06 August 2020

Growing your network through OFFPRICE Online

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by Jordan Hart
Picture this: the alarm goes off early on a sunny Las Vegas morning. You get ready, somewhat groggy, but excited for the day ahead. Your outfit is cute, your shoes are comfortable, and your Starbucks order came out just right (yay for small miracles). During any other year, this would be how you enter the OFFPRICE Show. Healthy, safe, in-person, and ready to mix and mingle with the industry and score some great deals for your store. 
But this is not any other year. 2020 has brought a host of challenges to the world at large, and particularly the trade show industry. While OFFPRICE cannot be there for you physically this fall, our commitment remains strong to helping you and your business in any way we can. With the launch of OFFPRICE Online—our new virtual platform—just around the corner, here are some tips and tricks for growing your network through OFFPRICE Online. 
Connecting with exhibitors
For first-time OFFPRICE Show attendees, it can sometimes be a little overwhelming with the number of vendors and tough to know where to start. With our new digital offering, the guess work has been removed and your OFFPRICE experience is simpler than ever. Using the OFFPRICE Online platform means that our artificial intelligence (AI)-powered website will be making matches and recommendations specifically catered to you, your store, and the products you are looking to buy. Each of your recommendations will have a percentage match to show you the likelihood of that exhibitor having the products you specified.
Of course, don’t be afraid to peek at the exhibitors outside your recommended section. For a couple of clicks you could stumble onto some great product you didn’t know you were missing. While OFFPRICE Online is great at pairing you with the sellers you know you want to find, we always recommend being open to surprises. You can browse product online, set up video meetings with exhibitors during our virtual market weeks that pique your interest, and find great pieces from the comfort of your home (no comfy shoes required, but slippers are encouraged). 
Besides saving you time, OFFPRICE Online  pairs you with exhibitors you may have passed over on-site. These hidden gems can be a breath of fresh air in your shop, whether it be smaller, last minute, margin-building pieces you didn’t know you were missing, or those investment pieces that define your store’s style. You can still visit and do business with your trusted exhibitors, but this is a great opportunity to mingle with new options and broaden your buying horizons. Most product is ready-to-ship, making it a great option for avoiding supply chain issues during the pandemic. 
Remember that when the world returns to normal, our matchmaking services continue at our in-person market events and trade shows! Our team can recommend and partner you with exhibitors who have just what you are looking for, and at great prices. You can schedule an appointment on-site and a member of our team will be happy to walk the floor with you and recommend exhibitors based on your interests. Whether online or in-person, OFFPRICE can guide you to great buys.  
Connecting with other buyers
While you may not be able to grab those meal deal tickets and share a table with fellow bargain hunters at the bistro this year, don’t let that stop you from chatting with other buyers! Our virtual platform allows buyers to see and message each other so don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with other retailers to swap tricks of the trade. 
In this weird time of business (anyone else tired of the word “unprecedented”), this is an excellent way to network with other buyers. See what has worked for other stores during the stricter phases of shelter in place orders. Did they utilize Facebook live sales? Personalized, virtual buying tours? What are similar stores doing now that restrictions are slowly lifting? 
Even better, when you connect with other retailers, you also have the opportunity to combine your buying power. Maybe there is an item on OFFPRICE Online that you could order together and earn an even steeper price cut.
Just as an in-person trade show is as friendly as you make it, so is the OFFPRICE Online experience. Don’t be afraid to be chatty! Lastly, remember that the OFFPRICE team is here for you! If you have any questions, reach out to Mikaela Kornowski, Marketing Manager, at 262-754-6906 or mkornowski@offpriceshow.com, and we can help you have an amazing experience at OFFPRICE Online. Happy shopping! 


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