Trade Show Life: Monserat de Lucca
In our new series, Trade Show Life, we chronicle the tips, ideas, best practices, challenges, and experiences of brands that sell at trade shows. To kick things off, learn a little more about a day in the trade show life of LA based accessory brand Monserat de Lucca, and how writing orders on iPad and iPhone at each fashion trade show they attend has impacted their business.
Fashion Trade Show Ideas from Monserat de Lucca
HS:What do you sell, and who do you sell to?
MDL: We sell leather handbags and brass jewelry to boutiques across the world as well as major retailers like Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Free People and Anthropologie. HS: What is your yearly trade show schedule?MDL:
We sell all over the world and we sell at fashion trade shows across the country throughout the year. We are in NYC 6 times a year, and we also show in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Texas, and most recently Miami. HS: What’s your biggest sales challenge?MDL:
The biggest challenge is often the plethora of customers that we cater to. Every buyer has a different clientele, and while it is so much fun determining what product will work best for their clientele, it doesn’t come without some challenge. You have to switch from providing a story for the young professional, to a busy mother, to a customer on vacation. As you can imagine, people’s tastes cover a wide array of styles. It’s a great learning experience as many of our stores have been in business for many years, and they have bestowed a lot of wisdom on us. HS: Tell us about a typical day at a trade show.MDL:
While showing at tradeshows we have a constant flow of customers coming into our booth to place re-orders or to introduce our line to their store. A typical day is spent working with our customers helping curate the best selection for their stores. Each person who walks in provides a unique experience for us as salespeople! HS: How do you use your mobile order writing solution at trade shows?MDL:
Our order writing app is an integral part of our selling process while working with our customers. We use it mainly for order taking, but it has been a resource for looking up previous orders when buyers have questions or need help making a decision. It also eliminates moving around with a cumbersome clipboard and pen, and frees us up to help model and create stories for the buyers. Once we are taking the order, with one touch of a finger, the order is started and the buyers are able to move through their selections more quickly. With pen and paper, you have to slow down the process a bit to write down all the information. With a mobile order writing solution, we can work at the buyer’s pace and allow ourselves to engage with them more. It’s a lifesaver! HS: Any tips or best practices you follow when preparing for trade shows?MDL:
Never go to sleep at the wheel. Even though trade shows are concentrated to only a few months of the year, before you know it you are heading out the door to the next one. If you are constantly staying on top of what needs to be done, you will be able to focus on your customers 100% when it counts the most. When we have left things to the last minute, it has never worked out well. You have to commit to giving trade show prep a bit of your time each day. HS: Can you share any recommendations or experience with booth design?MDL:
Your booth should resemble what you would want a storefront to look like, and you can't skimp on it just because you are in a big convention center. There is so much you can do in a small space, and every detail matters. And most importantly, have a place for buyers to sit! They are tired and working on their feet all day long! Give them a chance to sit down, get comfortable, and then go to work. HS: What’s the funniest/weirdest thing that has ever happened to you at a trade show? MDL:
When customers start selling our product to other customers. Of course that makes us happy as it means our customer believes in our product, and we enjoy watching stores interact with each other. HS: People can buy from others - why do they buy from MDL?MDL:
We like to pride ourselves on being a friendly resource to our customers. Though it is said over and over, the experience is really the main selling point for any company. We have great relationships with our stores, and we genuinely enjoy learning about them and being there for whatever it is they need. We have product that covers all fashion senses, and we know that whoever we work with will walk away with a special piece that speaks to them. Thanks, Monserat de Lucca, for sharing your story with us! If you do business at trade shows (or know someone who does) we'd love to highlight you on our blog. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.