Have you got your first jewellery trade shows and craft fairs lined up? Ready to take your latest collection and sell, sell, sell? You may have a beautiful collection, a well thought out display, and the perfect spot with lots of footfall, but how do you maximise sales at a trade show?
Here’s our guide on getting the best out of attending jewellery trade shows, including how to master selling at trade shows, and some tips on how to approach wholesale trade shows a little differently.
How to sell at trade shows
As a creative person who spends most of their time pouring over their latest designs in their home studio, selling at some of the larger jewellery trade shows may not come naturally. And that’s completely understandable! Stepping out and presenting your jewellery designs to the wider public can be scary, but it can also be a really useful way of getting to know your customers and improving your product for them. So take a deep breath and take the plunge at your first jewellery trade show. With a few tips and some practice, you’ll be surprised at how natural it feels to sell what you’re passionate about.
Our top jewellery trade show tips
- Get in touch with your regular clients. Send emails or personalised invites to your loyal customers, especially if you are likely to debut new designs. If they love your work, they’ll be dying to see what you’ve thought up next.
- Contact registered attendees of the event. The event organisers may be able to provide you with the full list of attendees ahead of the event. Some may only sell the list to you. Either way, it’s an excellent opportunity to gain some exposure to new customers ahead of the trade show.
- Provide attendees with a discount. Give new customers an incentive to come to your display stand. Will your budget allow you to offer a discount on one of your collections? Or can you offer free shipping for every purchase at the trade show that presents their email invite?
- Use social media to your advantage. Your social media accounts should be shouting about your attendance at an upcoming trade show at least two weeks in advance. If you’re not using social media for your jewellery business yet, here’s how to sell your jewellery online with social media.
During the trade show
- Be attentive without being too pushy. Say hello to everyone that comes by your stand and strike up a casual conversation that doesn’t revolve around selling. If people warm to you they’ll be more likely to invest in your work and your brand.
- Are all your pieces priced? If you didn’t have time to price up all your designs ahead of the show, make sure you take some tags with you for set up. Once it gets a little busier and you’re unable to speak to everyone visiting your stall at once, potential customers won’t be left wondering about prices.
- Encourage people to try on. If anyone shows an interest in a specific piece, help them try it on and offer them a business card or a discount code if you’re able to. If you can offer them a small discount and the jeweller next to you cannot, they may come back to you before the show finishes.
- Try to close the sale on the day of the event. If you can persuade your customer to buy there and then, that’s a win. Leaving your customer to mull it over may mean that they won’t come back to you that day, and as time goes on they’ll be less likely to buy from you. Make a lasting impression so that they do return!
- Record potential customers contact information. If you can’t sell to attendees on the day, make sure you get as many people as possible to sign up to your mailing list or social media accounts. This could bring your further sales after the jewellery trade show.
After the show
- Remember those contact details? Make sure you follow up all your jewellery trade shows by contacting those you got to know at the event. Follow up immediately with those that bought on the day with a thank you! And don’t forget to contact those that left their details with you. An email will sometimes act as a gentle reminder to potential customers, hopefully, to buy from you in the future.
- Don’t forget to get in touch with the organiser. Send a thank you note to your trade show contact. However big or small the event, show your gratitude to them and when their event becomes so popular that there is a waiting list to attend, they’ll remember your small gesture.
Selling at wholesale jewellery trade shows
Selling to buyers at wholesale jewellery trade shows is a different story entirely. There is a lot of preparation that’s required to put you in the best possible light so that buyers take note. Here a few tips to help you get organised and start selling at trade shows.
- Do your research. Before you venture into wholesale, you need to figure out if it’s a good fit for your business. You’ll need to select a few designs that you’re able to produce in bulk quickly. And you’ll need to figure out a profitable wholesale price for these pieces.
- Make wholesale prices as clear as possible. Display your prices on cards or as part of a portfolio. That way, the buyers can clearly see what you’re asking for. Remember, they’re looking to sell your jewellery on so will need to make a profit too. This process can give you a better idea of how to set your margins in at your next wholesale trade show.
- Present yourself professionally. Stay standing as buyers visit your booth, and if you can, hire some help for the day. That way, one of you can take a break every once in a while and the other can stand waiting for potential buyers.
- Prepare your order forms. Make it easy for buyers to place an order with you. Prepare easy-to-use order forms that make the process quick and simple.
- Ask for advice. If this is your first time attending wholesale trade shows, ask your neighbour for advice and buyers for feedback on your designs. This will be a learning curve, but hopefully one that will help you develop into a well-rounded retail and wholesale jewellery business that prospers.