by Meaghan Brophy
Midwest Market Days is a business-to-business order writing show based out of the Chicago area for local and international retailers to meet with reputable wholesalers and importers. The suppliers offer general merchandise and closeouts in a wide variety of categories including craft and hobby, electronics, fashion accessories, giftware, health and beauty, hair accessories, home décor, housewares, jewelry, party supplies, textiles, and more. “We’re more of a co-op than a traditional trade show,” explains Midwest Market Days Tradeshow Manager Joanna Kastle. The show was founded many years ago by a group of vendors who branched off from another local tradeshow to follow their own vision. The goal of Midwest Market Days is to foster growth through building retailer and vendor relationships, and to make the buying process hassle-free.
“It’s so important in our industry to see products in person, and for buyers to touch and feel to really understand what they are buying. It’s important that retailers come and see the merchandise to place orders,” continues Kastle. To help keep this philosophy a reality, Midwest Market Days does everything they can to cater to their buyers. Kastle and her team strive to make the show as personable and convenient as possible. Midwest Market Days hosts seven shows throughout the year. “We want to accommodate different retailers’ buying cycles,” says Kastle. Hosting multiple shows also allows buyers to form closer relationships with their supplier. “Most of our buyers attend between four and five shows per year,” explains Kastle. Each show has around 50 vendors that, for the most part, stay consistent from show to show. The 350 buyers that attend “have enough time to look through every booth, focus on the merchandise, and really develop relationships,” says Kastle.
Midwest Market Days goes above and beyond to handle travel logistics for buyers. A free shuttle service provides transport from local hotels to the show. Once buyers arrive, a member of Midwest Market Days’ trade show staff personally greets each attendee. Complimentary breakfast and lunch is provided daily at each event. “We cater to buyers to make the whole process smooth and beneficial,” says Kastle.
Midwest Market Days does not do a lot of traditional advertising. They rely on word of mouth from their core group of vendors and buyers to bring in new attendees and exhibitors. The market also recently launched a new logo and website to help streamline their registration process and make show information more readily accessible.
The remaining show dates for this year are April 11-12th, May 16-17th, June 27-28th, September 8-9th, October 27-28th, and December 5-6th. For more information, visit www.midwestmarketdays.com.