Exhibit space at Mississippi's Feb. 6-9 Tupelo Market almost sold out for third consecutive year; show executive credits new approach to selling, involving offering exhibitors a package including built-in marketing tactics to help draw new buyers to event
January 15, 2014
(Investment Weekly News)
– Selling exhibit space for a business-to-business trade event is not an easy task in a positive economic climate, so doing so successfully in a sputtering economy is quite a feat. Ask Debbie Henry, sales director for the Tupelo Furniture Market, which is one of the nation's leading furniture trade shows and in the process of producing its 53(rd) event. "Most people don't think about the fact that the furniture industry is directly linked to the success or failure of the housing market," said Henry. "If houses are not selling, people are not buying furniture either. When consumers are not buying, our business feels the impact."
The housing market's troubles make the growth of the Tupelo Furniture Market over the last two years all the more interesting. According to Henry, the change came partly because the housing market seems to have turned around, but also, the Tupelo Market changed their approach to selling prior to that, and began to work more closely with their exhibiting companies to ensure success at each market event.
"Even before the market showed signs of life, we had changed our approach to selling," explained Henry. "We began selling our new clients a package of benefits that included built-in marketing tactics that would help attract new buyers to our event and specifically to their exhibit space location. This allowed both of us to derive success from our business relationship."
The marketing tactics employed by the Tupelo Furniture Market range from traditional to progressive. Some may be considered extreme, but collectively they are having a positive effect. "The first thing we do is ask new companies exhibiting with us which retailers they would like to see during the market event," said Henry. "Then we work with the exhibitor to create a tailored show package that is unique for that retailer so that the retailer will be inclined to attend the event and visit with our new exhibitor. The package may include discounts on product ordered by the retailers. It might include shipping or financing incentives, or it might include meal or travel vouchers. It depends on what the exhibitor and the market can do and what the buyer needs."
According to Kevin J. Seddon, president of the Tupelo Furniture Market, the staff can't call every company in every country that sells furniture and furniture accessories, so the sales process begins by targeting companies that they believe can achieve success at the Tupelo event.
"For us, fortunately, our event of late has been successful for a wide-range of companies selling many types of furniture and home accessories at every price point. Collectively, Mississippi manufacturers ship more upholstered furniture than any other state in the country, and the state ranks third in the U.S. in total shipments of all household furniture. So, we start selling locally. However, we have companies showing in Tupelo from throughout the United States, therefore our next step is to target those companies that we believe are a good fit for our event and then work with them as if we are an extension of their marketing department. Thus far it has worked well and we intend to step up the effort."
The 2.5 million square feet of space for the upcoming Tupelo Market is almost completely sold out for the spring, February 6-9, 2014 event. Companies interested in securing remaining space should call 800.844.0841. For more information, go to www.tupelofurnituremarket.com.
Keywords for this news article include: Marketing, Advertising, Finance and Investment, Tupelo Furniture Market.
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