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It’s hot, you’re tired, your legs ache, all the new product has blurred into one and you’ve no idea what you’ve ordered! Sound familiar? Well, here are our top tips to help you get through and make the most out of trade shows in the Tilley & Grace Trade Show Survival Guide!

Top Tips:

Get there early – it is quieter, easier to park, quicker to talk to suppliers and you will have more energy to make good buying decisions!

Have a plan of who you want to see and what you need before you go. You don’t have to stick with it if you see something that you just can’t resist, but it is useful to have a list so you don’t over order.

Get a map of the show in advance and familiarise yourself with where your favourite suppliers are located, as well as where the bathrooms and food stands are!

Talk to the suppliers on the stands – they will be able to give you good tips as to what goes with what and how best to display their product in your shop.

What to wear

– Comfortable, flat shoes – a trade show survival guide must!

– A cross body bag, so that you have your hands free.

– Leave your coat at home or in the cloakroom on site – it is too hot to wear it inside and will only get in the way if you try to carry it.

What to bring:

– A notebook to jot down things you love and a folder for your orders (make sure you take a copy!) and business cards you collect on the way round.

– Your business cards, or just a print out of your business details if you don’t have any. You will have to leave your details with anyone you place an order with, having a card to hand over saves a lot of time and means there won’t be any mistakes.

– Water. It is so expensive to buy water at the shows and much better for the planet to take your own bottle.

– Snacks to keep your blood sugar up and help keep you energized. We recommend nuts and seeds, but of course, nothing beats chocolate biscuits!


Travel tips

It is easiest to get to Olympia by train, but there is parking too (it’s free on Sunday), you can pre-book here. If you get stuck, park at Westfield and jump on the overground at Shepherd’s Bush, it’s only one stop.

For the NEC it is probably easier by car and you can also pre-book online here. Or take a train to Birmingham International, which brings you out into the NEC. You’ve then got a 10 minute walk to the show.

Food & Drink

After long days at a show, there is nothing worse than having to find somewhere to eat in an area you don’t know. In the immediate area surrounding Olympia we can personally recommend the Hand & Flower Pub, Pizza Express and the Yas Persian Restaurant. For more options have a look at this good list of restaurants on the Olympia website.

The NEC is slightly more challenging when it comes to restaurant recommendations, as it is rather in the middle of nowhere! You can find a list of the larger food chains on site here.

Too much to take on?

Well, if it’s gorgeous ladies’ accessories you are after, make Tilley & Grace your one-stop shop for great quality costume jewellery, ponchos, wraps, cashmere and silk scarves!

Where to find us

See the full list of our upcoming trade shows here.

Can’t make a trade show?

All our new product is available on our website, so you can sit back with a cup of tea and order at your leisure! Apply for a trade account here.