In February our head-salesman packed his bags and headed off to Frankfurt (with a brief stop beforehand to hit some snowboarding) to represent The Wren at one of the largest trade-shows in the world: Ambiente.
This was the first time we had ever attended a show of this scale and Ambiente 2016 was rather amazing.
We were part of the CBI stand in Hall 10.1.
The scale of an international trade show is absolutely mindblowing. Last year I went to Maison d objet and it blew my mind. Ambiente is definitely on my bucket list and next year I plan to be there: 11 halls of pretty much anything and everything that you can imagine. Whether you want 20 containers of carpets from India or a new shipment of folded-steel knives from Japan, it’s your one-stop-show Jeremy reports. It is fantastically organised and the Messe Frankfurt is a brilliant venue. Everything from free public transport while the show is running to (almost) decent free wifi.
It being our first show- we were expecting it to be more of an expeditionary trip this year. Boy were we wrong. We made just shy of 100 business contacts and managed to secure some great orders… from some of the biggest names in the game.
Our new prints and natural bags were received well and we are excited to launch these online and with our retailers.
There are a few things we worked on to prepare for Ambiente and after Jeremy’s return he has reflected that there are definitely some things you have to have ready before thinking about doing a show like Ambiente.
Can your business scale? People order in serious numbers. Supplying 50 items isn’t going to be good enough.
Get ready to say no. A lot. “No, I can’t deliver 20 containers full in 2 weeks. For less-than-cost”
Make sure you know your details. From prices and shipping details to manufacturing methods and materials used.
You will see products similar to yours. Remember, it’s a big world and there is always space for competition.
It’s a long-term game. Don’t expect it to be an overnight success.
In all it was a fantastic experience and we are still overwhelmed with the positive response we got from the show. Partly due to our great sales man Jeremy, of course.
Next year Jeremy only promises to have at least found good coffee: The Holy Cross Brewing Society. Next year I am sure you will see lots of Jeremy there!
A couple of thank you’s are in order. Thank you to the CBI for putting on a very professional show – it is a pleasure to work with you. Thank you to for your support of local South African business. Thank you to Solly Levy for your assistance with product development and ensuring all our ducks were in a row for the show. Thank you to Paul Hoffmann for helping secure funding support from our local government to go overseas to a show of this scale. And thank you to all the 100 businesses that placed enquiries with us. We are very excited to be working with you.