Showing at KIDShow 2/08: Bethany

Today’s second posted guest entry (in fairness, written before David’s) we have Bethany returning to tell us about her experience showing at KIDShow. As an aside, she mentions she had a lousy experience with her sales rep and is planning to write about it in her next entry.

Greetings fine readers of Fashion-Incubator! It is time for another installment of Georgie World goes to a trade show! This time I showed at KIDShow, Las Vegas in a sales rep booth, not a corporate booth. What is the difference? A sales rep booth consists of one booth with many lines and a sales rep runs it, and a corporate booth has only one line, and the brand runs it. Normally a DE doesn’t go to trade shows when their sales rep is showing the line, but I was having problems with my sales rep and I wanted to see what was going on. Plus, I was curious about the show itself.

So without further ado, here is my take on KIDShow, February 2008:

KIDShow is a children’s clothing and accessory trade show that runs parallel to the huge MAGIC trade show in Vegas. MAGIC has it’s own section of children’s clothing lines, but when I walked it last February, it seemed sparse and I have since heard the booths are very expensive and the buyers who go to MAGIC will also go to KIDShow. So you might as well show at KIDShow for the better price.

After three days at KIDShow, here is my opinion on the general target market of the buyers at the show: commercial, girly, blingy, or conservative. There were very few edgy buyers at the show, which was a problem for me because I have a line of boy’s clothing that is neither conservative or blingy,and frankly, it isn’t very commercial either. The booths that were doing well either had established buyers they knew would be at the show and had appointments, or larger corporate booths that had commercial and conservative clothing. The new DEs didn’t fair as well as the established brands.

I also noticed the buyers seemed to be looking for immediates and therefore bargains because many manufacturers will sell their stock at a discount. Very few new lines seemed to be writing Fall/Winter 08 and pretty much every booth was showing their spring, summer and fall lines at the same time.

As an aside, I noticed there was very little “swag” given out at the show; no free bags, no free t-shirts, or pens or anything else that is just going to end up in the garbage. This seemed to be in direct opposition to the crap they give out at MAGIC, and personally, I think swag is the lamest publicity stunt. There are people I call “show whores” who seem just go to trade shows to get free stuff. I have no idea what they do with it when they get home, but I have seen them roam the shows and they never seem to write any orders, they just end up with armfuls of cheap muslin bags and posters. Maybe they put it up on Ebay? This show was blissfully free of the bottom feeders. But I digress.

All in all, I would have to say that it isn’t worth my time or money to come back in August as a corporate booth. I show at Bubble NY and have done much better there. I am showing at Bubble in March for the second time and will be sure to write about it (see the review of my first Bubble show). I managed to find a new sales rep at KIDShow and if she decides to come back, I will have her bring Georgie World and see how it does with a new rep.

So, if you have a line of clothing that is very commercial, or totally blinged out with rhinestones and cute sayings, then I think KIDShow is worth a shot. The price is good and it is worth it just to meet buyers and other designers at the show. Plus, trade shows are a great way to meet press and spread the word about your brand. Sometimes it takes two or three times before a store will buy you because they want to make sure you are established and able to ship on time. If you decide to show at KIDShow in August, feel free to email me with any questions. Good luck.
Below is a photo of Bethany (right) and Malia at dinner Tuesday night.

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