How many line sheets?

I don’t have an answer for this. Do you?

Well I’m almost ready for POOL. I’ve got a question for you (I’ve posted in the forum). The show runs from August 27 through the 29 and registrants from MAGIC can visit POOL. With about 20,000 people expected at POOL, how many line sheets should I print?

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16 comments

  1. In my experience, I would say that 500 line sheets should suffice. I would only give line sheets to qualified and interested buyers and I would not leave them out, for anybody who passes by, to take.

  2. crackers says:

    If it’s your first show, I’d print 50.

    Like folks have said, give them to qualified buyers. Even if they seem great and everything they tell you is amazing, but if you’ve never heard of the store, tell them you’d like to send them one.

  3. I have to agree with 50. That’s how many I took to my 2 shows and, granted, they aren’t even close to as big as MAGIC, but I came home with leftovers. You’d be surprised how many people stop in but don’t take them.

    Remember, any show has a copy center nearby and you can always print more.

    Many people were content to take one of my post-card sized business cards instead of a line sheet.

    Also…if anyone asks for a line sheet or even a business card, be sure and ask for their card in exchange. That way you can follow up with a phone call after the show.

    Marguerite

  4. Georgina says:

    Try not to give out your line sheets to anybody that is not leaving an order. Giving out line sheets usually does not amount to a sale. These trade shows are full of non-buyers that just want your information to sell you things later.

  5. bethany says:

    So I am going to be a contrarian and say that I dont think DM’s should be stingy with their line sheets. Think about it this way: it should cost maybe 50 cents to a few bucks for one line sheet (depending on if it is in black and white or color). This is your first line of offense when it comes to marketing. Just because you have never heard of a store doesnt mean you shouldn’t give them a line sheet. At this point in your marketing plan you should be creating as long a list of stores as possible- so what you need to do is every time someone asks you for a line sheet you get their business card in return. If they dont have a business card then you have a little notebook (where you are stapling the business cards each time you get one) and write down their information. Then when you get back from the show you input this information into your address book and FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP. Send them postcards, email newsletters, anything to remind them you exist and they were interested enough to take a line sheet. They might not order this season, but there are many more seasons to come.

  6. Kathleen says:

    I’m with Bethany. Besides, line sheets are supposed to be a simple black and white affair, not a full color brochure. You can print those out yourself for a lot less than 10 cents a copy.

    I’m always wary if somebody overspends on things like that. It causes me to question their priorities. You only have so much money. If you’ve overspent on those, it doesn’t impress anyone if you’re little. American Apparel can get away with it but then look at Zara, they spend maybe 1% on marketing. If someone’s priorities are out of whack, I’ll worry you’ll be cutting corners after the fact.

  7. Miracle says:

    I do agree that you should give your line sheets out liberally. Retailers often take line sheets to remember a line, but they are not going to buy it at the time because either they don’t want it now or they don’t have the open to buy now.

  8. Sara says:

    Would you guys say that all of your advice is the same for those newbies that can’t afford to show yet and are just walking it with samples in hand? What would you recommend that we absolutely take with us or in return, not take with us?

  9. Andrea says:

    walking a show looking for buyers for your line without having paid for a booth is wrong…and extremely rude! The producers of POOL went to great lengths and expense to advocate for their exhibitors. If you don’t have the resources to show there, it begs the question whether you have the resources to produce your line.

  10. J C Sprowls says:

    Oh my!

    I think you misunderstand us. When we talk about walking the floor, it’s to see what the show has to offer. We mean that you need to check out how they set up, what kinds of buyers are coming there and if people are really writing orders.

    There’s no sense going to a show that’s a strict dog & pony if you’re not going to write orders. There’s also no sense going to a show if there isn’t enough marketing/clout/draw to drive potential buyers your way.

    You can’t know any of this unless you walk the floor. See who is showing. See what area your product needs to hang in, etc, etc.

    Under no circumstances would anyone be permitted to walk the floor with samples draped over their arm and try to write orders. The ceilings would cave in, bricks would be dropping and your name would be mud. Just knock that notion outta yer head!

  11. Sara Seumae says:

    Oh my gosh! I think this is an example of bad communication through computers. To clarify, we are hitting the shows mainly looking for sourcing, in which case, we are taking some of our designs, etc to see what will work. We are NOT trying to take advantage of the show, the producers or anyone. We have paid to get in and are looking to give business to the exhibitors. My original question was just in terms of wondering if we should bother taking any order sheets, etc. just in case. Since this is our first time, we don’t know if it’s good to be prepared or not.

  12. Andrea says:

    Sorry….when you say ‘samples in hand’ it implies that you are piggybacking (It’s a popular thing to do at Magic). If you are a retailer looking to pick up lines, then no. I think you should use the order form the company provides. It’ll let you know what their policies are for their company. I heard that big retailers only use their own form…but I think that’s another discussion someone more qualified than myself should incite.

  13. Sara says:

    Okay, I think I will just go ahead and let this one go. I guess I’m not being clear enough and perhaps getting folks angry?!?

    We are just a couple of new designers going to our first trade show and aren’t sure if we are prepared enough for what is to come. We are taking some of our designs in search of manufacturers and other sourcing. My original question was just to ask if anyone can recommend what we should be taking or not taking while there. We are not going to “piggy back” or “be extemely rude” or even “walk with samples draped over our arm”. We were just thinking that taking a trip out to vegas for a few days while away from our babies should be thought out and prepared for.

    Thanks for your “help” and sorry if I ruffled any feathers out there. I just thought we were open to ask questions from our fellow peers. I will go ahead and remove the noose from around my neck now and go back to watching without participating from now on.

  14. J C Sprowls says:

    Sara,

    Are you going to a sourcing show or a buyer’s show? Let’s start with this question.

    If you’re going to a sourcing show, you don’t need sewn samples of work. You only need to take samples of the fabrics and trims you’re trying to source. In order for vendors to help you, they need to understand the context you’re working in.

    Frankly, I was surprised to see ‘package contractors’ as the SPESA show in Miami. I intuit that isn’t the norm. If you do meet a contractor, you really want to meet with them, privately. BS, charm, get their digits, whatever… that’s your “show face”. Business is business. And, it’s in your better interest to take your sewn samples to their office in order to have conversations.

    If you’re going to a buyer’s show, you’re likely not going to find fabric & trims suppliers. Though, I haven’t been to MAGIC & POOL. Some of the marketing collateral makes it sound like a mish-mash of various aspects of the industry under one roof. If that is, indeed, the case, you will need to compartmentalize what you do. When walking the buyer’s market, you will do that in the interest of learning how to be a good exhibitor. When walking the sourcing market, you’ll only need you notebook and swatch samples you’re trying to source.

  15. Andrea says:

    Well said, JC. Sara, don’t stop participating because there was a bad reaction to your comment. It’s not personal…at all. It sounds as if you’re having a difficult time knowing which questions to ask. Also know that there are a lot of people who hear bad advice and think it’s an accepted thing to do (hence my harsh comment). In order to avoid misinterpretation, just make sure you’re clear and when you ask a question address the 5 w’s. Additionally, you might want to purchase Kathleen’s book. It’ll save you lots of time and money.

  16. Kathleen says:

    Hi Sara, sorry, I’d meant to respond much sooner but I have a lot going on. Don’t not participate; people care. Otherwise their response would be tepid or nonexistent. I think the regulars here are frustrated when they see somebody who’s got something to show for themselves and who fall short due to what they think are preventable reasons. Some have gotten so tired of telling visitors to buy the book they don’t bother responding at all (I have a guest entry on exactly that topic going up today).

    Magic does have a sourcing segment however, it’s nearly all off shore. I don’t think you need samples, besides, you’ll have enough to lug around. Line sheets or spec sheets would be ideal. Swatches wouldn’t hurt.

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