We recently had the opportunity to interview the moms at Travel-Tot before they headed to Louisville for this year's ABC Kids Expo. If you've been wondering about displaying at a large tradeshow, the investment, and how it can help your business, this post is for you!
Market Mommy:: Tell us a little bit about your business.
Travel-Tot:: At Travel-Tot, we produce an award winning travel childproofing kit. It is an affordable, temporary, all-in-one childproofing kit that provides a layer of protection as well as peace of mind for families wherever they travel... hotels, motels and even grandma’s house!
What makes our product unique to the market is that it is temporary and completely non-damaging to furniture, yet provides everything necessary for childproofing on the go. Hotel rooms are comfortable and convenient for adults and now they will address basic childproofing needs and create an instantly safer environment for children.
This is a product that takes some consumer education. It’s critical and even essential that families childproof when they are away from home and it is a thought that in the midst of the hustle and bustle of travel planning often gets lost. This is one of our marketing challanges, and we've found some great ways to get the word out there.
Market Mommy:: Have you ever exhibited at the ABC show before?
Travel-Tot:: We have! We launched our product, the Travel Childproofing Kit there 2 years ago. It was a huge deal for us and the response was amazing.
Market Mommy:: Have you ever exhibited elsewhere?
Travel-Tot:: We've done a few trade shows, the biggest being the International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant show in NYC. We exhibited there because not only are we selling to retailers nationwide, but we are also working with hotels and lodging providers to provide basic safety and peace of mind for families who stay with them. At the IHMRS we were thrilled to win the Editor's Choice award for Best New Amenity!
Market Mommy:: Why did you choose to exhibit this year?
Travel-Tot:: Last year was all about logistics and production for us, as well as solidifying our partnerships with the hotel industry. It's been a huge learning curve. Our team has a ton of experience in sales and marketing but we've had a lot to pick up on the other side.
The ABC Show helps us take the temperature of the industry in a few short days. It helps us maximize our travel budget and fortify retail relationships that we are just building. Since this is a new industry for us, this step is crucial.
Market Mommy:: What are your goals for the show, what do you hope to accomplish?
Travel-Tot:: We'd like to make sure that every buyer, rep and media outlet attending the show knows our name and what Travel-Tot is all about. We aim high over here!
Market Mommy:: How big of a financial investment is this for you?
Travel-Tot:: Anytime you talk about undertaking a trade show it's going to be a big investment. It's worth it though for the exposure alone.
Market Mommy:: How big of an hour/time investment is this for the business?
Travel-Tot:: The prep work for a show like this is huge. We would never want to show up and WISH we'd done something different so we're constantly making lists of must haves and nice to haves, and split up the responsibilities to make sure everything we need done is addressed.
Market Mommy:: What are you doing to prepare? What are you taking? media kits, products, samples, takeaways?
Travel-Tot:: So much of what we do is about what the take-away is. So yes, it's our media kit that outlines who we are, what awards we've won and the fantastic press we've garnered over the last two years. We'll also have product in the booth to demo and display, plenty of marketing materials and always good snacks!
Market Mommy:: Did you have to invest in a display? How are you designing your space?
Travel-Tot:: We did invest in a display. We're in a 10x10 space (booth #1944, come on by!) and we have a fantastic graphic backdrop. It's so important at an event like this to catch someone's eye. From the beginning we have put a lot of stock in our branding, so we want to show it off in all of it's finest!
Market Mommy:: Why is the ABC expo part of your marketing plan? What efforts are you doing in conjunction with this?
Travel-Tot:: The ABC show is the only event of it's kind and size in the US. Bang for your buck you really can't find a better way to touch more retailers in one space in such a short period of time. Yes it's an investment in time, money and effort but the end result is fantastic exposure and tons of personal relationships you might not have made via phone or email.
The ABC Kids Expo is currently going on in Louisville! If you'd like to hear more about Travel-Tot's experience there this year, watch our blog in the next two weeks for the follow-up interview!