1~ how do I promote my t's to a bunch of business women (its a women in business trade show) over 1000 women expected.
2~ what can I sell to them? I guess what theme do you think would work best for them?
Thinking about what I might buy for myself.......I wouldnt, Id buy something cute for my daughter, or dh's grandkids. I like to go to tradeshows, and buy cool tools of my trade!
(Ive got some awesome rulers!!!) lol
If you are going to a trade show to find future customers, rather than just sell items during the show, don't focus on making special "girly" things just for the show. You don't do that the other 9/10s of the year, why would you do it now? Represent what your business does accurately, and you will be a lot more successful because your customers will know what to expect.
As you mentioned, this is a "Women in Business" trade show. The women who come to this show are not just coming here like it is a trip to the mall, they are probably here specifically to find new products and services to help their growing business. Like you said yourself .. You like to go to trade shows, and buy cool tools of your trade. Don't you think that there are other women out there, just like you?
When I was doing trade shows, we were selling a product that traditionally wasn't "for women". But so many of them would buy it for their husband, father, or even for themselves! If they came to the show with their husband, we would show them the product and later they would drag him back to our booth to look at it. My point is, if we had decided that women weren't our customers and ignored them, we would have lost a lot of sales. You never know.
Another great thing about selling to women is that if they like your product or service, they will tell EVERYONE they know. They will also buy things not just for themselves, but also for their friends, the kids, their husband, etc. Women are always looking for solutions and little things to make life better for the people around them.
I checked out your website to get a better idea of what you guys do, and I have a few ideas.
Have lots and lots of printed samples available (on different colors and styles of shirts, etc). If you have women's fitted style or baby doll tees, show those along with the regular cut tees.
If this is possible, maybe you can print a large sheet of shirt-like fabric with samples of all your different "specialty" prints: Metallics, reflective, glow-in-the-dark, etc. That way, they can see and feel for themselves the quality of the printing without looking through 10 different shirts.
On your website, it says that you do "No Minimum" custom printing. This is a great selling feature! But of course, you want the customer who wants 10, 20, 30 shirts rather than just 1 or 2. Since you are selling to business owners, I assume that you will advertise the service of custom shirts for all their employees, including everyone's name printed right on the shirt. You can also advertise custom shirts for groups and special occasions, such as: Birthday parties, family reunions, bachelorette parties, etc etc. I am sure you can think of a few more.
Be set up to take orders at the trade show, and be able to take people's credit card info or check right there. If a customer is really interested, and you tell them "Well, come by the shop later and we will set you up", who knows if they will ever come by?
Most importantly, have all the info that they will need to create the order right there for them to see, rather than just telling about the different options. For example, if you have 200 fonts that the lettering can be in, make a simple binder with all the fonts printed out, so they can see for themselves. Have a high table set up where you can spread out all the materials to show them, rather than just giving it to them to hold in their hands while they are also holding on to their shopping bags and etc. Have a chair or two and don't sit in them yourself.
If this trade show is local to where your business is located, make that a selling point. People can just pick up the shirts themselves instead of paying for shipping from somewhere. Make a map to your store and print it on a flyer or something. Remembering the name of the business is not helpful if you can't remember where it is located.
Good luck and be sure to let us know how the show goes!