We're delighted yo../u will be exhibiting at the SOURCES Show!  To help yo../u plan for the Show, we have compiled this information based on q../uestions that are freq../uently asked by exhibitors new to exhibiting in the U.S.  

Altho../ugh this information is geared toward companies new to the ind../ustry, we hope it will benefit all exhibitors.  The SOURCES Show team is here to help, please feel free to give any of ../us a call.

For yo../ur reference, this g../uide is organized in the following manner:

I.        Before the Show

  1. B../uilding Yo../ur Prod../uct Line
  2. Setting Goals
  3. Pre-show
  4. P../ublic Relations/P../ublicity
  5. VISA information
  6. Operations and Logistics

II.     At the Show

  1. Pricing Yo../ur Prod../ucts for Wholesale
  2. Getting Paid By Yo../ur C../ustomers
  3. How to Set Minim../um Orders
  4. Promotional Literat../ure
  5. Salesmanship
  6. A Wholesale Market
  7. Man../ufact../urers&rsq../uo; Representatives
  8. Seminar Program
  9. Networking
  10. Visit Other Markets to Grow Yo../ur B../usiness
  11. Show Close

III.   After the Show

  1. Follow-../up
  2. We Want Yo../ur Feedback

IV.     The SOURCES Show Team Contact Information


Before the Show

What to expect from the SOURCES show

SOURCES is a new concept for most US b../uyers who are not ../used to being able to so../urce offshore man../ufact../ured prod../ucts at home.  While we will do o../ur best to make yo../ur exhibiting experience s../uccessf../ul, there are a n../umber of things that yo../u sho../uld consider and try to get involved with that will give yo../u a greater chance of s../uccess.

The b../uyers will be primarily from the US and will be wholesalers, importers, large vol../ume retailers and distrib../utors looking to set ../up relationships with international man../ufact../urers to bring prod../ucts into the US to resell, or direct to retail vol../ume p../urchasers like catalogs, e-tailers or larger stores.  Also expect to see prod../uct designers and developers who are looking to find and develop new prod../ucts. 

 While we hope that yo../u will write orders, be aware this is a b../usiness-to-b../usiness show and the contacts yo../u make co../uld be far more important for yo../u in the long r../un than a one-off large order at the show. So meas../ure the s../uccess, not necessarily by sales written at the show, b../ut by the contacts yo../u meet at the show who t../urn into sales later.  Yo../ur actions in post show marketing are cr../ucial for s../uccess. 

B../uilding yo../ur prod../uct line

How m../uch prod../uct sho../uld I bring?  There is no one answer to this freq../uently asked q../uestion.  However, we do have some advice to offer yo../u.  Yo../u will need to have eno../ugh prod../uct to keep b../uyers in yo../ur booth long eno../ugh to make a sale, or to give them an idea of what yo../u can prod../uce.  While b../uyers may not be thinking of filling their whole needs from yo../u, they will want to see a good variety and have the opport../unity to choose what they believe will work for them.  Make s../ure yo../u have eno../ugh to offer them.

C../ustomers will want to see prod../ucts as well as yo../ur capabilities, in case they are looking for OEM merchandise.  Be s../ure to exhibit yo../ur abilities as well as yo../ur prod../ucts if yo../u are also looking for OEM orders.

Be s../ure yo../u have the inventory to attract b../uyers into yo../ur booth.  If yo../u only have one prod../uct to sell, yo../u will have a harder time attracting b../uyer interest.  Take yo../ur creative idea and expand on it.  By expanding yo../ur idea to incl../ude different items in a coordinated prod../uct line yo../u will have a greater opport../unity for sales.

Good q../uality, ../uniq../ue prod../ucts tend to be more s../uccessf../ul at SOURCES.  Handcrafted prod../ucts do especially well at SOURCES.  Price is important, especially if yo../u are dealing with a larger b../uyer, b../ut it does not mean yo../u have to be cheap in order to do well.  The US b../uyers are prepared to pay for q../uality and something different.  They are all looking for &ldq../uo;NEW.&rdq../uo;


Setting Goals

Trade Shows are the single best marketing tool available to man../ufact../urers today, b../ut yo../u will want to be s../ure to take f../ull advantage of yo../ur time spent at the Show, and come away with a sense of accomplishment.  It is extremely important to set clearly defined goals for yo../urself before yo../u exhibit.  Be s../ure that yo../u have realistic expectations and make s../ure yo../u will be able to meas../ure yo../ur s../uccess. 

Here are some s../uggested goals:

  • Assess marketability of yo../ur prod../uct.
    Perhaps yo../u&rsq../uo;ve test-marketed yo../ur prod../uct with neighbors and friends.  The SOURCES Show offers yo../u a great opport../unity to talk to and make b../usiness with the right contacts from all different regions of the United States abo../ut yo../ur prod../uct. 
  • B../uild yo../ur prospect list/Generate q../ualified leads.
    While on-site, yo../u will speak with many b../uyers.  Keep track of who yo../u speak with, regardless if they place an order with yo../u.  Always ask for a b../usiness card of a potential c../ustomer and take notes on their interests.
    At the Show, yo../u may discover a segment of the ind../ustry to add to yo../ur prospect list.  Did 20 m../use../um store b../uyers approach yo../ur booth at the Show?  Perhaps this is a b../uyer category where yo../u co../uld devote more of yo../ur attention.  Talk to the b../uyers who stop by yo../ur booth – ask them q../uestions.  Learn the demographics of yo../ur c../ustomer or potential c../ustomer base. 
  • Get to know yo../ur competitors.
    Exhibiting at the SOURCES Show provides yo../u with an excellent opport../unity to see what yo../ur competitors are bringing to the market.  Plan to have a colleag../ue staff yo../ur booth to allow yo../u time to walk the Show yo../urself so yo../u can see other exhibitors, their booths and their prod../ucts.  Please note that yo../u sho../uld never enter another exhibitor&rsq../uo;s booth witho../ut his/her permission.  Also, taking photographs of someone else&rsq../uo;s booth is strictly prohibited.   
  • See ind../ustry trends.
    While yo../u walk the Show, yo../u will ../undo../ubtedly note a few hot trends.  Get inspired by what yo../u see and start thinking abo../ut yo../ur f../ut../ure designs. Collect literat../ure and periodicals while at the show to have a better ../understanding of market trends.
  • Introd../uce new prod../ucts and broaden prod../uct awareness.
    Many exhibitors will ../use the SOURCES Show to introd../uce new prod../ucts to the marketplace.  New prod../uct la../unches create a sense of excitement, and b../uyers are ../us../ually looking forward to placing orders for &q../uot;what&rsq../uo;s new.&q../uot; We offer several promotions to help highlight new prod../ucts.  Gift Walk and the Gold Coast Lo../unge are two. 
  • Obtain press attention.
    Press coverage can help create a b../uzz aro../und prod../ucts – helping to boost sales.  The SOURCES Show will attract a n../umber of members of the press from a wide variety of p../ublications – both ind../ustry and cons../umer.  The press attends the Show seeking trends, new prod../ucts and new exhibitors. All exhibitors are enco../uraged to place Press Kits in o../ur Press Office on show site.  
  • Write orders.
    If yo../u set a goal to write orders, be s../ure to define yo../ur goal and keep it realistic.  As yo../u write orders with c../ustomers be s../ure that yo../u will be able to f../ulfill the orders within the timeframe the c../ustomer asks to receive shipment.  Remember that if yo../u commit all of yo../ur prod../uction to one order or store gro../up, yo../u will be h../urt badly if this company s../ubseq../uently cancels or red../uces their order size.  It is better to spread yo../ur order over several companies if yo../u can, or separate yo../ur one large order into a few smaller shipments to lower yo../ur risk and still be able to accommodate other orders. Yo../u can open a line of credit that will forward payments according to these terms, or make arrangements with yo../ur client for partial payments as order segments are completed.  
  • So../urce new vendors to help yo../u prod../uce/package yo../ur prod../uct.
    Use yo../ur time at the Show to yo../ur best advantage.  GLM has created a marketplace for yo../u to not only sell yo../ur prod../uct, b../ut to find new reso../urces to help yo../u prod../uce and package yo../ur prod../ucts.  From designers and developers, to importers and distrib../utors, we&rsq../uo;ve bro../ught it all to Los Angeles to help yo../u maximize yo../ur trip.  Read the section called "Visit other markets to grow yo../ur b../usiness" for more details. 


Travel and Hotels
GLM has arranged hotels and travel programs for yo../u to take advantage of thro../ugh Gro../up Travel Associates.  Check the details on the web site Gro../up Travel Associates has booked blocks of hotel rooms for SOURCES on or close to the sh../uttle b../us ro../utes.  They offer a &ldq../uo;special low rate g../uarantee&rdq../uo; so yo../u can book thro../ugh them with confidence knowing yo../u have the cheapest rates.

GLM will carry o../ut a f../ull marketing program for generating b../uyers for SOURCES, incl../uding over 50 advertising inserts, fo../ur direct mail pieces that will reach over 200,000 people, as well as an email campaign that will involve fo../ur emails to the 27,000 b../uyers on o../ur database who are appropriate for SOURCES and o../ur 9900 exhibitors from other GLM shows who are importers.


We will be telemarketing for fo../ur weeks prior to the show to b../uyers reminding them to attend.

Pre-show Promotion will enhance yo../ur participation in any trade show.  Do not ass../ume yo../u do not have the time or money to do anything other than preparing yo../ur booth and getting yo../ur prod../uct to the Show.  Some promotional programs can be costly and time intensive, b../ut some are not.  We try to present yo../u with an array of programs that can f../ulfill yo../ur vario../us needs. Yo../u cannot afford to leave it all to GLM; yo../u will be more s../uccessf../ul if yo../u get involved too.

Consider implementing any or all of these methods:

  • Telemarketing
  • Advertising - there are vario../us options: <../ul style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;">
  • Ind../ustry p../ublications, (see more details below ../under, "P../ublic Relations/P../ublicity")
  • The Official Show Directory,   Aside from the free listing all exhibitors receive in the Show Directory, yo../u may also choose to place an ad in this year-ro../und reso../urce. 
  • Direct mail to yo../ur prospect list
  • Direct mail to previo../us SOURCES attendees - We will provide the SOURCES attendee list for a mailing or broadcast email that promotes yo../ur participation in the Show.  Contact ../us for prices and details.

P../ublic Relations/P../ublicity

A good way to gain attention for yo../ur prod../uct is to let the ind../ustry press know abo../ut yo../u before the Show.  Yo../u can inform the press abo../ut yo../ur company and its prod../ucts by sending a press kit.

In addition, yo../u sho../uld have a press kit ready for any members of the press who are interested in obtaining more information abo../ut yo../ur company, its prod../ucts and sometimes company fo../unders and/or designers.  Have them available in yo../ur booth and also place them in the SOURCES show office.  GLM recommends that yo../u bring 10-15 press kits to the show office when yo../u arrive.  They will then be made available to all visiting members of the media to read thro../ugh or take with them.

GLM has written the very easy-to-follow &ldq../uo;G../uide to P../ublic Relations,&rdq../uo; which shows how to p../ut together a press kit abo../ut yo../ur company and answers freq../uently asked q../uestions abo../ut p../ublic relations.  To access GLM&rsq../uo;s &ldq../uo;G../uide to P../ublic Relations&rdq../uo; please go to

Where to send yo../ur Press Release and/or Advertise

The SOURCES Show team is often asked for a list of trade p../ublications in o../ur ind../ustry.  The list below is by no means a complete list of ind../ustry p../ublications, nor does it represent any endorsement of p../ublications by the SOURCES team.  However, it does incl../ude a sampling of p../ublications that cover news in the ind../ustry.

Retailers read these p../ublications to find new companies and prod../ucts and to follow trends. 

Domestic US

Gifts & Dec
360 Park Aven../ue So../uth, New York, NY 10010-1710
P../ublished:  Monthly
Trade Magazine

Home Accents Today
P.O. Box 2754, High Point NC 27261-2754
P../ublished: Monthly pl../us extra iss../ues in April and October
Trade Magazine

Home Textiles Today
360 Park Aven../ue So../uth New York NY 10010-1710
P../ublished: Bi Weekly
Trade Magazine

7 West 34th Street New York, NY10001
P../ublished: Weekly
Trade Magazine

Giftware News
20 West Kinzie Street, #1200, Chicago, IL 60610
P../ublished:  Monthly
Trade Magazine

317 Harrington Ave., Closter, NJ  07624
P../ublished: Monthly
Trade Newsletter

Selling Christmas Decorations
3 Oxford Road, Goshen, NY  10924
P../ublished: 4 times per year
Trade Magazine

So../uvenirs, Gifts & Novelties
112 Androssan Ct., Box 5398, Deptford, NJ  08096
P../ublished: Monthly
Trade Magazine


Marketplace P../ublications Hong Kong

Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore

Gifts & Accessories India

Global Premi../ums

Global So../urces Premi../ums Gifts &  Ho../usewares

HK Prod../ucts

Trade Channel Hong Kong

Trade So../urces
Gifts & Ho../useware

Trade India


Contrary to some reports, the United States is &ldq../uo;import friendly&rdq../uo; and enco../urages visitors here for to../urism and, importantly, for b../usiness. It is important to remember in most cases, however, yo../u will need a visa to apply for entry into the United States.

It is not complicated if yo../u follow the r../ules and, while not q../ualified experts, we have tried below to give advice that will help yo../u.

  • Yo../u m../ust apply early. Cons../ular officers know trade shows set dates well in advance, so a professional b../usiness person wo../uld not leave it ../until the last min../ute to apply. The later yo../u apply the less chance yo../u have of being s../uccessf../ul.
  • Yo../u m../ust have paid yo../ur f../ull deposit and ret../urned yo../ur signed contract.
  • Yo../u will need a letter of introd../uction from ../us to take with yo../u on yo../ur interview. Note that interviews will last only a few min../utes, so make s../ure yo../u have yo../ur records ready and in order.
  • It is imperative yo../u show solid reasons why yo../u m../ust ret../urn to yo../ur co../untry after the show.
  • Make s../ure yo../u show records of previo../us visits for b../usiness abroad to trade shows, b../ut partic../ularly for the U.S.
  • Cons../ular officers are ../under no press../ure to grant a visa, in fact q../uite the opposite. If there is any do../ubt in their mind, they will ref../use yo../u.
  • If ref../used, yo../u can always reapply, b../ut each time yo../u will need to s../upply more s../upporting information than at yo../ur previo../us interview.
  • Do not attempt to have too many people from the same company apply for visas. Cons../ular officers know that a 10 ft. x 10 ft. booth is small, and if more than three people apply for one booth, they will all be rejected as there will be s../uspicion that a whole family is trying to enter the co../untry.

More Details

It is yo../ur responsibility to ens../ure yo../u apply for and receive a visa  if the United States req../uires it for entry from yo../ur co../untry.

Apply early at the US Embassy or Cons../ulate Visa Office, we recommend at least 90-120 days prior to yo../ur trip.

Yo../u may be asked for a personal interview. Yo../u will need doc../umentation to prove yo../u have a valid reason to visit the co../untry. This sho../uld incl../ude a copy of yo../ur booth  space contract signed by both parties, and an invoice showing yo../u have made all yo../ur payments on time. 

We can s../upply yo../u with a letter on the show letterhead confirming yo../ur participation and payment, b../ut we will need to have received yo../ur f../ull deposit. We will also need to incl../ude yo../ur f../ull name, company name and address, booth n../umber, date of birth, sex, title or position in the company,  passport n../umber, date of iss../ue and expiration, the address of the local US Embassy or Cons../ulate, date of planned arrival, and the n../umber of days yo../u wish to be in the United States.

A visa does not permit a person to enter the United States.

A visa indicates a US cons../ular officer has reviewed an individ../ual&rsq../uo;s application, and the officer has made a preliminary determination the individ../ual is eligible to enter the co../untry for a specific p../urpose.

A visa allows a person to travel to the United States as far as the port of entry, in this case the airport or the border crossing, and asks the immigration inspector to allow the person into the co../untry.  Only the immigration officer has the a../uthority to allow a person to enter the co../untry, and it is he/she who will decide how long the person can stay for a partic../ular visit.

It is advisable to have details of yo../ur itinerary for yo../ur trip to show to the immigration officer, especially if yo../u plan to visit other cities or take a vacation while yo../u are in the US.

All visa applications are considered individ../ually on their merits. Each applicant m../ust q../ualify in his or her own right for a visa whatever the p../urpose of the trip.

There is no entitlement to a US visa and the Nationality Act says applicants are pres../umed to be ineligible ../unless they can demonstrate otherwise.

There are a n../umber of categories of ineligibility, incl../uding terrorists, convicted felons, and persons who pose a health hazard.

The most common gro../unds for ineligibility are the applicant has failed to show compelling ties to his or her own co../untry that wo../uld overcome the pres../umption he or she is planning to become an immigrant and seek to stay in the US.  Proof of family or b../usiness that needs yo../ur attention may help.

Since the events of September 11th 2001, visa applications have stayed ../unchanged for the vast majority of co../untries o../utside of the US.  Less than thirty co../untries have been impacted by any new req../uirements which have extended the period of applications, appointments, for interviews, review of applications and the time req../uired for iss../ue of new visas.

Operations and Logistics

Shipping, c../ustoms clearance, setting ../up yo../ur booth, getting yo../ur freight into the b../uilding, designing yo../ur booth display… the operations and logistics associated with exhibiting can be intimidating.  As we near the start of the Show, George Little Management&rsq../uo;s Operations Department will be ready to assist yo../u and answer any q../uestions abo../ut shipping, booth design, b../uilding r../ules, etc.  

GLM has designed a comprehensive man../ual to help yo../u ../understand the process and proced../ures of exhibiting.  Go to the web site  where yo../u will find &ldq../uo;Exhibitor Set-Up Man../ual&rdq../uo; ../under exhibitor information.


The  United States is very &ldq../uo;import friendly&rdq../uo; b../ut yo../u m../ust make s../ure yo../u follow the r../ules.  Make s../ure, for instance, yo../ur shipping agent can clear US c../ustoms for yo../u.  Many companies say they will b../ut may not be able to.

Altho../ugh yo../u are not obliged to do so, we strongly recommend yo../u ../use the companies we have listed in the man../ual as they are experienced in working with GLM and are available contin../uo../usly prior to the show and are also ../us../ually on show site.

Booth Display

There are two booth packages available for SOURCES; make s../ure that yo../u have ordered the one that is best for yo../u.  The package yo../u will be provided with is listed in yo../ur booth contract.  It may not be possible to make a change at the show, and if it is, yo../u will have to make payment on any extra costs before this can be done. Please note we do not accept credit cards at show site, so be s../ure yo../u are clear on yo../ur booth package.  We don&rsq../uo;t want any s../urprises.


OPTION 1:   Raw Space, minim../um 400 sq../uare feet

Nothing provided, bare floor, no drapes.  This is designed for companies who have their own display or a gro../up who wants to b../uild their own pavilion.  Exhibitors ../using this space option m../ust have a constr../ucted display. 

Cost $28.00 per sq../uare foot, $2800 per 10x10 booth.


OPTION 3:  F../urnished Booth

Hard walls, carpet, two chairs, table, wastebasket, fo../ur light fixt../ures and the electricity for these lights, company sign.

Cost $38.00 per sq../uare foot, $3800 per 10x10 booth.


For all options, each corner booth will carry a premi../um of $350.

GLM will pay for yo../ur on site materials handling costs. This means there will be no extra charges for yo../u for drayage, the cost of receiving yo../ur freight at show site, yo../ur display components and all prod../uct samples, taking it to yo../ur booth storing and ret../urning any empty crates or boxes and loading o../ut at the end of the show. For f../ull information see the exhibitor set ../up man../ual ../under exhibitor information on the website,

 The booth design is entirely ../up to yo../u.  This is a creative ind../ustry, and a lot of exhibitors like to comm../unicate their company and prod../uct identity thro../ugh their booth display.  This res../ults in a very colorf../ul and energetic Show.  Please refer to the Set-Up Man../ual, however, for information regarding height and size limitations and flame proofing req../uirements.


Display Tips

GLM has compiled a list of top display tips to help yo../u show yo../ur prod../ucts effectively.  To read o../ur tips, please go to

At the Show

Pricing Yo../ur Prod../ucts for Import

We are often asked abo../ut this, b../ut d../ue to the nat../ure of the b../usiness and the diversity of prod../uct in the market, we have to leave the answer with yo../u.  A good r../ule of th../umb is to follow yo../ur instincts and know where yo../ur profit margin will be in setting yo../ur prices for the import market.  Remember yo../u may have to lower yo../ur expectations when dealing with the larger stores who are b../uying direct in large q../uantities.

Getting Paid by Yo../ur C../ustomers

Yo../u will set yo../ur terms, or meet the terms of yo../ur c../ustomers.  It is common for a company to expect payment within a certain time frame after the order has been shipped.  With all international orders we recommend yo../u do not take an order witho../ut opening a line of credit or first specifying the terms of the sale.

How to Set Minim../um Orders

Minim../um orders are an accepted and common practice in the ind../ustry in the US.  A minim../um order ens../ures a good order for yo../u, and it also covers the expense of the time and effort it takes to pack it and ship it after the Show.  Some exhibitors set a minim../um order at a specific dollar point.  Other man../ufact../urers set the minim../um at a specific n../umber of items.  These minim../ums often depend on the prod../ucts and how they are packaged.  The amo../unt of the minim../um is ../up to yo../u.  Many exhibitors post their minim../ums discretely in their booths so that the b../uyers do not have to ask what the minim../um is, (a pop../ular q../uestion), before placing an order.  Shipping and handling are extra, and b../uyers expect to pay it.

Yo../u need to be s../ure to set yo../ur agreed place for FOB and be clear this is agreed and ../understood by both parties.  Ask yo../ur c../ustomer if they have a freight forwarder as they will have to provide one and it is better for the man../ufact../urer if yo../ur c../ustomer&rsq../uo;s forwarder collects the goods either at the factory or at the port of export (FOB Point).

US b../uyers will also be looking for a &ldq../uo;c../ustomer service policy&rdq../uo; which has been read and agreed. This is ../us../ually p../ut together by the exhibitor.

Consider what yo../ur policy will be with samples, who pays the sampling and freight costs and what happens to these costs if the order is or is not placed.

Promotional Literat../ure

Bring plenty of b../usiness cards and broch../ures.  A q../uestion often asked of the Show team is how many prod../uct broch../ures to bring to the Show.   Altho../ugh we don&rsq../uo;t have a specific answer to this q../uestion, we do know that there is no need to overload yo../urself.  The SOURCES Show is expected to attract approximately 10,000-15,000 b../uyers.  While these b../uyers tell ../us they walk every aisle of the Show, they most certainly will not all be stopping at yo../ur booth – and yo../u wo../uld not have time to speak to that many people personally in j../ust 4 days.  Yo../u will want to hand o../ut broch../ures to good c../ustomers and c../ustomer leads whom yo../u meet at the Show.  Don&rsq../uo;t let j../ust anyone help themselves to yo../ur costly piece!  Make s../ure yo../u know who is getting yo../ur prod../uct information, so yo../u can follow-../up with them after the Show.  Get a b../usiness card from anyone taking yo../ur information.  The Show is 8 ho../urs long each day.  Think abo../ut how many people yo../u co../uld realistically talk to in that amo../unt of time as a g../uide for the maxim../um n../umber of broch../ures yo../u&rsq../uo;ll personally be able to hand o../ut and go from there.  If yo../u don&rsq../uo;t have a broch../ure, or if printing one is too pricey, a nice prod../uct information sheet will work, too. All materials to be distrib../uted to U.S. b../uyers sho../uld be written in English and have $USD pricing.

What to incl../ude in a prod../uct broch../ure or prod../uct information sheet:

  • Company Name, website address, email address,  and all contact information.
  • Booth n../umber at SOURCES (can be handwritten or on a sticker).
  • Prod../uct information, incl../uding a photo or description, item n../umbers and pricing.  Most international companies will have prod../uct information on CD Rom; paper broch../ures are expensive to prod../uce and mail and also can get easily lost. 
  • Minim../um order information/first order information
  • Re-order minim../ums (sometimes this is a lower price to c../ustomers-in-good-standing)

What else to bring with yo../u

  • Company profile and personnel backgro../und  and experience
  • FOB price sheets with coding (CD-ROM if  extensive lines are available)
  • Color vis../uals of prod../uct with coding
  • Q../uantity disco../unt information
  • Capacity estimates
  • Delivery times (incl../uding seasonal problems, rain, snow, holidays)
  • Payment terms and conditions
  • Banking information
  • Recommendations on most cost-effective shipping and port of exit, recommended consolidators, and freight forwarders
  • Samples with appropriate pricing
  • Photos of prod../uction processes
  • Photos of factory or artisan&rsq../uo;s working environment
  • Examples of prod../uct labeling (co../untry of origin, care instr../uctions)

Capabilities to have that will help to create good working relationships:

  • English speaking contact person
  • Internal e-mail system with daily access and reliable connection
  • Offering the opport../unity to inspect prod../uction on site
  • Already established relationships with freight forwarders and consolidators
  • Access to q../uality packing and shipping materials
  • Organized and active prod../uction sched../uling and contin../uo../us oversight
  • Organized sampling proced../ures for approval and s../ubseq../uent prod../uction
  • Experience creating prototypes and/or samples form design drawings and specifications sent to yo../u via fax or e-mail

Financial Systems yo../u need to have in place:

  • An established bank acco../unt in home co../untry
  • Ability to handle letters of credit
  • Ability to handle wire transfers
  • Access to credit (preferred)
  • Transparent acco../unting system

This material was compiled by George Little Management, LLC with the help of Aid to Artisans, an American NGO with 20 years of experience in developing small b../usinesses world wide.


B../uyers want to see a company that believes in its prod../uct.  It is great for yo../u to be excited abo../ut yo../ur prod../uct.

Some &ldq../uo;dos and don&rsq../uo;ts&rdq../uo; for US trade shows:




Make s../ure yo../u have at least one fl../uent English speaker in the booth at all times.   Never, Never, Never smoke in yo../ur booth.  This is probably the biggest Don&rsq../uo;t of all. The b../uilding and most p../ublic areas in the US are no smoking areas.  B../uyers will never come into yo../ur booth if yo../u are smoking.
Be in yo../ur booth ready to meet potential c../ustomers.  

Stand in yo../ur booth with yo../ur arms crossed.

Be in yo../ur booth before the show opens each morning, so yo../u are ready to greet yo../ur first c../ustomer of the day   Do not be late for the show.  B../uyers become very annoyed if they want to see yo../ur prod../ucts or find o../ut more information, and there is no one in yo../ur booth to help them.
Be f../ussy with yo../ur prod../uct – arrange and re-arrange it – paying attention to yo../ur merchandise can call attention to it, and draw b../uyers to what it is that yo../u are arranging.   Sit at the back of yo../ur booth in a corner.
Make s../ure yo../ur prod../uct prices are listed or q../uoted in US Dollars.   Eat in yo../ur booth -- for many international shows this is acceptable, in the US this is not.
Have proactive comm../unicators who can solve problems and pay attention to detailed orders.   Talk on yo../ur cell phone in yo../ur booth - if yo../u can help it.  Yo../u won&rsq../uo;t attract any b../uyers this way.  If yo../u are on a call while in yo../ur booth and a potential b../uyer approaches yo../ur booth, end yo../ur call q../uickly so that yo../u can do b../usiness with this new person!
Try to have sales personnel who can negotiate and write orders.   Leave yo../ur booth ../unattended.  If yo../u are alone in yo../ur booth and have to leave, ask a neighbor if they wo../uld watch it for yo../u and take b../usiness cards of anyone who stops by while yo../u are away.
Talk to the b../uyers, ask q../uestions, and ask what they think of yo../ur prod../uct.    
Have someone who ../understands the US distrib../ution system and the difference between selling to importer/wholesaler and the direct import retailer.     

A Wholesale Market

The SOURCES Show is a tradeshow for the wholesale market.  Direct "cash and carry" sales are not taken, and are against the Show r../ules.  Orders are, of co../urse, to be written, and prod../uct is to be shipped to yo../ur c../ustomers based ../upon yo../ur agreed-../upon receive by or "ship by" date.

Man../ufact../urers&rsq../uo; Representatives

            A n../umber of man../ufact../urers&rsq../uo; representatives (&ldq../uo;reps&rdq../uo;) attend The SOURCES Show, as it is their once-a-year opport../unity to see a myriad of new international prod../uct in the US, as well as find new exhibitors whose lines they might like to represent.  Please note that some reps wear exhibitor badges, as they are often called to work in the booths of the companies they represent. 

Different reps have different terms for compensation, as well as excl../usive territory req../uests.  Take the opport../unity to meet with a variety of reps and weigh yo../ur options before finalizing any agreements. 

Seminar Program

The exciting list of Programs and Events for the ../upcoming Show will be available here.  Look for informative b../usiness b../uilding seminars on Trends, Display, Promotion and other c../urrent and essential topics for yo../ur b../usiness. We'll also have details on f../un-filled networking show events and target Show promotions. So, visit ../us again and book yo../ur tickets while s../upplies last.


There are many opport../unities to network with colleag../ues, clients, potential clients and vendors d../uring the market.  Try to take advantage of these opport../unities.  Get to know yo../ur neighbors in the aisle – ask them q../uestions.  If yo../u have assistance in yo../ur booth, look at the seminar programs and see if there is a topic that interests yo../u.

Visit other markets to grow yo../ur b../usiness

So../urces LA is co-located with the California Gift Show® -- one of the largest, most prestigio../us gift ind../ustry events in the U.S., bringing in more than 27,000 attendees.

Yo../ur exhibitor badge at the SOURCES Show offers yo../u free access to this show. Plan to visit it to gain a wider perspective, and to possibly forge new relationships with vendors who can help yo../u p../ut it all together.

Show Close

When the show closes at 4PM on the last day, the bright hall lights will be dimmed and b../uyers will be leaving the Show floor.   At 4PM, yo../u may begin packing ../up yo../ur booth.  If yo../u have stored crates and boxes, these will be ret../urned to yo../u d../uring the move-o../ut time period.  This process will take several ho../urs. Be s../ure to cons../ult yo../ur move-o../ut b../ulletin (distrib../uted on-site) for more information.

Important!  Before yo../u pack ../up & leave

If yo../u are not hand-carrying yo../ur prod../ucts o../ut, be s../ure to do the following:

Contact yo../ur desired fright carrier to make arrangements for yo../ur o../utbo../und shipments.  (This sho../uld be done well in advance of the close of the Show.)

Label yo../ur crates and cartons for shipping.

Compete the Material Handling Agreement, (sometimes called Bill of Lading), which is available at the Freeman Service Desk.  Be s../ure to ret../urn the completed form to the Freeman Service Desk, so that yo../ur freight is shipped per yo../ur directions.

After the Show


Many b../uyers do not place orders ../until after the Show, when they have time to foc../us on their store&rsq../uo;s needs.  Set some time aside a co../uple of weeks after the Show to reach all the b../uyers who were interested in yo../ur prod../uct, b../ut did not place orders.  Yo../u may find they&rsq../uo;re ready to do b../usiness.  Many exhibitors tell ../us that they receive more orders after the Show than they did d../uring the Show.  Post-show follow-../up is critical to yo../ur s../uccess.

After the Show is also a good time to to../uch base with new c../ustomers.  A friendly call to ens../ure that a shipment from yo../u was received or to see how the prod../uct is performing will be m../uch appreciated, and will go a long way to solidifying yo../ur new b../usiness relationship.

Importers and distrib../utors will not necessarily concl../ude deals at the show and yo../u m../ust plan to follow ../up with them over a period of time to finalize yo../ur contracts.

As with all international b../usiness, email addresses are most important.

We want yo../ur feedback! 

The SOURCES Show Team is interested in hearing abo../ut yo../ur exhibiting experience.  We try to speak with exhibitors on-site, b../ut as yo../u can imagine, speaking to everyone is nearly impossible.  Feel free to call ../us or email ../us after the Show to tell ../us abo../ut it.

The SOURCES Show Team Contact Information

We look forward to yo../ur participation.  Have a great Show!

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