Everyone is doing it…
In a couple weeks, retailers and vendors will be flying in from all over to attend one of the largest retail trade shows in the country. All connotations suggest that nothing but greatness exuberates from the “The Big Show,” and having never attended myself, my expectations are at an “award show” level. For four days, in New York City, a red carpet will be rolled out as all the retailers are bombarded by vendors entering the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Similar to the Grammy’s, thousands of important people with names such as Sak’s, Target, Macy’s, and Gap will be in attendance. Vendors will be demanding these retailers attention by smiling and making eye contact, arranging one on one meetings, and let’s not forget to mention hosting after parties! Sounds quite extravagant! Who wouldn’t want to go?!
If this Grammy-like experience is not enough for you, let me provide you with a few more convincing incentives. As a vendor, the reasons for exhibiting are endless. Trade shows are the epitome of permission-based marketing, the proverbial gold mine for marketers. Most can concur that this is the time when customers are expecting to be solicited. In fact, they are subjecting themselves to it! How much easier could this be for exhibitors like Retail Tech! That being said, retailers may find less direct benefits. Instead they may view the show as a hassle or something that would be easier done researching themselves over the internet. Wrong!! Direct from the NRF Show, “Anyone who is Anyone is making the trip to New York this January” . The title doesn’t lie, check it out for yourself!
Trade shows not only allow retailers to meet with their current solution providers, but also to see if there are vendors who may provide an even better service to their organization. Just like the rest of us, retailers do not have bottomless pockets. Also, meeting new vendors and sales people who exhibit at the trade show may enlighten retailers about new cost saving products or services. Often, companies run promotions at trade shows to entice buyers to stop at their booths. Retailers must take advantage of this! Aside from cost savings, the NRF is a good way for vendors to showcase new product technology. It is an added bonus for retail decision makers to see the equipment hands-on and get hooked to a new idea before purchasing (usually buying off the internet is the best option).
Another not so obvious benefit, retailers have a unique opportunity to research their competitors at this show. It is important to know what has worked well for your industry leaders in the past, not only in relation to sales, but operationally. Maybe your company could be capitalizing on more efficient point of sale solutions; it is not against the law to copy what works, right? Why reinvent the wheel when a perfectly good one exists? Before leaving for the show, stop into a couple of your top competitor’s stores and notice what kind of equipment they are using. Chances are, they are satisfied with their hardware if they are operationally sound! It takes very little time to research their equipment so you can utilize your time at the show and seek out the companies who sell the appropriate product lines. Maybe you love your point of sale systems, great! However, I am sure there is a service found at NRF that your competitor provides better. If they are outperforming you, it is a fact that you can learn from how they do business! Take the time to do your research now, don’t wait to get there to decide what booths you want to visit.
So, now the question: will you be amongst your peers? Take advantage of such a rare opportunity …and a Take advantage of the free pass! The “Big Show” only happens yearly, and the 100th show only happens once; why not make the most of it! Create a game plan before you go, and take some time to research. I will be in Retail Tech, booth 1958, most likely the star struck one….hope to see you there!