AmericasMart consists of 3 buildings, each with many floors of permanent and temporary tradeshow booths. It feels like a gigantic shopping center with everything at cost (AKA my own personal heaven). But given the magnitude of AmericasMart, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. I was very lucky to have veteran tour guides to help me with the ins and outs of the show (Thanks Carrie and Kristen!). Here’s what I learned in order to properly prepare for AmericasMart.
Assess what you need.
Take stock of your shop (and your own closet) beforehand and determine what vendors, products, colors and quantities you need and make a list. Bags & Bows Online’s top brand buyers carry detailed lists on a clipboard to each booth. Making a list of which products you are looking for will ensure you keep your goals and stay focused so you don’t become overwhelmed with the size of AmericasMart. It will also ensure that you don’t miss anything.
Set a budget based on quantities.
Some buyers go to multiple trade shows a year, while others only attend one and fill in product with local reps when they need it. Know your quantities and set a reasonable budget before you go to AmericasMart. It’s easy to get swept up in the shopping whirlwind and over-extend yourself. Plus, each booth has different minimum order requirements. Some are determined by price point, while others are determined by quantity, so knowing the quantity of the items you need is important before you arrive.
Get the lay of the land.
AmericasMart is a lot of ground to cover, even with a veteran tour guide over multiple days! If you don’t have a veteran to go with you, they have maps and staff available to assist you. There is also anAmericasMart App that can help you find what you’re looking for.
Rely on the experts
If you know you want a certain product, but are fuzzy on the details, or if you are faced with a challenge in the store, sit down and chat with the reps and product managers in the tradeshow booths. They are the experts and want to help. They know their lines and products. Based on your goals and what you’re looking for, they may be able to think of an out-of-the box solution that you may have missed on your own.
Wear comfortable shoes.
Lastly, you will be standing and walking most of the day, so be sure to have appropriate footwear. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I saw quite a few women limping by the end of the first day due to a poor choice in shoes.