What in the bottle poppin’ world is a trade show?
Working with a start-up means figuring out how to grow a business and get your brand recognized as quick and efficiently as possible. Since I joined the Cheers team last November, we have been working our booties off to consistently increase the growing momentum that our bottle opener sunglasses have been seeing. Considering our company is still under two years old, one of our main goals is to show everyone in the world what our product is. One of the best ways to do this is to hit up as many trade shows as possible. What is a trade show you might ask? Well, a trade show isn’t just standing in a booth for 10 hours a day trying to sell a product under florescent lighting. A trade show is an opportunity to get your brand noticed by thousands of people. This means sales, sales, recognition, and more sales!
The past few months with Cheers has been wild with trade show after trade show. Since the new year, we have been to Atlanta, Orlando, Dallas, Seattle, and New York. With that being said, I have been traveling A LOT. Everytime I go, my friends and family somehow seem to come up with more questions about what the heck a trade show even is and what I do all day. No mom, I don’t get to spend my workdays in New York climbing to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
Since my friends and family are so curious, I figured you guys might be too. Therefore, I have done a quick Q & A below on commonly asked questions that I constantly get at the dinner table.
Q: Do you get free stuff?
A: It depends on how many people you make friends with. Haha just kidding! It really does depend though. Some companies ship a lot of their product to the venue before hand and since it is really expensive to ship it all back, often times they will just give it away to the other vendors. However, it is not very common for people at the end of the shows to walk around with a big ole’ bag and see what is free. All of the free stuff that I have brought home from trade shows have been from people in which I have built relationships with throughout the event. One time, I got a Spongebob Squarepants bird feeder, that was FOR SURE the best souvenir yet.
Q: Can anyone go in? Does it cost money?
A: No, this isn’t a shopping mall, not just anyone can go in. In fact, they can be pretty strict at the entrance in regards to badges. The only people allowed in are vendors and buyers that register in advance to attend. Although, if you are smart, you can become friends with a buyer or vendor and become a plus one. Go make some friends for that free s***!
Q: Is it like an all day thing? How long does it last?
A: Usually the event lasts for 4-5 days from like 9am-6pm.
Q: Is there beer? Music? Is it fun?
A: Almost always they have a happy hour starting around 2pm. The extra fun trade shows give out free beer (these are the ones I always tell my boss that we should go back to..obvies). Sometimes, they have DJ’s or fun music playing too. Some of the shows even throw parties for the vendors and buyers in the evening time which includes yummy food and free drinks. In my honest opinion, the shows that make an effort to provide a little pizaazz for the buyers and vendors end up being the best ones for everyone. When people are happy, it is easier to build relationships and everyone enjoys themselves more.
Q: Are animals allowed? Kid friendly?
A: I know, my friends and family are weird and yes this is a common question when you surround yourself with people who spend all day watching puppy videos on Instagram. Unfortunately, animals are not allowed and I am pretty sure you can only bring kids if they are still breast feeding status. I’ve definitely seen people break these rules before though and it makes my 10 hour work day heart happy when I see a fluffy 4 legged creature trot through the booths.
Ta-da! There is the behind the scenes scoop on how my dinner dates go prior to travel these days. Overall, trade shows are awesome and super fundamental in the growth of a start-up. Our Cheers team is learning a ton and it still makes us so happy to see people’s faces light up when they see our bottle opener sunglasses for the first time.