Are Trade shows still considered a 'must' for cake decorating business'? Or is it a waste of money and time? I have some new fondant silicone molds I would like to showcase but I hear different opinions of Trade shows. What do you think?
I would think it would depend on how much inventory you'd have to have to do one, how much it would cost, and what the attendance would be. Someone emailed me to see if I was going to do the cake show around here this spring, but I'm not willing to put that much time into producing inventory that may or may not sell during the time the show would be going on. If you have a lot of stock on hand and can take it there without investing a lot of money and there's good attendance I'd say it might be worth trying. Some people like to see things in person before they decide to buy it, and if you can do demonstrations of the product it will entice people to buy things they might not have been planning on buying.
On the other hand, as a customer I tend to go to those shows to buy specific items that I use a lot so that I can avoid the shipping charges. If you're going to do one I'd make sure that you really promote the fact that you'll be there before the show, maybe offer people a pre-show discount code for signing up for a newsletter, or something like that. If you get there and people don't know that you're there they won't be looking for you and you won't make as many sales. The prep for those shows is just as important as the show itself as far as marketing goes.
Thanks for all that information! I couldn't agree more with the marketing before going aspect. The place is a 3 hour drive from my place and each booth costs about $600. That includes breakfast and snacks .I have never been a vendor at one of these and do not know the chaos and prep that goes into it. And i hear people saying with all the media marketing its a waste. hmmmmm.... Inventory is something i can transport myself.Not too bad. How much of one unit do vendors usually take with them? Also I wanted to know if the cost was worth it.Its a 3 day show.So accomodation etc etc. Something to think about i guess.