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Retailers should view trade shows as opportunities to strengthen industry relationships, not just source products
Big box stores and small independent retailers have one thing in common whether they realize it or not: they need trade shows.
According to an article in Forbes, it’s believed that trade shows have been around as early as the medieval times, with reports of various European countries hosting trade shows to sell produce and other products. Historically, trade shows were first created to gather buyers and sellers in one place, and although that core objective remains the same, trade shows today also offer opportunities beyond buying and selling.
“A trade show environment allows retailers to see product in person, establish what’s trending in their marketplace and get comprehensive product information in one contained location,” Camille Candella, vice president of marketing for Emerald Expositions, told Forbes. “Attendees are able to take advantage of educational and networking programs where they can increase their expertise and share their experiences with one another to the benefit of their entire industry.”
By attending trade shows, retailers have access to new vendors, established vendor partners and service providers that all cater to their unique retail market. Attendees of trade shows can gain product intelligence, competitor insight, industry specific trends and more, while also gaining useful knowledge to bring back to their entire store team. An added bonus is that many trade shows are filled with industry specific thought leaders that can help retailers in achieving stronger success.
With this in mind, retailers should also look at trade shows as opportunities to not just source products, but to strengthen industry relationships. When opportunities for great buys come around, limited editions become available, promotional giveaways open up or other opportunities are identified, it’s these “preferred” retailers who will get a call from their vendors before other merchants. Face time at trade shows will help build these types of relationships, plain and simple.
Beyond playing favorites, retailers can expect to truly be in the know by attending trade shows versus simply reading a recap of the show. “Trade shows are a great reflection of what is going to be hot in the upcoming retail landscape,” Candella told Forbes.
Registration is now open for the NACS Show, taking place October 7 – 10 in Las Vegas. Register now!