christmas magic + flea style || why two shows in one weekend?
Man, we survived. In early summer, I booked us (Ramble & Company) at two different markets on the same weekend. Crazy? Possibly. However, I knew it would be beneficial for us to be at both. I’ve been doing vendor fairs / trade shows for 5 years now and I’ve gotten better about setting goals and thinking about my expectations for them.
Obviously we go to make money, but that’s not even my primary focus anymore. All shows are different and I believe it’s smart to think about what kind of show you are going to and what the demographic is that attends the show. I used to only think about what I wanted to sell and what I wanted our people to buy, but that doesn’t always work out. I believe more time and thought needs to go into showing up and marketing an event. Do I get this right every time? No. Have I seen improvement since I outlined a strategy? Yes.
So, with all that being said, it was worth attending two shows in a weekend. It stretched us thin and I had to believe our team would show up and be the best representation for us, and everyone nailed it.
Christmas Magic is put on by the Junior League of Wichita Falls and held at the MPEC in downtown Wichita Falls, Texas. The vendors at this show are a mix of Handmade / Artisan (limited amounts), Boutiques (majority), cooking demos, and infomercial type stuff. The demographic of people attending is mostly women ages 25-70. I primarily attended Christmas Magic to promote the store. We have a 3,000 square foot store filled with local vendors, handprinted apparel, and a handful of carefully curated brands, and I know there is a huge population of Wichita Falls who have not visited downtown or our store. We got the chance to visit one-on-one and explain how we are unique, and also showcase our best selling tees, new stock, and a few of our top vendors.
GOAL: promote the store, showcase a portion of what we sell in store, and meet new amazing people
This event is put on by Flea Style and held at Dallas Market Center in Dallas, Texas. If you do not know who or what Flea Style is, take a break and go research it now. This event is so carefully curated with 150 artisan handmade vendors. This is a shorter 2-day show, which is what allowed us to do both. We were able to set up Christmas Magic on Wednesday and Thursday and then drive to Dallas on Friday to set up for Flea Style. The demographic of people attending is primarily women and families, ages 20-60, living in the Dallas area.
I started attending Flea Style last fall and realized it was a huge opportunity to meet people, make connections, and see new faces! I’ve always known I wanted to expand our brand and be in a new town. Thankfully, we were asked to have a booth at the new Flea Style store and we started that this June. It’s been an amazing opportunity to get to know the Flea Style staff and gain more of a following in the Dallas area.
My goal for this show was to meet new people, introduce our new fall line, and continue to build relationships. We accomplished that. We ran into a new vendor and I can’t share all the details, but this connection is going to be a game-changer for us. I’ve got some pretty large goals / dreams that I have not said out loud to very many people, and meeting this company affirmed that we can do great things.
It was a little scary arriving into Dallas only two hours before we had to be set up, but hey—we did it!
Biggest challenges of two shows in a weekend:
DISPLAY - We had to make sure we had enough furniture, supplies, signage, etc. for both shows. I also went to Flea Style knowing I would not be taking anything really heavy or that required a drill. Girl Power only goes so far over here.
INVENTORY - Planning two shows meant we needed a lot of stock and careful planning on what was going to each show. Our kids’ playroom at the store turned into a stock room for boxes! With careful labeling and organizing, we pulled it off.
TIME - We all know we can’t be two places at the same time. Ryan and I had to map out our schedule for the week so that we were consistently on the same page, as well as our employees.
We did it! With challenges, little sleep, and exhausted bodies, we are back. We are now getting the store flipped for the Holiday Season and don’t worry—we’ve been planning this for so long that we can make it all happen! I can’t wait for you to see the store.
If you are still here and reading, I hope this helped! My biggest advice for shows is do your research! Know who is attending and set expectations. Always go in with a plan.
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