Trade Show Series (cont.) Guest - Marsha Hedrick

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A continuation of Tuesday's blog...

Our wonderfully talented guest Marsha Hedrick of Amazing Porcelain. Every time I see Marsha's work - I feel like I should be doing more with my beads! She's certainly an inspiration to me, I am sure you will find inspiration in her work as well.

8. Can you share tips for increasing sales:
Oh boy that's a good question. Don't we all wish we had a good tip for this one. All I can say is don't have a junky looking table, don't overload the table. Talk to people find out what sort of things they are interested in and then direct them to the things you have that might interest them. Educate them on your product if there is something different about it. For example I often tell people about the strength of porcelain because so many people are afraid that it is fragile. So I explain to them that porcelain is similar to glass but that it is stronger than glass of the same dimension. Anything that you can do to start up a conversation will help with sales I think. As long as you are not distracting them from the product and as long as you connect it to them. Sales are about the customer not the sales person or artist. The customer doesn't care that you are a wonderful artist they can see that and decide that for themselves. It boils down to what is in it for them. How you product is better than the next guy is only important if that results in a benefit to the customer. It’s all about features and benefits.

9. Outside of shows, how do you market yourself or your brand:
I have a website with a shop on it that I try to promote on facebook and with my mailing list. I try to run promotions from time to time to encourage people to look around on the site. I have giveaways from time to time and do contests and surveys as well. I also have a blog where I try to put some information that people may not be aware of that hopefully they will find interesting. Methods that I use, examples of how things are made or decorated, etc.

10. Do you use a standard setup for every show you attend or do you adjust your setup for each show:
More or less. Each show is somewhat different and the location or angle of the booth will tend to dictate what sort of things you can do with the displays. However that said my set up consists of the same basic components and they are just assembled in a slightly different way depending on the layout of the booth.

11. OPTIONAL: What reason would you give your clients for attending shows as a buyer, even if you were not a vendor:
Shows give the opportunity to compare items in person, see new things, and of course meet lots of interesting people.

12. Optional: What makes you continue to attend shows as a vendor – i.e. money, marketing, social networking:
All of the above. I, of course, want to make money at the shows that is the primary purpose of attending but they also provide a great opportunity to see what other people are doing and observe the buyers and see what the trends are. Not that this is necessarily helpful but it is informative. It is also a great place to meet people and make connections that may be useful in the future.

Stunning detailed work

13. Additional comments:
Doing shows is a lot of work and the payoff is somewhat dubious. Some shows will be great and others not so much. But regardless of how a show is going you need to be cheerful and helpful to the customers. Always try to be mindful of how your booth is affecting your neighbors as well. I have been to many shows were neighbors set up their booth with little or no consideration of the person in the adjoining booth or how their customer traffic might impact the other person. This can result in people asking that they not be next to you for the next show. Being a good neighbor goes a long way to a happy show experience. Some confusion cannot be avoided but if you have a potential problem try to keep an eye on it so that your customers are not interfering with the neighboring booth. Your efforts will be appreciated

Like Marsha's answers? Find her here: Amazing Porcelain

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