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Magic Trade Show August 2012 - first time exhibiting and sharing the experience

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Old August 9th, 2012 Aug 9, 2012 4:02:07 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Magic Trade Show August 2012 - first time exhibiting and sharing the experience

Hey everyone! We are exhibiting at the Magic Trade Show (in the Street section) for the first time in Las Vegas in just over a week in booth 35048. We are excited and nervous at the same time! We've been to Magic twice (once when we first started in 2009 and then again last February). I will post here about our experiences getting ready for the show, as the show is happening and what happens after the show is over. If you're going to be at the show, let us know! Stop by and see us!

How our journey started:

To start, when we went to Magic in February, we were planning to look at POOL, feeling like the indie brand segment of Magic was our best fit. While there, we looked at the vendors exhibiting and really felt that we would fit right in. (Let me also tell you that we were first told we would have to pay like $800 per person to enter, but when we said we wanted to exhibit in August, they let us look around. They said usually potential exhibitors contact the sales people in advance and set up those look around sessions so I suggest doing so.)

We came back from POOL really pumped up! We submitted our paperwork as soon as we could and reached out to the show organizers. We submitted samples of our shirts, our target retailers, a price list, our line cards... and waited for over a week. Then we finally heard back: we did not get accepted. Devastated doesn't really cover the feeling. BUT they said we might be a fit for STREET at Magic. There was still hope, but we are not a hardcore tattoo brand like I would associate with Street. It's about 40% more expensive to exhibit at Street than Pool, but once we spoke with our rep, she reassured us that we would be successful and finally told us we were accepted! We were on our way!

In my next post, I'll post pictures with some of our prep work and what we still need to do to get ready. Let me know if you have any questions at all!
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Old August 9th, 2012 Aug 9, 2012 5:20:00 PM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magic Trade Show August 2012 - first time exhibiting and sharing the experience

I put a blog post with some pictures of hangtags, stickers, notebooks and shirt tags over here on our blog. Enjoy!
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Old August 11th, 2012 Aug 11, 2012 6:55:46 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magic Trade Show August 2012 - first time exhibiting and sharing the experience

I just put up a new cover image on our Facebook page promoting our booth number, I received our new banners that we'll be hanging in the sections of the rented booth space and we got in a few promotional hoodies to wear in the booth. Some picts here:
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Old August 12th, 2012 Aug 12, 2012 6:04:51 AM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magic Trade Show August 2012 - first time exhibiting and sharing the experience

Good luck. I'll be out there. I was planning on showing in february so I suppose i'll contact a rep to see if I could look around. hope to see you there.
 
Old August 13th, 2012 Aug 13, 2012 6:19:31 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magic Trade Show August 2012 - first time exhibiting and sharing the experience

@kedkennels awesome, stop by our booth and say hi!
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Old August 14th, 2012 Aug 14, 2012 8:07:41 AM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magic Trade Show August 2012 - first time exhibiting and sharing the experience

Another update: Our catalogs came yesterday and I think they look pretty good! I put them together myself and used GotPrint.com for the printing. We also had our hang tags and business cards printed through them and I am pretty pleased with the results. Really inexpensive and fast! Our notebooks were ordered from 4Imprint and our stickers from StickerMule. I thought it might help everyone to know of some of the resources we've used.

I am putting together about 10 press kits to leave in the media area. All that really means is that I'm printing off our press release and a quick company history, and putting them in a folder with business cards. Nothing too fancy here, but the possibility of someone grabbing one and giving us coverage is a great opportunity! I'll post pictures when those are done as well.

We leave in three days!
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Old August 14th, 2012 Aug 14, 2012 8:23:52 AM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magic Trade Show August 2012 - first time exhibiting and sharing the experience

me and my partners have a clothing line here in vegas. Let me say i am really proud of stories like this! we currently picked up 2 stores at "Agenda ~ Long Beach CA." but not ready to hit up MAGIC. The journey is rough but well worth it!!
 
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Old August 14th, 2012 Aug 14, 2012 9:38:47 AM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magic Trade Show August 2012 - first time exhibiting and sharing the experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharper
I am putting together about 10 press kits to leave in the media area. All that really means is that I'm printing off our press release and a quick company history, and putting them in a folder with business cards. Nothing too fancy here, but the possibility of someone grabbing one and giving us coverage is a great opportunity!
Here is a heads up on attracting the media at the show.
How to promote your line at a trade show. No I'm not an authority on marketing but I do attend Magic et al on a press pass and can tell you about the set up in the press room and what attracts attention.

It's too late to do anything about it but this is how to promote yourself before a show. As a media person, I can tell you there are some definite turn offs so don't do that.

If nobody listens to a single thing I say, be sure to do one thing:
Put your booth number on EVERYTHING. I mean, each and every business card, line sheet, collateral, order form, freebie, you name it. There is nothing more annoying than connecting with somebody on day one, picking up a card and not being able to find them again later. You don't know that the show guide lists you correctly by name etc etc. Anything that can go wrong will and frankly, there is so much going on competing for our time that we'll pass you over and re-visit a competitor who made it much easier for us to find them again.

The best solution is to print up a bunch of little brightly colored stickers that you can put on everything. Thanks, we'd appreciate it.
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Old August 14th, 2012 Aug 14, 2012 11:34:42 AM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magic Trade Show August 2012 - first time exhibiting and sharing the experience

Thanks for the vote of confidence @RickyJ702 ! We reached out to Agenda, but we just did not find the people there nearly as responsive and excited about us as our awesome contact at Magic. Hopefully we'll be as lucky as you and pick up additional stores!
@kathleen f - Thank you so much! I just bought some stickers at Staples yesterday and wasn't sure how I was going to use them - now I know!! I will make those up and post them on here. We'll stick them on our catalogs and press kits. I'll also read through both articles you posted. Your input is invaluable!
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Last edited by sharper; August 14th, 2012 at 11:50 AM..
 
Old August 15th, 2012 Aug 15, 2012 5:11:37 AM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magic Trade Show August 2012 - first time exhibiting and sharing the experience

Shelley, do you have any info about your booth that you can share? Things like the size, design, and construction.

These are some great updates!

Please, keep'em coming!
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Old August 15th, 2012 Aug 15, 2012 1:55:57 PM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magic Trade Show August 2012 - first time exhibiting and sharing the experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Comin'OutSwingin
Shelley, do you have any info about your booth that you can share? Things like the size, design, and construction.

These are some great updates!

Please, keep'em coming!
Thanks so much! I really appreciate the feedback, I wasn't sure how useful this really is to anyone, so it's good to know people are reading the posts!

We've done many fan conventions, an outdoor street fair and a small wholesale market and other events, but this is by far the biggest investment and show we've done. With that in mind, we knew that the easiest route for the booth would be to get the complete package for a 10' x 10' space, which includes the space itself, a three-sided paneled booth, 6 racks and shelves, arm lights, standard carpet, wastebasket, a table and three chairs. To us it was worth the extra $1,500 because we are not at the point where we want to invest in a permanent booth that we own and ship around. I have been on that side of the business when I was an account manager at an ad agency and booths are costly. We thought this would give us the most professional look at the best price. The back and side walls are made up of panels and you can have custom designed panels in your booth through GES, but those cost about $230 with early bird pricing each. The panels are about 38" x 90" so that's why I had those long banners made that I posted earlier. We hope they look nice at about 1/8 of the cost. I ordered those through TRT Banner online.

I will post pictures as we get set up! Does that answer some of your questions @Comin'OutSwingin ?

I also wanted to share our press kits with you guys. I took @kathleen f advice to heart and have made stickers to put on EVERYTHING, so I'm posting those as well. We head out to Vegas on Friday!
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Old August 19th, 2012 Aug 19, 2012 11:32:41 AM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magic Trade Show August 2012 - first time exhibiting and sharing the experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharper
Thanks so much! I really appreciate the feedback, I wasn't sure how useful this really is to anyone, so it's good to know people are reading the posts!
It's tremendously useful to me! I'm sure there are others that can use the info as well.

I've always wanted to walk the show at Magic.

The press kits look nice. And following Kathleen's advice regarding Magic is a smart move. She's a Magic vet. If you haven't, I'd purchase her book. Not all of it will pertain to your business model, but I purchased her book about 10 years ago, and still go back and reference things that she talked about in her book.

I know the show starts tomorrow, so good luck and I hope you get tons of orders!
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Old August 20th, 2012 Aug 20, 2012 9:03:05 AM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magic Trade Show August 2012 - first time exhibiting and sharing the experience

I'll be at magic 21 to the 24th. is it true that on the 21st it's only half a day? i'll come by and say hi too if i can ^^
 
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Old August 20th, 2012 Aug 20, 2012 11:26:30 AM -   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks so much! The show has opened and I've been taking notes to share with you guys when the show closes. Ricky - the show is definitely a full day, no half days that I'm aware of. It's 9 to 6 monday and Tuesday, 9 - 5 Wednesday.

One important thing to share is booth placement. They put us in a licensed apparel section, which we're not, so we'll see of this works in our favor as being different or if it doesn't because we're not with the other indie tee brands.

I've posted a quick picture of the booth, follow us on twitter to see more shots from the show!
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Old August 23rd, 2012 Aug 23, 2012 12:18:20 AM -   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Magic Trade Show August 2012 - first time exhibiting and sharing the experience

i went to sourcing ces on tuesday and today i was stuck because the weather sucked!! sorry couldn't say hi, i was stuck in da flood >.< !
 






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