Planning for a successful Trunk Show

Expert Advice

In an earlier blog post I wrote about the benefits of hosting a trunk show and I can’t recommend these highly enough. I work with many brands who have changed their strategy from wholesale to selling direct to customers, and by using trunk shows as their primary route to market that have seen their businesses grow and an increase in sales.

Here are some of the elements you need to consider when planning a trunk show.

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  • Where could you hold a trunk show? You will need to research places to hold your trunk show and as mentioned in the previous post this can be in private member clubs, gyms, school or church groups, corporate companies etc. You may need to spend time growing your personal network so that you can find more places to host a trunk show in, but start off by asking everyone on your current contact list if they know anywhere. That includes friends and family, as we often find that designers forget to ask the people closest to them, yet they are the people who have the best information!

  • When do you want to host the trunk show? You will need to consider when is the best time for the brand according to your time, the stock you have etc. You also need to consider when the customer is most likely to have money, so around pay day etc. Have this information prepared before you speak to the venue to make sure you agree a date that is beneficial to the brand.

  • Who are you going to invite? Consider which is the best venue for your ideal customer, will the venue have the right people and will the venue suit the aesthetic and values of your brand? Is the venue easy to get to and in the right place for your customers to travel to, as well as attracting the customer from the venue itself?

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  • How much budget do you have? I always recommend trying to find a venue that lets you host for free and many corporate companies do this, as they see that you are bringing benefits to their staff or members. So hopefully you won’t have to pay venue charges, but do you have budget to offer drinks and snacks? Do you have budget to promote the event, create a display and marketing materials, and money to make enough product to sell?

  • How will you promote the trunk show? You need to talk to the venue about how they will promote the event to their audience and also consider how you will promote it too. You need to have enough time to plan a promotional strategy and invite people and plan and deliver a social media strategy around the event. I talk about this in more detail in a future post.

  • How will you display your product? You want to make a great impact and wow your audience so plan your display carefully, as product at a trunk show should be displayed in the same way it would be in a store if you want it to sell.

  • Are you ready to make the sales? Many designers hate doing the actual selling, but at a trunk show it is essential that you, as the face of the brand, are there to talk the customer through the product and sell it.

  • How can you gather data? One of the benefits of a trunk show is not just the sales you make on the day, but the data of other potential customers that you can gather. Not everyone is ready to buy as soon as they meet so, therefore you need to gather their email addresses so that you can add them to your mailing list, send them newsletters and convert them later into a sale.

Hope after reading these points you will consider trunk shows as a great way of meeting new customer and develop this as part of your sales strategy too

Happy Selling!