Where do you find wholesale foods and gifts to make gift baskets? The answer reveals why it’s time to prepare now to attend gift trade shows.

Exceeding my expectations

In the 1990s, the New York International Gift Fair (now known as NY Now) was my go-to trade show to find exhibitors with wholesale baskets, shred, ribbon, and other supplies to make gift baskets.

My initial attendance was overwhelming. I’d never seen so much product selection in one place. Still, I had a list that I attempted to follow to find and buy what I needed for designing. That list included:

  • Baskets
  • Containers
  • Enhancements
  • Foods
  • Spa products
  • Baby items
  • Corporate gifts

Your list will be different. See this definitive article on buying the right products to create your own.

I attended that show because it was closest to my business location. There were, and still are, many shows throughout the world, but when you start making gift baskets, you find and attend the event that’s not far. You want to save money and time while searching for great products.

West coast dreams

By the third year in business, I couldn’t wait to attend the California Gift Show. I’d heard so much good news about it, and the seminar roster was exactly what I wanted to hear. There was much more happening with gift baskets, bowmaking, and business ideas than at the New York show.

At this point it was September, and the California show was to be held in January. That gave me four short months to come up with a budget to pay for:

  • Airfare
  • Rental car
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Incidentals

This was quite an expense in my early days, and today it’s still a significant amount of money to save, especially if you’re not in the general area of a trade show you desperately want to attend. However, going to a particular show that’s not in your area is vital to your success.

That’s why I encourage you to decide, right now, which trade shows you’ve heard about and want to attend in the coming season. There will be less stress later if you begin now calculating the cost and breaking that cost into chunks you can save each month.

By the time the show starts, you’re there because you took the responsibility to save the investment cost.

A great decision

When I arrived at the California Gift Show, 3,000 miles away from my home base, I asked myself, “Why didn’t I get here sooner?

The New York show was fine, but the California show was wonderfully different. Entrepreneurial ideas and unique products not available in my area were in every aisle.

I immediately fell in love with the show, seminars, and products that were appealing and perfect for the gift baskets I made. It’s where I learned to make my first professional bow which I demonstrate in this video. In an instant, my yearly mission was attending this show.

Soon after, I was speaking at that facility, the LA Mart, and California Market Center, three places that are close in proximity catering to retailers worldwide.

My gift basket sales also skyrocketed because each one contained a collection of products not available in my area. These opportunities would never have occurred if I didn’t take the chance to attend the show.

Time to prepare now to attend gift trade shows

Getting into Gift Baskets, by Shirley George Frazier. All rights reserved.

What gift show do you want to attend next year?

This is the time to give yourself permission to get to that location, and the first step is to decide how much it will cost and how to make and save the money.

If you truly care about operating a successful gift basket business, you’ll do everything possible to get to that must-go-to show.

Don’t wait a minute longer.

Trust your instincts.

Start saving.

Attend.

Order.

Learn.

Profit!

Tags : trade shows
Shirley George Frazier
In the gift basket world, all roads lead to Shirley George Frazier, the industry's reigning expert and international authority. Shirley is chief basketologist at Sweet Survival LLC and author of the industry's best-selling books, How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business, The Gift Basket Design Book, and Marketing Strategies for the Home-Based Business. Shirley works with manufacturers and retailers to successfully add gift baskets to their current revenue streams. Shirley is also a frequent speaker at events and instructor of the popular online course, Start Your Own Gift Basket Business. Contact Shirley to speak at your event or call 973-279-2799 to schedule a consultation.

4 Comments

  1. Good morning Ms. Shirley;
    My name is Rhonda Armstrong, I would like to know I live in New Orleans, La. Were can I find a trade /gift show here in New Orleans or surrounding areas

    1. Hello Rhonda,

      You can easily find trade shows in your area by searching the web using the term, “trade gift show in New Orleans.” You’ll find locations near you!

  2. Hello Ms. Shirley:

    This is Pamela . I have just received your email and I am so excited.
    I ordered the book, and look forward to the disk, thanks for sharing.
    I plan to attend on attending a trade show also,

    best Pam

    1. Hello Pamela,

      Your order is received, and I thank you! A variety of gift trade shows are in your area, and the same is true about wholesalers with great products. Watch for trade shows in the summer when there will possibly be seminars available, too.

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