Blog # 5    The Importance and Benefits of Attending a Gift Show                              Jan 7, 2018

By Lilly Stamets

Create your own Path to Purchase product by setting your goal to attend a local, regional and/or            
national Gift Show in 2018.

The intent of this article is to provide support for planning to attend a Gift Show. Going to a Gift Show is
part of your Professional Development as a Hospital Gift Shop Manager/Buyer.

Don’t expect just using word of mouth, internet or vendors to come calling with new product.

Develop a budget and buying plan that supports the hospital gift shop attending a Gift Show.

Keeping your merchandise new and fresh is the responsibility of a buyer.  The January Shows provide
the most comprehensive forward look at what is fresh and new at special prices appropriate for your
store. The special show prices can often cover the expense of going to a show.

Here are a few ideas on making a gift show pay off.

     1. Showing Up:
If you think that e-tailers and outsourced hospital gift shops are performing better than your gift shop, it is
because their buyers are maximizing the benefit from attending gift shows. This is one of the reasons
that there are hundreds of gift shows.

Buyers don’t have a magic “eight ball” to guarantee profitability. A buyer’s success requires attending
shows. Because e-tailers and outsourced gift shops have buyers who aren’t burden with operations, they
use that time for shows and research.

Shows provide a platform for multi-faceted research including trends, products, value, vendors and
merchandising. Often hospital gift shops are competing with a website that provides the customer the
ability to send flowers and gifts from their couch. Perhaps that is why the internet stores are catching up
with Brick and Mortar stores.

       2.  Expertise:
Experienced Hospital Gift Shop buyers often lack the understanding to take full benefit of what a gift
show has to offer.  For example there are over (15) ways to negotiate the price of a product with a
vendor at a Gift Show. Many buyers don’t know what they don’t know about getting better values. It can
often be overwhelming to shop in six million square feet of show space and it takes expertise to navigate.

       3. Research:
The best place to do “deep dive” research is at shows. You learn from experienced vendors, discover
new product, product knowledge, merchandising concepts and trends. Lastly you can meet peers to
share insights as to where the hospital gift shop industry is headed. Not only are shows informative but
they are inspiring.

In conclusion, to make going to a gift show pay off, partnering with other more experienced buyers or
using a professional buyer to help with your buying plan and/or accompany you can make the show
experience more rewarding and profitable. Also, if you cannot attend a show a professional buyer can

go to the show and represent you.

Contact Lilly Stamets for more information about using her show services.
Go to Lilly at or 415 533 5944

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