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Surviving your first trade show

Cherise Williams

Surviving your first trade show by Cherise Williams on July 31st, 2019

Working in the toy industry it’s only a matter of time before you experience your first trade show. Mid-July of 2019 I attended my first, Sweet Suite. This year, the 10th anniversary of the event, was brilliant to say the least. From the big, bright, beautiful balloon wall that stood tall as you entered the room, to the biggest toy companies showcasing their latest and greatest products. All of your favourite media, mommy bloggers and child influencers were in attendance, I can admit I was a little starstruck when I saw Mila and Emma of the Stauffer Family.

 

So how exactly do you survive a trade show? I’ll tell you a few things I learned throughout my Sweet Suite journey!

 

  1. Wear comfy shoes, period.

 

You are going to be on your feet all day. From set up in the morning to tear down in the night, your feet will feel it the most if you don’t have the proper footwear.  SAVE YOURSELF and instead of the cute pair of heels be smart, still stylish, but smart!

 

  1. Hydrate and eat when you can!

 

The day will fly right by you.  At first glance its ten in the morning, next thing you know its six and your stomach is grumbling as you talk to media.  When you find the opportunity to eat before the show starts, DO IT. You want to be in your best shape when talking to people about the product.

 

  1. Prepare for the unknown.

 

From extra business cards, to portable phone chargers and stationery, it’s the little things that matter!

 

  1. Know your product.

 

I was onboarded onto the client I represented in the weeks prior to. I took the time to know the product, interact with the product and asked a bunch of questions. Come game-day I was ready to go. When you know your product, you naturally speak more confidently and if you appear confident people are more likely to trust and believe what you tell them.

 

  1. Be Yourself!

 

The easiest part of the event was talking to media and influencers. I love connecting with people, learning about them, their interests and their social channels. What’s even better about Sweet Suite was interacting with the kids themselves, seeing how excited they got about the product and the space they were in. Remember before being influencers they are human first, so treat them as such. I met so many amazing people and had great conversations, not just product related, but about other life topics from Drake, to favourite New York pizzeria’s and more. At the end of the day, being your true authentic self is the way to build those meaningful long-lasting relationships.