We get so many emails from friends and other companies asking us how to prepare for the NY NOW gift show so we thought we would write a blog about it. (Stop by our booth #209 in the Global Handmade section, Aug 20-23 to check out our set-up and new magical friends).
With complete transparency, NY NOW can and usually is a stressful event. The best way to decrease stress is to be as prepared as possible. Figure out as many details beforehand and leave nothing to chance.
Concerning set up:
Concerning the show:
For order sheet, we used to use a print out order form with carbon paper to make copies. Some people still use this and will need carbon paper order forms, pens, calculator and clipboard. These orders are totaled manually. We now use Handshake, a digital ordering app. Its quite expensive, but we find we really like it (we opted for the two user package for the year). Its really easy to use. Just create an excel spreadsheet with all product names, codes, prices and photos and upload to the app. Like magic, you have a digital wholesale store.
THE FOLLOW-UP!!! The most important thing is your follow-through with the clients. Once they show interest, you must send them all digital information they need to place an order. Digital catalog, line sheet, and supporting images. It's better to assume that they will not follow-up with you. That is your job. Also, do some outreach beforehand to let people know you are coming via mailchimp and other forms of social media.
If you are planning on walking the show as a buyer or curious onlooker, please remember that the Javits is huge! Wear appropriate walking shoes. Pack layers, lunch and water. If applicable, we find it's really nice to declare yourself as a wondering vendor before some staff member gives you a whole spiel about the dynamics of their products. Helps save some energy for a potential customer.