There is a lot of value in gaining insider knowledge when you attend trade shows. From knowing how to make the most of your time to insider tips on where to relax amidst your busy show schedule, there are plenty of opportunities in doing a little pre-planning for your next trade show experience. And with ASD Market Week approaching July 29 – August 1, 2018 in Las Vegas, there’s no better time than now to gain the most value in your show experience by doing some pre-planning.

Ready to get trade show ready? Look no further than below!

Do a Bit of Homework

Lots of buyers come to ASD to be exposed to new inventory since they can explore over 2,700 vendors on one show floor. This makes it is easy to forget your mission and start “oohing” and “aahing” at all of the cool products instead of doing the necessary buying that justified your trip to Vegas in the first place. This said, there are ways to help prevent getting off-track and instead staying focused with a plan-of-action that details which specific products and vendors you want to visit when you’re at the show. Start by evaluating your existing inventory to find which areas you need to augment in order to boost margins. From there you can create a show budget for each particular category you’re purchasing for by analyzing how much you have to invest in each segment. This said, it’s always a good idea to create wiggle room in your budget that allows you to introduce new, unexpected inventory items that call out to you on the show floor. Often, it’s this old-fashioned intuition that helps retailers reach their goals and at ASD, you’re sure to discover something that will add some “wow” to your store floors! An added perk? There is a cash & carry section at ASD that allows you to purchase inventory to bring home immediately to your stores.

Plot Your Course Beforehand

Before you head to Vegas, zero in on the vendors with products that suit your buying needs by using the ASD Show Planner to research and bookmark your favorite stuff. Once you have a good idea of which vendors you really don’t want to miss, email them directly (again, through the Show Planner) to schedule appointments and consult on which products are right for your store. Add which educational sessions you want to attend on your calendar, as well, and leave time for lunch and bathroom breaks. It’s tempting to wing it, but you’ll get better value, gain more connections and find the best products if you put in a few hours ahead of time to make the most out of your trip to ASD. And don’t forget, there is a lot to explore beyond inventory at ASD Market Week. There are over 100 complimentary educational sessions delivered by the Independent Retailer Conference and Internet Merchants Association, various networking and social events hosted by ASD and more… so be sure to explore the ASD Show Planner to identify everything you don’t want to miss while at ASD.

Leave Time to Discover More

While it’s essential to create a budget and to allot spending for specific categories, it’s also important to remain open to new products and vendors. Trade shows are great places to learn more about the business of retail and experience dynamic new products firsthand. That’s why ASD Market Week goes above and beyond to hook you up with unique new vendors and high-margin products to take your store to the next level. ASD’s free Matchmaking Service connects you with the perfect vendors for your specific sourcing needs. Think of it as your direct line to some of the most exciting high-margin sourcing opportunities in your specific product categories – just enter your name and business info, then let ASD’s On-Site Attendee Concierge direct you to the right exhibitors. The best part? It’s 100 percent free for registered ASD attendees.

The Countdown Begins

ASD Market Week is approaching fast! At ASD, you’ll come face-to-face with some of the coolest, high-margin products and have the opportunity to soak up education from some of the brightest minds in the retail biz. Make the most of your time on the show floor by utilizing the free resources provided by ASD, including the Show Planner, Matchmaking Service and Retail Education – all of which are free-of-charge for attendees.

Take advantage of ASD Market Week’s 90+ free retail strategy sessions in Las Vegas. Register today!

By Jasmine Glasheen,