Archive for the ‘Networking/Sales Event’ Category
It’s time once again for The Women’s Small Business Expo. If you live in Southern California, or plan to be here on April 28th, I highly recommend attending. I went last year, and compared to all of the other events I’ve attended, it is the most fun and the best value. You will get real information that you can actually use.
Registration is $169 through March 31, after that the price goes back to the normal $200. The event starts at 8:00am and ends at 5:00pm. There is a continental breakfast, a beautiful networking lunch, great speakers, and a networking table where you can place your marketing material. Throughout the day there are many organized opportunities to network and interact with the speakers, sponsors, and other attendees. And if, after all of this, you feel you did not get your money’s worth, there is a 100% money-back guarantee, no questions asked.
If you have a small business, or are thinking about starting a business, check it out. I believe there is something for everyone. If you do register, let me know so we can meet up. 8th Annual Women's Small Business Expo
The 2nd Annual Unique Los Angeles Spring Show is scheduled for April 24th & 25th, they are now accepting vendor applications, through March 10th. Unique Los Angeles puts on two-day shopping events twice a year; a spring show and a holiday show. If you’re an independent designer, it’s a great opportunity to display your products.
Unique Los Angeles events have quickly become one of the city’s premier shows for designers and artists. Last December, their holiday event was attended by over 11,000 people. I strongly advise that you apply today.
If you aren’t in Southern California, you could find a way to create our own opportunity. Do a Google search for similar events in your part of the state/country. If you still can’t find anything, you could always pull together your own event. It’s been a long, hard winter. When spring finally arrives, people are going to be ready to get out of the house. A local designer show may be just what they’re looking for. Here are some ideas to help get you started.
It’s time to start planning for 2010 and I believe attending tradeshows and conventions should be part of your plan. I’ve written about this before, but I think people sometimes avoid attending shows because they believe it’s too costly. It does cost a lot of money to have a booth at a tradeshow, but you can register and attend as a buyer or regular attendee. There’s a lot to be gained from walking the floor. It’s often free, but if you do have to pay an entry fee, it will usually be well under $100.
One of the benefits of going to these events is staying in touch with the changes in your industry. You don’t want to be left in the dust, while everyone else is taking advantage of new equipment or resources that you don’t even know about. Also, you need to get a sense of the trends. Are people going organic? (chances are, yes) Are they scaling back and offering product lines that are more consumer friendly, during our economic recovery? You need to know the predominant direction your industry is taking. This doesn’t mean that you must, or even should, do what everyone else is doing. You want to stand out. But you need to be aware if something is becoming outmoded.
Also, you should talk to some of the other business owners. They might be your competition, but they can also be your best source for information.
Finally, you need to take advantage of the marketing opportunity. Along with business cards, you can bring printed marketing material and a few samples. You should be prepared to pitch your product if the opportunity arises. Identify any buyers that are checking out products similar to yours, and if it feels appropriate, approach them – gently.
Do a Google search for "trade shows", and enter your industry (cosmetics, apparel, etc…) and your city or state. And if you've never attended a show before, you can click on the images above to familiarize yourself with tradeshows and what they have to offer, in general. To avoid disappointment, make a note of the deadlines for ticket purchases, and any other attendance requirements.
Los Angeles, Dallas, Lexington, and San Francisco are just a few of the cities hosting Startup Weekend this coming weekend, November 20-22. I know that it’s short notice, but if you can make it, go.
Startup Weekend brings together all types of talented, highly motivated people (startup lovers, developers, graphic artists, etc...) for a 54 hour event where people can work on their projects, other people’s projects, network, and get new ideas. It's a short, intense experience that could be just what you need to take you to the next level. It is touted as an unconference, where the attendees decide the outcome of the experience.
Here's the info for Los Angeles (other cities may do it a bit differently):
Everything starts on Friday at 6:00pm and finishes up on Sunday at 6:00pm. (holy cow!) Everyone is welcome. All types of startups (and wannabe startups) will benefit.
On Friday night people pitch their ideas – everyone who wants to, gets to pitch, even if there are 100 pitches. There is a vote and the ideas are narrowed down to about 75%. People then gather around the idea (or ideas) that they feel they will learn from or can contribute to. Generally, teams have 2-15 people. These events have launched as many as 23 startups in a single weekend.
If you’re feeling lost and aren’t sure how to contribute, you can opt to just observe the frenetic process.
Even if your idea isn’t selected to be worked on, you will walk away with tons of information, inspiration and new contacts and resources to launch on your own.
The networking potential, alone, is worth the $75.
Make sure you bring at least a laptop, biz cards, and a camera. (There’s a more comprehensive list on their site.) And if you can’t make it for the entire weekend, you can attend the wrap up networking event on Sunday for $20. There is so much more information on their website, so definitely take a look. la.startupweekend.org
I have written about the Ladies Who Launch organization recently and I hope you have taken the time to check them out. They have a lot to offer new and aspiring entrepreneurs, including seminars and networking events.
On Wednesday, Aug 5th, they are having a free event, the Face of Opportunity Open House. This is being held at the Nirvana Lounge in Beverly Hills, from 5:30PM to 7:00PM. It is a great opportunity to learn more about Ladies Who Launch and their ideas for dealing with the economic challenges of today. The highlight of the evening, though, will be the prize give-aways!
Ladies Who Launch has partnered with British Airways to give away 16 tickets to London for an international networking forum. The idea is to promote international travel as a way to build your business. And the coolest part is, after attending the London event; you can fly from there to any British Airways destination, and then back home. Get all of the open house details here.
If you’re not in the So Cal area, please check your local Ladies Who Launch events to see if they are participating in this very unique opportunity. www.LadiesWhoLaunch.com
As promised, here are links to all of the other Renegade craft shows. You can read about Renegade Handmade in the previous post.
Brooklyn – This just happened on June 6th and 7th in McCarren Park, but check it out to get vendor info for next time. Brooklyn
Chicago – It’s going on September 12th and 13th. You can apply as a vendor up until July 24th. Chicago
Holiday Sale in Chicago – It’s scheduled for December 5th and 6th and you can apply as a vendor until October 9th. Holiday Show
All Points West Music and Arts Festival in Jersey City, NJ – Renegade will have a large tent featuring 50 handpicked vendors. This happens on July 31 – August 2nd. The vendor application period closed on July 1st , but it’s worth checking out for next time. All Points West
Whether you’re going to try to get a booth or checking it out for next time, these all sound like a great way to spend an afternoon.
Here is a great shop that sells unique, handmade items on consignment. The Renegade Handmade store features the work of over 300 artists, and was created as an extension of the Renegade Craft Fair, which began in Chicago in 2003. They have also recently opened their online store, where you will find housewares, jewelry, posters and prints, plush items, clothing, stationery and more.
They’re always looking for new consignors. Take a look around their online store. If you think your stuff will be a good fit, apply for a consignment spot. Go here for all the info.
Also, the first Los Angeles Renegade Craft Fair is happening this weekend July 11th and 12th, from 11am – 7pm, at the California Market Center, on the 13th floor. DJ’s from KXLU will be providing indie sounds, and there will be different hands-on activities. It’s all free, so definitely check it out if you’re in the area. You can also get info about being a seller for the next event. Here’s all the info.
These types of fairs are great places to test the marketability of your products. They’re usually affordable and you can get immediate feedback from customers.
On Monday I’ll give you information about similar events around the country, so definitely check back next week.
Unique Los Angeles events are two-day shopping events that showcase the creations of independent designers. There are two annual events – one in spring (just passed) and a holiday event in December. I know we’re just at the beginning of summer, but I want to give everyone who wants to participate enough time to plan and build their inventory.
These events feature over 230 designers, artists and merchants. You can find all kinds of original and affordable items, like clothing, jewelry, stationery, artwork, books, food and more. There are areas devoted to eco-friendly/green vendors, sellers focused on moms and little ones, and artists.
The event has grown and is a great place to display your creations. Vendor applications aren’t available until September, but you can get on the vendor email list here. You will be notified when the applications and details are available.
Read more on their website and check out their blog for a recap of the May ’09 event.
Also, if you are not in the LA area, and know of a similar event in your region of the country, please tell me about it so I can share the info with everyone.