Paul Coyne from Nine Design had his first ever trade show at Showcase Ireland - Ireland's Creative Expo, which was running from 23rd to 26th January 2011 at the RDS in Dublin. He tells Etsy Ireland all about it:
Showcase was something I had been aiming towards for some time, and after hearing from friends who had attended the trade fair regularly and hearing of the success they had, my mind was set. I paid for the stand in instalments - the organisers were very accommodating as I did not have the luxury of paying the cost in a lump sum.
The type of jewellery I make would be quite contemporary, so I realised that to make an impression on possible buyers I would have to create a sharp contemporary image in my displays. I purpose-made light box pedestals which held all my jewellery and illuminated them from underneath. These stands were quite easy to set up as they were just plugged in and the jewellery displayed on top, but it still took me two and a half hours to set up as I was playing with different ideas and also hanging posters on the walls showing work in progress. I was situated on the balcony with quite a few people who were also there for the first time. We all helped each other out and gave as much support as possible to one another. One of the great things about the event is the amount of contact you have with shop owners/buyers, you hear what is selling and what customers are doing - loads of great research, which can help to aim your sales pitch to better suit needs or it can help develop new products.
Well Showcase finished on Wednesday after a long few days but I would not swap any part of it. Every day got better and better with great feedback from buyers, orders on paper and journalists interviewing me; all were pretty new experiences, but so exciting! I am now back in the workshop, recovered from the endurance that is standing at your stand for so long every day, and now the test has changed to whether I can get everything produced for the orders I received. I got orders from around the country and even one from outside the country, but as I am shipping orders I will let you know where Nine Design Jewellery is available.
While talking with the other exhibitors around me after the first day, we decided on things we were going to do for next year's Showcase in order to improve on this year's success.
I would recommend Showcase Ireland to everybody. It helps to focus the mind in the run up, and you never know who you will meet or end up doing business with. I am already planning for next year -
so here is to looking forward to Showcase Ireland 2012, from 22nd - 25th of January!
To find out more about Nine Design, check out Paul's website.