To trade show or not to trade show?
To Trade Show...
Peter Herz, Jornik Manufacturing, Stamford, Conn., www.jornik.com
Every year, we look at the schedule for the following year’s trade shows to see if there are one or two we can cut. We mull it over and, after a very short while, decide there is no better and economical way to see all those distributors within a two- or three-day time frame. It’s a chance to be reacquainted with old friends, and meet and greet new ones. It’s always great to put a face with a name and a voice. We can always count on getting some quality time with our current and new distributors. Trade shows definitely help cement relationships.
Trade shows are just the place to educate distributors on our line and give them ideas on how to sell our products, especially the newest and best-selling items. We have many exclusive and unique items; with a line that includes fishing lures, imprinted walnuts, custom-shaped pens and Bottle Buddies, it is not always obvious where they work best.
Meeting the distributors in person gives us the opportunity to get to know them and the types of clients they work with. At a show, we have the opportunity to talk about Jornik’s high ratings for quality and customer service, and how we can help with our contract printing and sourcing capabilities. I always find it exciting to be talking to one client or prospect at a show when another client walks up and tells the distributor I am meeting with how great it is to work with Jornik.
The other benefit of trade shows is how much we learn from our distributors. We have learned that distributors want easy online order tracking, humans answering the phone (not automated attendants), simple product and theme search capabilities on our Web site, notification when samples are shipped, and many other details that have helped us along the way. Also, trade shows give us the opportunity to get feedback on products we are considering for the future, so quite often we use the shows for market research.