By Holly Harris
When attending a trade show, the number one thing you should do to be prepared is research. It is important to know what is selling in your store, and understand who your customer is. Do not just buy gifts and toys because you like them. Come with a budget and stick to it, and you will have a successful show. The upcoming ASD show provides information about exhibitors at asdonline.com, to help you research them in advance of the show. Retailers and buyers can go to the website to see all the different tools offered to help them have a better experience on the floor, and efficiently find the products they want.
Retailers should always have the basics that keep their businesses going in stock, but they should also consistently put new product offerings on their floors. Experimenting with new companies and new products shows you are a leader in what you are doing. You might also find another category that your customer base is looking for, but wouldn’t know of, if you weren’t willing to take a risk on something new. Following are some top categories and trends in gifts and toys upcoming at ASD:
These types of toys are growing because they give kids the opportunity to learn and play at the same time. This is especially true with computers; it makes them want to explore. A supplier, Discover Doctor Cool, was incredible at the previous show, and caused a huge buzz by having a large animated dinosaur on display. This company’s products are interactive, and also educational with a science base.
This category seems to be a growing, yet consistent trend. Kids love these products because they like to have plush toys of the characters in the new TV show they are watching.
These are the products you see at amusement parks and kiosks. One supplier, Marshmallow Fun Company, invented all types of shooting games that use marshmallows. The founder was inspired to create this line when he was having a birthday party for his son, and went down to the hardware store to make something for the kids to play. He put a couple of pipes together, and soon the kids were having a blast shooting marshmallows, and the parents were also enjoying the fun. That’s when he thought, “Wow, I could really take this to another level!”
This is a growing area at the ASD show, with licensed character and sports products. Another large area is college and university licensing.
There is a growing trend among customers to stop wasting our resources. People want to cut down on cutting trees, and focus more on using recyclable products. The same goes with plastic bags. As people stop using disposable plastic bags, there is a need for a reusable version. Exhibitors at ASD include companies that produce reusable bags, and their businesses have grown substantially as consumers become more environmentally conscious, and as environmental laws are being applied.
Made in USA
With the economic downturn in recent years and so many things being bought offshore, people want more products labeled with Made in USA. There is a growing trend to buy products that support our country, and retailers can profit by selling Made in USA goods.