10 steps to trade show success

Trading director at Today’s Group John Baines shares his top tips for running a successful trade day

John Baines
John Baines, Trading director, Today’s Group
  1. Simple and easy: The most successful trade shows keep it simple: wholesalers need to tell their customers via clear PoS what price they buy at, they sell at and what they make.
  2. Refreshments: Complimentary food and drinks or buffets go down really well and add theatre and interest to the day.
  3. Extra staff: The best events are well organised with good availability. It’s worth considering extra staff to help customers load goods to their vehicles.
  4. Depot champion: It is helpful to have one person who is the sole contact for all matters relating to the trade day – it gives them a sense of responsibility to ensure that the day runs well.
  5. Amazing prizes: Our Gold Rush trade days feature giveaways that include free vans, free stock and at the moment we have scratch cards that offer customers the chance to win instant prizes.
  6. Maximise the time: Hughson Brothers in Shetland only has one trade day a year but the manager Carl Cross welcomes suppliers to dinner the evening before to sustain good trading relationships.
  7. Plan logistics: Dhamecha has seven trade days all planned within a few weeks of each other, but communication across the depots is effective which means that resources can be maximised.
  8. Entertainment: We use a ‘close-up’ magician to entertain customers while they are queing at the checkout and around the depots – but we’ve used sporting celebrities and look-a-likes in the past.
  9. Now shout about it: We supply ‘coming soon’ posters and promotional brochures for our members but some of them also invest in radio advertising and have their own promotional apps.
  10. Ask for feedback: We generate feedback for from all our members and we encourage them to send us photos of their events to help us share best practise with other members. 

Read our August cover story by Lindsay Sharman for more secrets to trade day success.


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