Everything we have learned in 25 fairs during 1 year
Last year we were at 25 fairs throughout Spain . The vast majority were in Madrid although we also dropped by Valencia and Barcelona.
This past weekend we celebrated a year since our first time. We wouldn't have done 25 fairs if we hadn't started with the first one. It was at the Design Market. At this first fair, Víctor and I bet on how many handbags we thought we could sell, we both made a mistake with the estimate. You can see the post in which we explain how we hacked the Design Market and appeared on Telemadrid here .
Today we want to explain what we have learned after a year as stallholders in case you want to launch your project in the future, do so by eliminating the failures that we have had.
1. Going to fairs and markets is necessary to publicize your product or service . This applies to almost any business. Fashion, sample, product fairs... you should know which fairs are adapted to your business. Not all are worth and not all are profitable. The cost of entry is not very high and the exposure of the project is very valuable. This is done from ecommerce to technology companies, analyze which is the place where you should show yourself.
2. You should not go to these fairs just to sell. You should also go network and expose yourself . You must tell everyone your story, why you are there, what you want to achieve, how your product works... tell it all, remember you are going to expose your brand or project, not just to sell.
3. You will get direct feedback from customers . This is key. In the online world it is very difficult to know what your customer thinks. At fairs you see their eyes, you see their expressions, you interact... the idea is that you test how they react to your prices, to the quality of your product, to your story. From here we take the average ticket out of our wallets, we test the demand for the backpack and we show the quality of our clothes to analyze the reception. I doubt there is a better way than to test it face to face with your potential customer. Don't you think?
4. Watch your attitude. Your expression and proactivity will make people come closer. Seeing someone smiling and willing is not the same as seeing someone sitting with a mobile phone in hand. It doesn't matter what time it is, whether it's Saturday or Sunday. You don't know who the person in front of you is or if they could be an interesting contact. We met our El Corte Inglés contact at a fair, for example.
5. How in any sales process there is a conversion: This means that the same as in online sales you will have a 1.5% to 3.5% conversion, these are our data, at a fair you will also have a conversion rate conversion. With the difference that this first contact largely depends on you. If you stop 100 people and explain what you do or how your product works, it is possible that a small % will buy from you . If you stop 30,000 people, estimated visitors to the design market, obviously the number of potential buyers grows. Without that first conversion or first contact your chances are greatly reduced. It depends on you. We stop everyone who passes near the table, we explain to them what we do and we give them a card with our networks so they can enter the web and we can remarket them. It all adds up!
6. Make contacts: Businesses are made by people, what better than knowing who is behind them. We know many colleagues who have been going to fairs for years and showing their project. It is milk to see how they are growing or how they are adapting to the market. The part that we like most about these events is that you could assume that we are in competition with each other but we are not. We always try to help each other, we exchange information about recruitment, logistics, other fairs, collaborations... markets are a great place to meet people who are developing things . We try to help everyone who comes to see us and we talk to everyone. If you go to a fair you should do the same.
7. Markets tire . It is a fact. On Mondays after a market you're in for a drag. The only option that we have found is to train people to help us. That they understand how to sell, what to say and that they know how to treat customers and the product. And above all. May they have the same motivation as us once we step back to let them handle it.
8. Not all markets are profitable . There are markets where it sells better and others where it sells worse. There are others that sell more on Saturday than on Sunday. There is no set pattern, no market is the same as another. From our experience, the most profitable are always the ones you do in your city, without paying for transportation or accommodation. If you want to do a test, do it locally and grow little by little.
Markets or fairs are necessary to make a project grow. In the ecommerce world it is easy to give an example: Pompeii, Hawkers... in the technological world there are many fairs where you can go to show your project and try to get customers and feedback.
For us the markets are an investment in which something interesting always happens . If you are thinking of launching something we recommend it.
We hope to see you in the next one ;)
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