In previous posts I mentioned the importance of interacting with your customers and testing out your products. Vendor opportunities are great to test your product, collect feedback, gather email addresses, expose your product to the masses and most importantly make sales!
In the following K.G. Graham from Cosign Magazine summed up 6 Reasons why you should become a vendor at the next The Cosign Experience taking place at the IQ Haus (1107 Dragon St,Dallas, TX 75207) on Sunday 07/16/2017:
Brand Exposure. – As a vendor at #TheCOSIGNExperience, your brand will be exposed to our entire email database and following, via our social media channels, newsletter, digital platform, and event attendees. Your company will also be featured on the event’s website, as well as on COSIGNMag.com. Also, placing an item (sample, flyer, etc.) in our gift bags is another great way to leverage your sponsorship and get brand recognition.
What other event couples a vendor booth with digital marketing? As a publication and marketing company, we help create brands and increase their online presence. The majority of events that offer vendor booths only include set up and recognition at the event, but when you become a sponsor at “The COSIGN Experience,” all vendors receive vendor booth set up, social media recognition via all of our channels, and content creation on our digital platform. Not only do you receive live event activation, but you also receive social media marketing. Great deal, right?
Lead Generation and New Contacts. – Be sure to have some sort of lead generation system in place the day of the event, such as a sign up sheet. People will give you business cards and email addresses in exchange for a chance to win a great prize in a drawing, samples or even candy and other promotional item giveaways. You can use the emails you collect to add them to your company’s newsletter distribution.
Build your social media and web content. – Content is key! Becoming a vendor at “The COSIGN Experience” is guaranteed to provide weeks full of content, if done correctly. We highly suggest bringing an assistant as your +1 to strictly capture social media footage for you. While you’re networking and describing your brand to potential customers, your assistant should be utilizing Instagram Live and Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, and capturing plenty of behind the scene photos, as well as posed photos of you and the attendees.
New Clients. New Customers. New Business. – Not only are the attendees of “The COSIGN Experience” potential new clients and customers, so are your fellow sponsors and vendors! You can form new business partnerships at events, meet like-minded business professionals in complimentary businesses with which you share the same target market but are not in competition.
Market Your Business Inexpensively. – We all know how much marketing and advertising your business can cost. It can run hundreds or thousands of dollars to effectively advertise your company. Spending less as a sponsor or vendor at an event is a much wiser investment that will bring a greater return on investment. Remember, you will be in the same room with hundreds of attendees who are your target market. By leveraging the event to your advantage, there will be no limit on your potential ROI.
For more information on becoming a vendor and/or sponsor email firstname.lastname@example.org! If you just want to attend the show for a night out with your friends please purchase tickets here.
Spread the good news with friends and family that are small business owners!!!
These are events you don’t want to miss this season:
August 28th: The Cosign Experience 2016
The event, taking place August 28, is a jam-packed show full of some of Dallas’ best rising talent including singer/poet Lauren Steele, pop/soul singer Sam Harvey, hip-hop artist Lyric Le’Velle, and dancer/dance instructor Miranda Brackins. COSIGN will transform the warehouse-style event space, SIXTY FIVE HUNDRED, into an exciting breeding ground for Dallas’ trendiest underground scene. Artists of different genres will be featured and in attendance at the “#TheCOSIGNExperience: Fashion, Music, & Art Show.”
The fashion showcase will begin with a special ballet performance and will feature designs from Guns & Roses Boutique, Flawless Honey, Melancholic Design, RKJ Clothing and will also introduce the new COSIGN Unlimited clothing line.
Presale tickets are available for purchase at: www.thecosignexperience2016.eventbrite.com. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Women Called Moses, a non-profit organization that seeks to prevent and end the cycle of violence against women and that was created to be an “underground railroad” of sorts for victims of domestic violence. www.womencalledmoses.org
2. September 8th-10th: Fashion X Dallas
Fashion X Dallas is the premiere “fashion week” in the DFW market and features 3 nights of runway shows each Fall.
Each night in 2016 will feature at least 9 full runway collections from local DFW-based designers, Season Winners and All Stars from the hit Lifetime Television show Project Runway, and emerging designers from across the globe. FXD also gives opportunities to the youngest of designers through CAPSULE, mini 3-look collections allowing for an accessible runway experience. Finally, over 20 curated Gallery spaces will feature the best in emerging jewelry and accessories designers each night.
One talented DFW based designer will also receive the 2016 BERNINA Dallas Fashion Fund to help spur their career with tools necessary for the trade. For more information visit http://fashionxdallas.com/
3. September 30th: Diner En Blanc
At the last minute, the secret location is revealed to thousands of friends who have all been patiently waiting to learn where “Dîner en Blanc” will take place. Thousands of people, dressed all in white, and conducting themselves with the greatest decorum, elegance, and etiquette, all meet for a mass “chic picnic” in a public space.
Over the course of the evening, guests experience the beauty and value of their city’s public spaces by participating in the unexpected. Beyond the spectacle and elegance of the dinner itself, guests are brought together from diverse backgrounds by good taste and a love of beauty. Le Dîner en Blanc recalls the elegance and glamor of high French society, and guests engage one another, knowing that they are taking part in a truly magical event. There are no disruptions: no car traffic, no pedestrian traffic—only amazed and astonished looks from passersby observing the scene before them. And participants, like spectators, wonder whether it’s all not a dream… For more information visit http://dallas.dinerenblanc.info/
This year has been a very eventful and wisdom packed year in my fashion world. I was blessed enough to participate in 2 New York Fashion Weeks with Esé Azénabor was a driving force getting the brand into stores across the U.S. and across the globe, helped forming the brand’s identity through a variety of marketing activities, took charge of all special events and fashion shows and was/am constantly on the look out for opportunities and strategic partnership that will elevate the brand to the next level. Further I became an active part of Lifestyle Magazine Cosign Magazine as fashion director and learned more about the editorial side of the fashion business. These are the following lessons I learned:
1. If you don’t have your stuff together you are getting LEFT BEHIND!
With stuff I mean look books/line sheet, professional logos and website. Social media is also becoming more and more important. If you have a business profile keep it business and update it on a regular basis. Provide extra value such as styling ideas, what kind of fabric or special techniques are being used to create the garments etc. Don’t post too much personal content and keep the selfies to a minimum unless you are the face of the brand. Also use a business email and NOT a gmail or yahoo account. The first impression is crucial in the fashion industry. Second chances don’t happened very often. Take the time to get everything in order.
2. In Fashion you have to plan 2 years in advance
Woah 2 years? Yes, get at least a road map of what you have to accomplish in the upcoming 2 years. The fashion life cycle is very short-lived 3 months the longest. Designers are working on Fall Winter Collections 2016 right now and most buyers have completed their Spring Summer Collection 2016 shopping. But keep in mind that designers don’t only have to work on a new collection but also on setting up a photo shoot, look book, marketing campaign, fashion show and trade show all while also operating their daily business. I hope it becomes clear now why it is so important to plan a head of time and to create a calendar with deadlines. If you don’t have a team, now it’s time to start recruiting as it will be impossible to take over all these tasks by yourself. Comment below if you need help finding the right people. MS word offers great templates for project management plans as shown below.
3. If you want to learn about Fashion you have to be in the midst of Fashion
Honestly, I hated going to social events to “network” and small talk. It appeared fake to me. But I have learned to keep an open mind and my own authenticity. I can read people very well so if I got a hint of BS I simply stayed away from those people. By attending industry related events I got to know great fashion influencers, learned more about the fashion industry and have found a group of people I can turn to for any kind of advice. I will update my calendar next week so you guys can attend all these fabulous fashion events.
4. Everyone is faking it to a certain extent
Everyone is always doing fabulous in the fashion industry, whether facing bankruptcy, decreased sales, or sitting on 2 seasons of inventory. Very few are willing to open up about their mistakes and tragedies. I understand that the dream has to be kept alive but I also believe more designers could actually help each other if they shared their obstacles and found solutions together. That’s why I love Diane von Furstenberg‘s book “The Woman I wanted to be” she just tells it all! I pokered very high myself, I didn’t know anything about fashion sales when I accepted the position of sales rep. She just had heard about my great work ethic and was given a recommendation from one of mentors. I read books, listened to podcasts, took seminars and eventually figured it out in a very short time. My position evolved beyond sales now and it was and still is my passion and drive that kept me focus.
5. Fashion is like marriage and divorce isn’t an option!
You have to move on quickly when things don’t turn out as planned. Don’t dwell on the past but keep a positive mindset. Be prepared for many sleepless nights, especially before presentations, fashion shows, or store launches. I sent emails and was on the phone for 3 months straight before even receiving a response from a store about carrying the collection. Yes it was frustrating but I didn’t give up. I tried to understand the industry better and found out it takes 7 contacts of communication before I can even expect an answer and that right after fashion week is the peek buying season. So I started building rapport and got on their map before those season. After 3 months of trying to get in contact it took another month to solidify the orders. I developed an efficient strategy how to get into stores. Success doesn’t happen over night and if it was easy everyone would do it!