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Retail Buyers: Three Tips to Make the Most of Your NEAC Show

Attending a fashion tradeshow is the best way for retail buyers to find the latest trends, and touch and feel the products they will be bringing into their boutiques.  Seeing a range of clothing, accessory, footwear, and gift lines in one place can help get a good handle on trends and think about the mix of products you’ll bring in for next season.

To make the most of your time at NEAC, consider these tips for success at the show.

Tip 1: Make Appointments, But Leave Time for Browsing

Making appointments with your reps is the best way to ensure you have time to really explore lines and see which pieces will be a good fit for your customer base.  As you build relationships with your reps, they will know what will work well in your store and be able to guide you through the trends, fits, and price points that will work for your customers.

However, don’t forget to leave time to browse the show and met reps you haven’t worked with before. This will give you the opportunity to discover new lines, and take note of new trends by examining brands you haven’t bought before.

Browsing can also give you an opportunity to add new categories to your shop. You might find some interesting giftware, jewelry, or footwear that complement your apparel offerings.  Or vice versa – adding clothing and accessories to gift shops can extend your customer base and delight your customers with new offerings.

Trends show up throughout the show, make sure to BOTH work with your reps, and look for new lines that you haven’t seen before. Time spent browsing – outside of structured appointments – can be invaluable for keeping things fresh.

Tip 2: Set Goals and Make a Plan Before You Go

The New England Apparel Show features more than 700 apparel, accessory, footwear, and gift brands, so a little bit of advance planning can help you make the most of your time at the show.

Come to the show with a list of goals and make a plan that will help you reach them.  Are you there to seek out new trends, expand into new categories, or discover new lines? Or maybe all of the above.

Your goals will help you structure your time at the show.

A few weeks before, visit the show page on the NEAC website, and download the Show Book – this will give you a list of all brands attending and the corresponding rep with their booth location. You can also visit the Brands section of the NEAC site to learn more about the individual brands that will be at the show.

Then, download the floorplan on the event page and start mapping your journey through the show.  Make appointments based on the reps’ booth locations, and leave time for browsing in between. If you’re looking to add a new category – say jewelry – look up where the accessory vendors will be located, and schedule in time to browse those aisles.

Tip 3: Stay in Touch

Make sure you are subscribed to NEAC’s emails so you receive pre-show communications. And ensure your registration record is correct when you check in.  If we don’t have the correct email and contact information for your store, you may miss out on important show information, trend details, and communication from reps about their new lines. And make sure you are following NEAC on Facebook and Instagram.

Staying in touch will ensure you get early access to the list of brands and reps attending, as well as hotel deals and other logistical details that will help you plan your show for maximum impact.

Prepare for a Great Show

With a little preparation, you can make the most of your time at the New England Apparel Show.  If you haven’t registered for our next show, it is not too late. Visit neacshow.com to sign up and access important information about the shows.  We look forward to seeing you at the shows!