Retailers’ Guide to a Successful Show

Vegas Week can be grueling, but with a little homework, some organization, and good follow-through, you will have a hugely successful show. Here are JCK’s tips to making your Las Vegas Shopping Spree a successful one: 

For retailers – the first and most important thing you can do for your business is to commit now to attend the show, once registered, pre-show planning and at-show organization are key to making the most out of your trip.
Register Online Today! 

Pre-Planning Tips:

1) Do your homework…
          a. Know your total inventory
          b. Know your inventory by brand
                    i. Having these numbers on hand will allow you to know your total open to buy and your open to buy by brand.
                    ii. Identify the amount of money you will allot to basic pieces vs. special/limited/new designs. 

2) Do your Research…
          a. What’s hot – What are the trends for the coming season: Educate yourself, read the May issue of JCKstyle for a list of the upcoming trends. We also have a few featured in this newsletter—see “Ice, Ice Baby.” 
          b. Identify key products and manufacturers you’d like to add to your current inventory. Retailers tell us they use JCK Show products and JCK’s May issues to research new products and companies. They often tear-sheet items they’re looking for. Take the time to tear out the pages of your favorites and put them in your show folder. This year, JCK’s Show Guide is ONLINE at / offering you the ability to search for products and companies 24/7 hours a day. 

3) Organize…
          a. Make a complete list of current vendors you need to visit, and new vendors you’d like to visit.
          b. Gather all of their contact information, including phone number, booth numbers and hall locations. When you call for an appointment, also ask for a cell phone or booth phone number.
          c. Classify your accounts by location—it will be easier on you and your legs if you try to plan appointments within the same location for the same day.

4) Schedule Appointments Early…
          a. Begin calling to set up appointments early—now—to ensure you get one that fits in your timeframe. If you wait too long, you could find the vendors’ schedules are filled, and you could spend more time running around the show trying to squeeze in visits than actually visiting with exhibitors. Also be sure to get the vendor’s booth phone or cell phone number, in case you’re running late or need to cancel.
          b. Allow time between appointments. It’s inevitable that you’ll run into old friends in the aisles, so build in an extra 10-15 minutes between appointments for chat time—or to just sit and rest both your feet and your mind for a bit.
          c. Weigh your options… if you’re having trouble with overlapping appointments, decide whether it is more important to visit with a current vendor—or use the time to research a new vendor.
          d. If you need to cancel an appointment with a vendor, actually cancel it, don’t just be a no-show. Call or stop by and explain that you will follow up after the show, or try to stop by at another time when they might not be as busy.

At-Show Organization:
With all the networking and special events going on during Vegas Week, it’s hard to stay on track and on time. The only way to do this is to come prepared with files, appointments, and a schedule to follow.

1) Follow your schedule! You just spent days planning a comprehensive schedule to get the most out of the show, so don’t let the time you spent go to waste—follow it. 

2) Be on time for your appointments
          a. Everyone is busy at The JCK Show ~ Las Vegas. Be courteous and considerate of your vendor’s time by arriving on time, or calling if you know you’ll be more than five minutes late. They will appreciate it!

3) Carry your paperwork—Don’t try to remember everything, it’s impossible.
          a. Carry your file folder containing:
                    i. Your schedule of appointments
                    ii. Your inventory by brand
                    iii. Your open to buy by product and/or brand
                    iv. Bring photos or ads of the products you like
                    v. Know your price points and styles
                    vi. Note key points you want to discuss with each vendor

4) If you are entertaining a new brand make sure that you don’t overlap/style price points, make sure you have the open to buy and that taking on a new brand does NOT come at the expense of an existing brand. 

And most importantly, at the end of the day and week, make sure you had fun!