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January 2006 | Vol. V - No. 1
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Manufacturer Toy Fair Checklist

The Dos and Don’ts of Exhibiting at Trade Shows


Introduce a few great products that will leave a lasting impression.
Click here to check out new toys for 2006.

Next month’s Toy Fair in New York City will unite numerous toy manufacturers with droves of toy retailers, all eager to purchase products they believe will fly off their store shelves. But how does a manufacturer convince prospective customers that his or her products, amid a convention hall full of innovative new toys, are the ones to carry?

The 11 useful tips that follow can help your toys make it to most retailers’ “must buy” lists:

1. Make sure your booth is an attention-grabber. Display large flashy logos and colorful visuals up high so that the booth can be noticed from afar. Consider using oversized images of the toys or their themes.

2. Don’t let your product be a wallflower: Put on lively toy demonstrations with energetic sales representatives. Even small booths can attract the masses if they move merchandise with attitude.

3. Keep your booth clutter-free. Don’t overwhelm potential buyers with too many options: Instead, introduce a few great products that will leave a lasting impression.

4. Keep information handy. Brochures and various materials of top products, even a sample of the packaging, inform buyers as to how toys or games will be marketed, and can help close a deal.

5. Don’t be afraid of pandering to the audience: Offering a small giveaway, even if it’s entirely unrelated to what you are representing, can reel in potential clients. Related products, such as snacks that reflect an over-riding theme your product employs, can create a buzz across a show floor full of peckish buyers.

6. Explain the product in question fully, yet briefly. Keep your dialogue with booth visitors engaging without hogging retailers’, or media members’, time.

7. Follow up with leads. This is critical: Once the show is over, move quickly to contact potential buyers who expressed interest, but who weren’t yet ready to place an order.

8. Prepare thank you letters before the show even begins. This will save you time later as you to get down to business.

9. Line up meetings with major clients well in advance of the show. This will help guarantee you meet with qualified buyers.

10. Most important, observe your competition. Use what they’ve learned to improve your own trade show experience in future years. What were the most popular booths at the show and why?

11. Start thinking about how to leave your audience spellbound at next year’s show as soon as this one ends. As each year passes, you will gain a greater understanding of just how to be the talk of the trade show floor.




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