

How?

Vicki Weinberg:

How does that generally work?

Therese Ørtenblad:

You can rent stuff from the show, but it's

Therese Ørtenblad:

generally really expensive and it's much cheaper to source yourself.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Basically, the things that you can't rent from the show is things like if

Therese Ørtenblad:

you want lighting, and I recommend.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Everyone to have lighting.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I do not recommend ski, you know, saving on lighting, but

Therese Ørtenblad:

there's two ways to do it.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Either you rent a plug socket and then you bring your own lights in and or you rent,

Therese Ørtenblad:

you know, lighting from them, though.

Therese Ørtenblad:

That's something where you can't get away from.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You need either or basically.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, whereas, you know, if you want a table or a chair or some

Therese Ørtenblad:

shelves, that is a lot cheaper.

Therese Ørtenblad:

To bring yourself and also usually a lot nicer.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I mean, I, I've been, been to IKEA a lot of times and come up with very

Therese Ørtenblad:

creative ways of using IKEA furniture.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, but you know, things like Facebook marketplace, even like.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You know, use Ikea stuff sometimes, or you know, eBay or that sort of thing.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I mean, if you just have cards, for example, it's, you know, you

Therese Ørtenblad:

could just get some of those little ledges in home base or b q or if

Therese Ørtenblad:

you need to hang something, you could just get like a rod and.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Sort of material to hang it or hooks or whatever in, um, the why stores.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So I think thinking is a little bit outside of the box can

Therese Ørtenblad:

save you quite a lot of money.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I mean, definitely bought planter shelves in Amazon, for example,

Therese Ørtenblad:

last minute to put stuff on.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And does it work that like a day or a couple of days

Vicki Weinberg:

before you allowed to go in?

Therese Ørtenblad:

Yeah, generally, so like the biggest stands are allowed

Therese Ørtenblad:

to come in earlier, but the ones that, it has a shell scheme, so there's

Therese Ørtenblad:

two types of stands in the show.

Therese Ørtenblad:

There's space only and shell schemes generally and the bigger show.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And those that just do space only, they will ha build their

Therese Ørtenblad:

own walls and have like, you know, a contractor do all of that.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So they're allowed to go in earlier usually.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And then, uh, Shell scheme are usually allowed, you know, one or two days before.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, if you wanna paint your stand, you need to make sure.

Therese Ørtenblad:

It is a traditional build.

Therese Ørtenblad:

It's a wooden wall because sometimes they don't do wooden walls, but they

Therese Ørtenblad:

have those kind of plastic boards, which you can't paint, Uh, in which case

Therese Ørtenblad:

you would have to get the organizers to clad your stand in wood, or you

Therese Ørtenblad:

have to bring your own cladding.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, so there's a lot of things to consider.

Therese Ørtenblad:

When you book your stand and how you want it to look, it's also one of

Therese Ørtenblad:

the reasons why I think it's so good to visit because you can see what

Therese Ørtenblad:

other people have done, you know?

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, it's, it's a good way to learn.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And if you go at a quiet time, people are generally really happy

Therese Ørtenblad:

to share how they've done something.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Cause you're not gonna go and copy exactly what they do.

Therese Ørtenblad:

But if you ask, so what do, how did you get that cladding on your stand?

Therese Ørtenblad:

No one, very few people would say, Oh, I don't wanna tell you.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You know

Therese Ørtenblad:

. Vicki Weinberg: Yeah.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Thank you.

Therese Ørtenblad:

It definitely sounds like there's a lot to think about, cuz you

Therese Ørtenblad:

also mentioned earlier, um, buyers has been able to see how your

Therese Ørtenblad:

product would maybe fit in a store.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So is, would you recommend that stand, um, you, you lay your products out

Therese Ørtenblad:

as they, as they might be in a store, whether that's on a shelf or a card

Therese Ørtenblad:

rack, if they're cards, do you recommend going into that level of detail?

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, if they're cards, I think everyone

Therese Ørtenblad:

knows how to display a card.

Therese Ørtenblad:

But if you have a product like, um, muslin, I know muslin I know

Therese Ørtenblad:

is quite a challenge to like display, so you think, you know,

Therese Ørtenblad:

then you might have to consider it.

Therese Ørtenblad:

If they are packed in a box, it's obviously a bit easier.

Therese Ørtenblad:

But if they're like just with a belly band, you might

Therese Ørtenblad:

wanna, you know, showcase how.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You know, you might wanna bring, instead of one of that ski product, you might

Therese Ørtenblad:

wanna bring six and put them in a basket or hang them on a sh you know, on a hook.

Therese Ørtenblad:

If that's how you envision it, to just help buyers picture it in their shop.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, I definitely think it's good to mock up your display at home somehow and take

Therese Ørtenblad:

photos because the first time you set up your first show, you will be faffing a lot

Therese Ørtenblad:

more than you think you will be faffing.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, And everything will take longer than you think it will.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So like setting it up at home, taking detailed picture of where things go.

Therese Ørtenblad:

That way you can also think, Oh actually it looks a bit empty.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Let me bring a couple of extra for there.

Therese Ørtenblad:

That sort of thing.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So I think practicing and setting it up at home is a good, is advisable.

Therese Ørtenblad:

But to be honest, the, all these kind of logistic things, I find small

Therese Ørtenblad:

business owners are really good at, like, I see them all figuring it out.

Therese Ørtenblad:

It's more that they forget that, you know, what happens during the show

Therese Ørtenblad:

and what happens after the show.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Because those are the scary bits, right?

Therese Ørtenblad:

We get, I dunno, but a lot of us are very good at getting into the

Therese Ørtenblad:

detail and you know, envisioning what color wall we will have.

Therese Ørtenblad:

But when you start thinking, Oh, how will I sell my products?

Therese Ørtenblad:

My buyers come up to me.

Therese Ørtenblad:

That's a lot scarier.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So people don't prepare for that bit this much.

Therese Ørtenblad:

They prefer often out.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Well, that's what I've seen anyway.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I hope that's really reassuring.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, cause I did get quite a lot of questions about shells and

Vicki Weinberg:

logistics, so I hope that's really reassuring everyone on that actually.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, you've, you've got this, like, that bit will be fine.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I hope that whoever,

Therese Ørtenblad:

I'm confident that most of you will be good at it and,

Therese Ørtenblad:

you know, people are happy to share, you know, Of course there's people

Therese Ørtenblad:

like me, but other brands that, you know, like that's not copying anyone.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Like people are generally quite happy to share where they can, You can get, you

Therese Ørtenblad:

know, a bookshelf or whatever it might be.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, you know, you can get advice on that in Facebook groups and all sorts.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, but when it comes to the selling and the like, actual reason why you're there.

Therese Ørtenblad:

That is something people often figure that they will figure out on the day.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So I think it's better, you know, like, I think it's

Therese Ørtenblad:

definitely something to consider.

Vicki Weinberg:

and, And on the standing side, are there any, do

Vicki Weinberg:

you have any hints or advice or, or even just things you think people,

Vicki Weinberg:

you could say, Okay, if you've got these things, you're gonna be fine,

Vicki Weinberg:

? Therese Ørtenblad : Well, the

Vicki Weinberg:

thing is just, you know, being able to talk about your products.

Vicki Weinberg:

You probably know your products really, really well, but you know, Think

Vicki Weinberg:

about what is important to the buyers.

Vicki Weinberg:

Make sure that it's prominent to what you do, and make it sure that it's

Vicki Weinberg:

easy to look through your range, like having pack sizes and wholesale prices

Vicki Weinberg:

and re recommended retail prices easy to hand so that they can see it If

Vicki Weinberg:

you're busy talking to someone else.

Vicki Weinberg:

Think about what questions you're gonna ask them.

Vicki Weinberg:

Practice them out loud, you know, to find out more about their business.

Vicki Weinberg:

Your follow up can be better.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, If they kind of stop and glance, like don't just, you know,

Vicki Weinberg:

they don't wanna be pounced, but they also don't wanna be ignored.

Vicki Weinberg:

So you make, make sure you greet people eye contact, smile at them,

Vicki Weinberg:

like a smile goes a long way.

Vicki Weinberg:

Stopping people if you are not that kind of cheeky person, that

Vicki Weinberg:

will stop people in, in the aisles.

Vicki Weinberg:

At least smile people when they walk by in the aisles and they might.

Vicki Weinberg:

Linger slightly longer and then, you know, open up the conversation with a question.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and I think a, a lot of creators, that bit is uncomfortable to think about.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think it's really important to talk about it before a show.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

That is really good advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

And.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I know for myself, I think I would feel quite daunted if I was

Vicki Weinberg:

in that situation where I'm at a stand and I have to sell to people.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I guess, yeah, but I think to reassure everyone, you know

Vicki Weinberg:

your products so well, you.

Vicki Weinberg:

You, you, you will be fine.

Vicki Weinberg:

There won't be questions as long as you're prepared.

Vicki Weinberg:

There aren't gonna be any questions that you can't answer.

Therese Ørtenblad:

No, absolutely.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And if it's something that you haven't heard of, you just like

Therese Ørtenblad:

say, Oh, let me make a note of it and I'll get back to you.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Or ask them, What do you mean?

Therese Ørtenblad:

You know, people are generally quite happy to chat on these things.

Therese Ørtenblad:

There's nothing that you can't deal with while you're there and you will

Therese Ørtenblad:

get more and more comfortable the more people you speak to, and you will

Therese Ørtenblad:

probably find that you'll get more direct with qualifying them when they come

Therese Ørtenblad:

to the stand as like they, you know.

Therese Ørtenblad:

The show goes on basically

Therese Ørtenblad:

. Vicki Weinberg: Yeah, and I like what

Therese Ørtenblad:

as well and finding a bit about more them and what they're looking for.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Cause I think it can be tempting when you are in like a sales environment to talk

Therese Ørtenblad:

about what you have rather than asking the other person, Okay, so where are

Therese Ørtenblad:

you from and what are you looking for?

Therese Ørtenblad:

And I think a lot bit of that goes a long way as well.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Yeah, for sure.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And you know, if you can make notes about it so you can follow,

Therese Ørtenblad:

include that in your follow up so that that can be really personal.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Even better.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And something else like you, I, you mentioned this a few minutes ago.

Vicki Weinberg:

I picked up on it cause it was a question I had to ask you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause when I was wandering around a trade show, I noticed that.

Vicki Weinberg:

I dunno if it was 50 50, but definitely some of the stands I went to had prices.

Vicki Weinberg:

So you could see the price of each product, some didn't.

Vicki Weinberg:

Do you have a, a view on that?

Therese Ørtenblad:

I prefer prices.

Therese Ørtenblad:

It's helpful for the buyer.

Therese Ørtenblad:

It's also helpful for you to come across really like, you know, your products

Therese Ørtenblad:

because like, unless you have like one price point, inevitably you will

Therese Ørtenblad:

get flustered during conversations.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So like by having them there.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You can say, you know, oh, that's retail, said that the wholesale

Therese Ørtenblad:

price is that the pack sizes.

Therese Ørtenblad:

That without having to go and look it up on a price sheet and you know,

Therese Ørtenblad:

lose too much eye contact or start faffing around with your catalog or

Therese Ørtenblad:

your iPad or whatever it might be, but it will make the whole selling

Therese Ørtenblad:

process a lot smoother if you have.

Therese Ørtenblad:

To hand.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, I have worked on stands where we don't necessarily have that because, for

Therese Ørtenblad:

example, I used to sell books and they obviously have the RRP on the books, so

Therese Ørtenblad:

we wouldn't have the cost price there.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Also, you have so many books, so it's a bit hard, but you learn the key

Therese Ørtenblad:

price points and we would have an iPad system, but it, I much prefer

Therese Ørtenblad:

it when it's right in front of.

Vicki Weinberg:

That makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause I guess as well, if someone just wants to find out the price of

Vicki Weinberg:

something, but you are tied up cuz maybe there's only, you on the stand

Vicki Weinberg:

then they can still get what they need.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Which also makes me think, as I've said that, and I'm sorry I haven't prepared you

Vicki Weinberg:

for this question, but do you recommend having someone with you if it a trade

Vicki Weinberg:

show or, um, Or that you do it yourself.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I mean, definitely for set up and breakdown.

Therese Ørtenblad:

It's nice if you can get some help at the stand.

Therese Ørtenblad:

It depends on who's gonna, you know, are they gonna be as

Therese Ørtenblad:

passionate about your products?

Therese Ørtenblad:

Are they gonna know your products enough?

Therese Ørtenblad:

And also, are you, you know, if you get a friend involved, are you guys going

Therese Ørtenblad:

to find it more comfortable to stand there and talk to each other instead

Therese Ørtenblad:

of being approachable by other people?

Therese Ørtenblad:

So it really depends on your personality, I think, and also what,

Therese Ørtenblad:

how big of a space you're getting.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, you know, you will get to know your stand, build the neighbors.

Therese Ørtenblad:

If you have to go to loo or go and pick up a coffee, you

Therese Ørtenblad:

guys will cover for each other.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, so you can do it yourself.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So it really depends on how you feel more comfortable.

Therese Ørtenblad:

But I, I do see people go with a friend and then they sit there and

Therese Ørtenblad:

they have very in depth conversation about things that, So that is you.

Therese Ørtenblad:

They're not as approachable.

Therese Ørtenblad:

. Vicki Weinberg: That makes sense.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I guess it's just a case of knowing yourself and

Therese Ørtenblad:

it's the same as like, you know, do not bring your

Therese Ørtenblad:

laptop and sit in front and look down on your laptop the whole time,

Therese Ørtenblad:

or on your phone the whole time.

Therese Ørtenblad:

That is really not why you're at the show.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You're there to meet people, so then you need to be approachable.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, you've shared so many things about exhibiting.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much.

Vicki Weinberg:

I have just a few more, if that's okay.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, one is, do you need to think about any, um, I'm gonna say legal requirements.

Vicki Weinberg:

Legal might not be the right word.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, for example, do you need any specific insurance?

Vicki Weinberg:

If you want to attend to trade show, for example?

Therese Ørtenblad:

So you will need insurance and the shows won't let

Therese Ørtenblad:

you exhibit without it so either.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So basically the way they do it, they usually charge you for the

Therese Ørtenblad:

insurance and then if you send them your like public liability insurance

Therese Ørtenblad:

certificate, they usually credit you.

Therese Ørtenblad:

For that insurance.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So you never end up paying it.

Therese Ørtenblad:

But they need you to have that because legally they may need

Therese Ørtenblad:

to check that everyone has it.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So you need that.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Uh, if you're gonna get someone to help you or you, you know,

Therese Ørtenblad:

any during buildup and breakdown, no one under 16 can be in, in.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Exhibition hall.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So you know, if you think you can get your 15 year old in to help you set up and

Therese Ørtenblad:

paint the stand, that's not gonna work.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, but otherwise, I mean, You don't need much there.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Otherwise, it's just, you know, if you have people with you, make

Therese Ørtenblad:

sure that you are insured and they are insured to work on the stand

Therese Ørtenblad:

and uh, yeah, the public liability.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You need to showcase that you have.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really useful.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I guess if, if nothing else, it's another cost that

Vicki Weinberg:

people may not have thought about.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I did want to check on that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Therese Ørtenblad:

It's a lot cheaper to get it, not get the

Therese Ørtenblad:

stand one, but to have it already.

Therese Ørtenblad:

And to be honest, if you are at the stage where you are whole selling

Therese Ørtenblad:

and you are wanting to wholesale, you should have a public liability insurance

Therese Ørtenblad:

anyway, so, You probably have it.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Okay, so I have one final question, if that's okay.

Vicki Weinberg:

And it's quite a big one, so , don't worry if you can have you, um,

Vicki Weinberg:

can't think of one, but what is your top advice for anyone considering

Vicki Weinberg:

exhibiting at a trade show?

Vicki Weinberg:

I usually say one piece, but I don't wanna hold you to one if you have more.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Uh, I definitely think practice selling beforehand.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Don't forget about the whole selling conversation.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Really think about how you're going to be talking about your

Therese Ørtenblad:

products if you're unsure.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I think it's really worth having some help with it.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Um, I know it's one of those things like people think, Oh, I don't

Therese Ørtenblad:

wanna spend extra money, but, you know, it is worth being prepared.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Definitely see a huge difference and the result people get when they haven't had

Therese Ørtenblad:

any help and when, you know, people that I worked with for six months leading up

Therese Ørtenblad:

to the show or four months before the show in a couple of months after the way they

Therese Ørtenblad:

really, you know, focus on the selling.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So I definitely think you are there to sell.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Make sure that you have a plan for that.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really helpful.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and thank you for everything you've shared.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cause there's, there's a, there's a lot but I think for anyone even

Vicki Weinberg:

considering a trade show, even if it's a year or two down the

Vicki Weinberg:

line, I think this is so valuable.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Oh, for sure.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Because they can go and visit then.

Therese Ørtenblad:

now, you know, even if you don't even wanna do one yet,

Therese Ørtenblad:

you know, go and visit one.

Therese Ørtenblad:

It's fun.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think so.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think even if you don't ever intend to exhibit at one, I think it's

Vicki Weinberg:

such a good place for inspiration.

Therese Ørtenblad:

For sure and just to see other people in the industry

Therese Ørtenblad:

and, you know, go with another small business owner have, have a day out.

Therese Ørtenblad:

It's fun.

Therese Ørtenblad:

, Vicki Weinberg: definitely, I

Therese Ørtenblad:

I'm, I'm all for it.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I'm recommending that everyone, guys, if they have a chance,

Therese Ørtenblad:

there's also lots of talks and stuff, you know,

Therese Ørtenblad:

to go and listen to, like with advice about, you know, running a business.

Therese Ørtenblad:

So, definitely.

Therese Ørtenblad:

You can get a lot out of going.

Therese Ørtenblad:

I don't think it's a waste of day out.

Vicki Weinberg:

I don't.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I should also mention that they are free to attend as well if around.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Yes, they are free.

Therese Ørtenblad:

If they're in the UK they're free.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Okay.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well thank you so much.

Therese Ørtenblad:

No worries.

Therese Ørtenblad:

Thank you so much for having me.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for listening right

Vicki Weinberg:

to the end of this episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

Do remember that you can get the fullback catalog and lots of free resources

Vicki Weinberg:

on my website, vicky weinberg.com.

Vicki Weinberg:

Please do remember to rate, um, of you this episode if you've enjoyed

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it, and also share it with a friend who you think might find are useful.