I’m off to our first trade show of the year- but it’s a first for me as I will be a speaker and not a buyer this time.
It’s the Lansing Gift Show March 8th through March 10th, in Lansing, MI which is conveniently the center of Michigan. The draw to this show is small, but local retailers. And, if you have read any of my previous blogs, I am really pushing “buy local”. Not just because there aren’t any other companies outside of Michigan that can provide unique, specific items for your business or home. It’s more about looking here first and then when you can’t find it, expand your boundaries.
Truth be told, not much doesn’t come from China right now. I have a hard time finding laminated, colored gloss paper, corded handled cub size tote bags. (Whew- that’s a mouthful). I need them in small quantities, because my brides often only have 20-35 out of town guests needing hospitality bags in their hotels. So I don’t have a lot of choices, because frankly I’m not in the mood to buy 50-100 in lilac. Great color, but not a very useful color beyond that bride’s wedding.
This is one of the biggest challenges for small business today- to minimize inventory and maximize the dollars that are available to spend on other parts of your business.
As I have mentioned, I “trend-spot”. To keep my offerings cutting edge, I keep an eye out for new products and the new colors that influence every thing from sheets and towels, to purses and scarves, to car colors and furniture.
What I am hoping to share with the small retailers I meet in Lansing is where to keep up on these trends, how to keep their store packaging fresh and current and how to offer gift wrapping services that will help them pump up their customer loyalty (plus sales!).
Mark your calendars and check back to see how these trade shows are going for me- a new (ad)venture for sure.