The Winter Classic and The PPAI Expo
Hello and happy almost new year! The PPAI Expo is less than a week away. The Winter Classic is mere days away (at least the Alumni Game on December 31 is). The two have more in common than you think. They both offer gazillions of product options and a jump start on 2012 sales. What is better than that?
Products for the Winter Classic were likely secured months ago, but this is a yearly event. Pay attention to the products out there and more importantly, pay attention to their flaws. Can you find a better hat, spirit item, pom? If so, then do it! Next year you will be in Vegas bragging about the awesome Winter Classic specialty items you sold.
The great thing about about trade shows is the ability to see products up close. Take the opportunity to feel a Dri-Fit shirt or plush toy. Play with electronic devices and sample promotional food. Turn a windbreaker inside out to see the pockets, stitching and other features that hold the jacket together. The more you know about the products, the more seriously your clients will take you.
It is great to meet suppliers in person or see other distributors you have not seen in a year, but be careful not to forget your bottom line. Attendees are busy and sometimes there is not enough time to close a sale. While trade shows are good places to find leads, following up with those leads can be difficult. Make sure to get as much of the deal worked out while you are there so the follow up is easier. Also, don't wait to follow up. Everyone needs recovery time after Vegas, but it is best figure out details with a supplier when you are still fresh in his or her mind.