As a buyer, attending textile exhibitions is a great opportunity to stay up to date with the latest trends and connect with suppliers, yet often buyers are uncertain about how to effectively participate in them. Therefore, a comprehensive guide is needed to provide information for buyers about the best practices for joining textile exhibitions and to help them better know how to take advantage of trade shows and maximize their potential.
In this article, you are going to read about:
1)What exhibitions can bring buyers?
2)How to efficiently find desired products, services, or suppliers in exhibitions?
3)How to navigate the trade shows?
Now, let’s go!
What Exhibitions Can Bring to Buyers?
Trade exhibitions are events where companies and businesses present their products and services to potential buyers in a specific industry. These events are not only important for businesses looking to promote their products and services, but they also offer many benefits for buyers.
- Access to a wider range of products and services
Attending trade exhibitions allows buyers to explore a wider range of products and services, all in one place. Instead of traveling to multiple locations or searching online for information, buyers can easily browse through different products and services from multiple exhibitors in one place. This not only saves time but also provides buyers with an opportunity to discover new products and suppliers that they may not have known existed otherwise.
- Opportunities to meet and network with suppliers
Joining the exhibition to meet suppliers in person, can help build relationships and foster collaboration.
They might also benefit from complementing their existing offerings by accessing a new supplier whose product line can help them gain a potential considerable margin.
In addition, buyers can network with other industry professionals and gain insights into new developments and trends. These insights might help them make better business decisions.
- Streamline in purchasing and supplier-selection process
Attending trade exhibitions can make the purchasing and supplier-selection process more efficient.
Face-to-face interactions with suppliers provide buyers with detailed information and insight about their products, which can help them make informed purchasing decisions.
Additionally, meeting with multiple suppliers in one place can speed up the supplier selection process.
- Exposure to new ideas and technologies
Exhibitors at trade exhibitions showcase their latest products and services, giving buyers a glimpse of what’s new and exciting in the market. This can help buyers anticipate changes in their industry and stay ahead of competitors.
- Understand industry trends and developments
Industry thought leaders often give speeches and presentations at trade exhibitions, which can provide valuable insights into the industry’s future direction. Buyers can also learn about market changes, consumer behavior, and industry trends at trade exhibitions.
How to Efficiently Find Desired Products, Services, or Suppliers in Exhibitions?
The possibility of finding the desired product or supplier among all the options can be challenging. It is important to use effective strategies to efficiently find desired products or suppliers at trade shows. By using these strategies, buyers can simultaneously manage their time while maximizing their exhibition goals and returns.
Seven effective strategies are worth a try:
1. Set goals for participation
Objectives can revolve around finding new suppliers, launching new products, or gathering market information.
But remember setting specific and achievable goals is needed. As it can help you stay focused, assess your needs, and avoid wasting time on irrelevant exhibitors.
For example, you might try to start by setting a goal of visiting ten potential suppliers to learn about their products.
2. Conduct market research on exhibitors and products
Search exhibitors’ websites and social media accounts for product information, and search for customer reviews from published articles or blogs. Having information about exhibitors beforehand can help visitors make informed decisions and maximize their time at the show.
3. Familiarize with fabric key terms
Knowing the fabric key terms (i.e. technical jargon) associated with products at a trade show can help buyers interact more effectively with suppliers, which would finally help in sourcing their ideal products more easily.
5 Key terms about denim fabric you should know
-End use. For jeans, shirting, dress, work wear? For men, ladies, or kids?
-Weight. This is calculated by how many grams per square meter (GSM). It can be weight before or after wash.
-Composition. 100% cotton, cotton polyester blended, cotton spandex, or mixed with sustainable fiber like lyocell and hemp?
-Fabric style. Pure twill, 2/1 twill, with slight slub, slim slub, bold slub, rain slub, or crosshatch slub? Dobby, fake knit denim?
-MOQ. Different suppliers have different strategies for offering products. Some are produced in stock before selling, some are custom-made. MOQ is different between these two types.
4. Bring a notebook and take organized notes
To maximize your product or supplier selection process, bring a notebook and take organized notes. It can effectively help you deal with abundant product or supplier information after the show.
Mark down the key information of the company and its product and tape a name card next to the notes. If you have selected some product from them, also write down the key data and quotation.
5. Prepare samples, if possible
If you have, bring the samples with you to join the exhibition. That will help exhibitors quickly position what you need and quote you in a short time. Even if they don’t have the similar one you are looking for, it’s easier for them to react to what they should introduce as they can get information like what quality, style, or weight you need from the sample and give you more useful feedback.
6. Prioritize important factors for decision-making
Buyers should prioritize important factors that will be used to guide their decision-making regarding products, services, or suppliers to investigate at exhibitions.
Factors such as price, quality, and reliability may be significant priorities to consider when making the evaluations.
7. Take photos and record important information
Taking photos and recording important information during an exhibition visit can serve as useful reference material for buyers. They can capture images of products or services that pique their interest and take notes on pricing, supplier contact information, and other relevant details.
By doing so, they can easily revisit their notes and photos after the event, and recall specifics such as product features or supplier testimonials. This information can aid in the decision-making process or support further research for them.
How to Navigate the Trade Shows?
- Access more details about the exhibition
Before the exhibition, it is important to research and access more information about the event. Including exhibition dates, venue, and exhibitor list.
This information is easy to get from its official website and social media pages.
Noted: exhibitor list is normally listed as a document in the download ahead of the official website.
- Understand the layout of the event
The floor layout and category segmentation of a trade show can be overwhelming, and it’s important to navigate through it effectively. It’s possible to get the exhibition map from the exhibition website, usually in color-coded mode, to help you classify different areas of the exhibitions.
Download and mark the color areas you want to visit and connect them into a line to plan a complete visit route. It can help you find the product or supplier you want more efficiently and purposefully.
- Strategize and prioritize which exhibitors to visit
Before attending a trade show, it is recommended to research which companies or exhibitors to visit. According to your business needs and objectives, prioritize the companies and exhibitors that you wish to visit. Before the exhibition, better should set appointments with the key exhibitors to optimize their time.
- Gather and organize information for future reference
Once the exhibition is finished, it is important to keep and organize important information gathered. It is recommended to keep organized notes with the business cards, brochures, and other materials to make for further product or supplier selection processes.
For buyers, effectively attending an exhibition can provide them the possibility to source their ideal product or suppliers from a vast array of offerings. By planning and preparing effectively, researching the exhibitors diligently, and navigating the trade show effectively, buyers can optimize their time, unlock the full potential of the exhibitions and maximize their returns.
Check our exhibition guide for INTERMODAL 79, one of the biggest fashion tradeshows in Latin America: