It’s important to plan ahead. Below is a checklist to help you prepare for your trip to IGES Market Week. Need more buyer resources before the show, visit the IGES Show Planner.
- Make notes on your best-selling merchandise/products.
- Hold a meeting with your staff for their opinions and feedback.
- Read industry magazines for upcoming trends.
- Tear out sheets on products that catch your eye.
- Be a leader, not a follower! Know what is happening and selling in your area by doing your homework! Shop the local competition making notes on price points and merchandise.
- Plan your o.t.b. (open to buy).
- Register online to attend the show and to get important information about the show and the vendors that will be showing at the market.
- Make appointments to see vendors.
- Search the vendor directory, make appointments with vendors, send them a direct message or plan a walking map of how you will walk the show aisle by aisle.
- Re-sale certificate and tax id number.
- Projections, o.t.b. and calendar appointments.
- Business cards: keep them with you even during social events.
- Notebook, pens, and calculators.
- Order sheets.
- Mini stapler to staple cards to order sheets or cards into your notebook.
- Large tote bag for all line sheets and catalogs.
- Cell phone and charger.
- Laptop for checking e-mails and working orders at night. Most hotels have a business center that you can check e-mail as well.
AT THE SHOW
- Start early.
- Use the show planner you printed out before the show or pick up the IGES show guide to map out your day. Note the booths and vendors you want to see or with whom you have appointments.
- Walk row by row, floor by floor. You never know what you may find.
- Don’t be shy. If you see a busy booth, ask what time would be good for you to come back.
- Network: build a group of market friends that you can have lunch or dinner with and share experiences.
- Set a goal of visiting 10 new vendors per market.
- Write your order at the show! It can be overwhelming to try to do it when you get back home.
HELPFUL HINTS FOR BUYERS:
- DO NOT pay cash up-front.
- Check to see if the company is registered with the Better Business Bureau or another major business directory such as Dun & Bradstreet. You can also find these by checking with your local consumer affairs department or the State Attorney General. This will also tell you if the company in question has any complaints against them.
- Make sure that the company has a legitimate address; you will want to stay away from post office boxes.
- Also, make sure that a legitimate phone number is available, you can test this by calling the number and talking to a real person. You can leave a message but you also should expect a phone call back in a timely manner.
- Check with the state that the company is based out of and make sure it is licensed with that state.
- Never do business with a company that wants you to make immediate decisions or offers you deals that are too good to be true.
- Use your own good judgment, more times than not your gut feeling will lead you in the right direction.