We've been busy unpacking all the boxes of the stuff we took to Pulse London last week. We had another great show this year, meeting lots of new potential buyers and catching up with old friends and regulars.
Planning our stand
We spend quite some time planning our stand, working out which products we're going to put where. We've come a long way from our first 1m square table-top stand back in 2012 when we took everything in large bags on the train and then spent many hours arranging and tweaking our display. These days, we plan well in advance which products we're going to promote and how we want to display them, which means a much more efficient build when we get there.
We plan our stand to scale by drawing a flat plan in Illustrator. We draw all our stand furniture and display units to scale as well. We decide which product will be our main feature; something really eye-catching to draw people to our stand instead of just walking by. Our tagline 'Custom made for shop' is a relatively new recent addition and it's proved to be a good conversation piece - visitors instantly 'get' how our products could work for them.
For this show, we focussed on the collectible map hexagons and circles, which created a striking, colourful feature. Hexagons are quite a trend in home wares this season as well so even more reason to exploit and promote them on our stand.
We display our products in a way that our retailers might like to display them in their own shops.
Trends for 2015/2016
Trade shows are always a great place to see the next big thing and this year Pulse London partnered with Trend Bible and Katie Law who curated Pulse Trends. We love the Cosmic Cool trend: stars and constellations, which are interpreted for home and lifestyle products through print and pattern.
And the Mountain Explorer trend, which references a ‘back to basics’ lifestyle, encouraging us to cut our ties with technology and fully embrace nature and the world around us.
Launching new designs
We really enjoy launching new products and seeing how they are received from visitors to our stand. This year at Pulse London, we launched a lot of new greetings cards and luxury gift wrap. We've taken inspiration for our gift wrap from our Patchwork collage collection and have created a series of gift wrap using geometric shapes. Most of the cards we make are hand-made to order especially for you. We use quality materials, local suppliers and old-fashioned, low-impact production techniques of découpage - cutting and sticking as it's also known!
We are also very lucky to have some talented illustrators in our team, who have developed a vintage-inspired Bombus house style for drawing maps. We use these illustrations to create high-quality digitally printed cards.
When the show is open, we try to get contact details of everyone who stops at our stand and shows an interest. We grade interest into two categories - hot leads - these are the ones who have placed an order and those who specifically requested follow-up and prospective leads - anyone who came to our stand and was happy to give us their contact details. It's critical that the hot leads get a prompt response, so we aim to contact these immediately we're back in the studio. And prospective leads follow very shortly behind.
Howard J Sewell at Spear Marketing gives really good advice about contacting leads after a trade show. You can see his blog post 'Top ten tips for a successful trade show follow-up campaign' here.