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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am debating going to the MAGIC Convention this August. By that time I will have about 5 final shirts printed. I really want to get my name out there, and see what the new trends are. Does anyone have any recommendations of things I should bring if I go. For example, promotional tees, business cards, etc...I really want to go but want to be worthwhile and network properly. Any help is awesome!

Thanks
 

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Don't just jump into magic. Your 5 shirts are not going to be worth your time or any body else's. No one will even give you the time of day. Magic trade show is absolutely huge. Get a good understanding of the actual size of the show then evaluate what your going to be able to offer at the show. All the brands at Magic will have the inventory size of a small store. Every brand at magic will have custom cut an sew in numerous colors variations. MAGIC is not for new start up brands, rather established brands looking to go nation wide.

Plus, if your just starting out why on earth would you drop all that money. With out knowing the actual cost of everything, id say 5 grand for a booth, 1 grand for your display, props, banners, promo cards lighting, generators, electrical, rentals. Then another 4 grand for transportation, las Vegas accommodations, the extra weight you will be charged for all your inventory, car rentals, employees. Thats 10 grand for 3 days of exhibiting, will you even have enough inventory to make your money back..?

Start up brands don't typically go to Magic just because of the massive cost's involved. If you do end up going, remember that your going to be show cased beside some of the most powerful brands in the industry. So buy going there, your potentially setting your self up for brand embarrassment by not fully understanding the gigantic scale of the Magic trade show.

Start by giving us your web site so we can point you in some other directions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response.

I was thinking of going as a spectator, not getting a booth. Just to see what it is all about and learn for the future. However, while I am there, I was wondering if there are networking opportunities, and how I should go about it. Such as, wearing my shirts, having business cards, etc... Any other ideas or suggestions to help get my name out there. The main reason I would go is to learn/experience, but I want to get as much as I can out of it.

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I exhibited at MAGIC several times, and have yet to make enough money to cover the cost of exhibiting. So I stopped, until I have extra money to burn as advertising.

You can go and learn all you can from the show. What designs people are showing, and how they exhibit their products. But don't count on networking very much. Vendors are there to sell, not to train newbies. And serious customers have appointments lined up. You are not going to be able to stop them in the aisle and show them your 5 shirts.

Just go, have fun and soak everything up like a sponge. You can't plan too much.:eek:
 

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However, while I am there, I was wondering if there are networking opportunities, and how I should go about it. Such as, wearing my shirts, having business cards, etc... Any other ideas or suggestions to help get my name out there.
I haven't been to Magic, so I'm basing my opinions on other events I've been to. But when I pay for the right to exhibit my brand and products, I hate with a passion that others just walk around and think they have some sort of right to "network." If you want to exhibit, pay the fees like everyone else. Anything short of that is trying to get something for nothing and is bordering on being ethically wrong from a business perspective. There are legit buyers and sellers trying to do business. So don't be surprised if exhibitors complain if they see you networking. And don't be surprised if buyers find you unprofessional approaching them as a visitor and not an exhibitor.

The main reason I would go is to learn/experience, but I want to get as much as I can out of it.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with going to learn and see what's out there. But the 'get as much as I can' part can sometimes cross the line. I would say, at most, bring business cards. Talk to people all you want. If someone is interested, make an appointment on your own time to show samples and linesheets.
 

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August 16-19, 2010 in Las Vegas
How do you plan on registering?

It seems like you either pay a large amount of money as an exhibitor, or you attend as a retail buyer. Registering as a buyer requires several pieces of "proof" that you make purchase decisions for a company.

Not trying to flame, just curious as to what your plan is. I've also thought about attending, but have never tried to devise a way around this obstacle. So I'm curious, as I may do the same.
 

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You need to find a retailer friend to pre-register you before the show, and then show up with a business card with your name on it.
Even if you know someone who makes purchase decisions for a retailer (not just a dude who works the cash register at Sears), I think the requirements they have set out make it much harder than just showing up with a business card.

Here are the various application forms (and the requirements/business types allowed). I'd like to go and check out Pool/Magic, but I'm not sure how to get around this registration issue (without spending $250).

[media]http://registration.experient-inc.com/showMAG102/Forms/MAG102-NonRetailRegForm.pdf[/media]
[media]http://registration.experient-inc.com/showMAG102/Forms/SRC102-SourcingForm.pdf[/media]
[media]http://www.magiconline.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/MAGIC810_Buyer-Reg_form.pdf[/media]
 

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Just a business card won't work. If a retailer is not pre-registered, then he has to bring a retailer's resale permit, and sales orders / packing lists from known manufacturer (say True Religion Jeans or Quicksilver). When a retailer is already registered, then he can add other attendees under his account. At the show, the attendee then only needs an ID card and a business card to verify his identity.
 

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Hey i just checked out your site..pretty cool...are you retagging your shirts? If so what brand and styles are they? They look really good>

Don't just jump into magic. Your 5 shirts are not going to be worth your time or any body else's. No one will even give you the time of day. Magic trade show is absolutely huge. Get a good understanding of the actual size of the show then evaluate what your going to be able to offer at the show. All the brands at Magic will have the inventory size of a small store. Every brand at magic will have custom cut an sew in numerous colors variations. MAGIC is not for new start up brands, rather established brands looking to go nation wide.

Plus, if your just starting out why on earth would you drop all that money. With out knowing the actual cost of everything, id say 5 grand for a booth, 1 grand for your display, props, banners, promo cards lighting, generators, electrical, rentals. Then another 4 grand for transportation, las Vegas accommodations, the extra weight you will be charged for all your inventory, car rentals, employees. Thats 10 grand for 3 days of exhibiting, will you even have enough inventory to make your money back..?

Start up brands don't typically go to Magic just because of the massive cost's involved. If you do end up going, remember that your going to be show cased beside some of the most powerful brands in the industry. So buy going there, your potentially setting your self up for brand embarrassment by not fully understanding the gigantic scale of the Magic trade show.

Start by giving us your web site so we can point you in some other directions.
 

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I have to agree with the first few responses. Going to Magic is an interesting experience to see what others are doing, learn if you have something different and unique and get a sense of what you need to do in order to stand out should you get large enough to make exhibiting worthwhile. Don't go expecting to succeed with a lot of networking or make any sales contacts that are going to be of value to you. (that said, some people are just natural social animals and can network anywhere and if you are one of them, good for you and go for it). You may luck out chatting with some of the reps at a slow booth and learn a little bit if they are bored enough to want to chat and share their experiences but they are really there to sell so once they know you have no value for them, they may not want to talk to much. When I went I did have a few interesting conversations but nothing that educated me in any really important ways besides the fact that I don't want to exhibit there unless I am prepared to make a significant capital investment on a booth and have the production and financing capacity to deal with larger orders should I be successful there.
 
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