The In's & Out's of NY NOW

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:

  • We hand carry the entirety of our booth in to the Javits. As we are local, we are not familiar with shipping methods, but you can find out all the information you need under the "Freight Moving" tab in the Javits operational policies and the "Where do I ship my materials" tab in the NY NOW Exhibitor FAQ for shipping logistics. 
  • Have a clear plan as to what your booth set up will look like. Do not wait to see what it looks like setting it up for the first time at the show. We recommend a mock set up, that way you can get any additional materials you need beforehand. 
  • Lighting is soooo important. You want to design a lighting plan that works for you and your products. Illuminate, illuminate, illuminate!! We found it was cheaper to bring in our own lights and set them up ourselves. That said, you have to rent the electrical cords and top bar (that the lights can clip to) from the Javits. Read more under the "Electrical" tab in the operational policies here. You will receive a service form before the show via email that will allow you to order the electrical support you need. 

Concerning the show:

  • Have knowledgable booth staff. Make sure everyone is familiar with the products and their production as well as a brief understanding of the history of the company. These are all selling points and solidify your company's image. 
  • Have clear pricing on all of your merchandise. A lot of clients go to the show to gather information and make purchasing decisions later on. Clear pricing helps potential clients think realistically about you as a vendor. We organize our ornaments within each collection by price. 
  • Have take-away materials for clients. Customers see a lot of vendors and need some kind of reminder of your company. Postcards, small catalogs or even a small giveaway product. 

  • Make sure you have an up-to-date line sheet. This is a document that contains all your current product's names, product numbers, whole sale price, and if applicable, the MSRP. We have a digital line sheet that we email upon request.
  • Keep a blank notebook in which you can write down client's contact information. Even better, staple their business cards directly in to the notebook with any notes about what products they are particularly interested in and what info they need from you and when. 

 

  • Know when your products will be ready to ship (hard ship date) and from where. Your clients will like to know. 
  • Know your terms: what is the opening order minimum and reorder amount? Where are you on flexibility with these amounts with smaller businesses buying from you? Have a clear rule as to when you want to get paid (before delivery or built credit terms—net 30. We only do net 30 with returning clients).
  • 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. 

  • It's a good idea to bring layers as the temperature fluctuates from desert sun to arctic cold. Bring lots of water, and pack a lunch so you don't have to spend so much on food that isn't ideal :) 

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. 




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