Finding a way to quickly train new booth staff, track sales, and speed up order writing at trade shows.
Areaware can now train any new trade show booth staff to write orders on Handshake in minutes.
Handshake’s real-time sales reporting allows the company to sell more strategically, improve inventory planning, and make key product development decisions.
Areaware’s trade show orders can now be shipped out before a show is even over.
Areaware produces functional, unique products ranging from home accessories to toys & games. The company sells to a broad range of retail outlets worldwide, including independent stores and boutiques, museums like MoMA and the Guggenheim, and large multi-door partners like Urban Outfitters, Pottery Barn, and Crate & Barrel.
Each year, Areaware attends numerous trade shows, including industry-wide events like NY NOW and Toy Fair, as well as smaller specialist/regional shows. At these trade shows, Areaware has replaced their paper order forms with Handshake. Read on to find out how this technology has changed their game.
At trade shows, the entire Areaware team pitches in to interact with customers and introduce new products. This includes not only the sales team, but also members of the creative and marketing departments.
According to Areaware’s Director of Sales, Ryan Kelly, having order management software at trade shows has helped these team members get up to speed quickly. “I do the training with the team at the show, and it only takes a couple minutes...there are some people who aren’t as familiar with selling, so having a simple tool is necessary.” Indeed, with the entire product catalog on their mobile devices (along with pricing, customer contact information, etc.), anyone can easily pick up how to write an order.
With Handshake, Areaware’s team can see real-time sales reporting from every trade show. Not only does this allow them to track whether or not they’re meeting goals, the company can also see which products are selling best and which customers are placing the largest orders. This kind of information can help the company prioritize which products to push throughout the show and look for patterns among certain account types––like average order size among museum buyers, for instance.
This real-time sales reporting has also been helpful to inventory planning––they can track what inventory they’re selling out of and immediately reorder products when needed. They can also make key product development decisions. According to Kelly, “as we step away from a trade show, the reports help inform immediate action on products that are forthcoming.”
With Handshake, the entire order taking process at a trade show has sped up significantly. With contact information and payment details already on hand for existing customers, for instance, the process of writing an order can take just minutes.
Customers always appreciate a faster experience, because they have limited time. It’s important that it doesn’t feel like they have to wait for our system to catch up to the pace they want to move at,” says Kelly. After the order is taken, an order confirmation is immediately emailed to the customer, and it can be sent to the back office for fulfillment.
For Kelly, using Handshake at trade shows is business as usual. “Most companies are using some sort of device for order taking, unless they’re really new to trade shows and haven’t yet invested in these systems. For companies of our size, it’s pretty standard.” Indeed, with much of the competition already making use of this kind of software, trade show buyers are expecting a new level of speed and efficiency from exhibitors.