Day one of any trade show seems to be when we are the most slammed with appointments with clients, press, athletes, you name it. It doesn’t matter how busy I am, when I hear “Katie, Katie – Ski Magazine is here in the booth can you give them your thoughts on the Marmot Cheeky Pant”? Of course, I dropped everything and sat down with the editors of Ski Magazine to go over this pant and tell a little story – maybe more than they wanted to hear!
Jessica Kaplan, a style and trends consultant gave a presentation at SIA and one of her key points was storytelling. “So you can’t just have a basic glove or a basic helmet anymore. You have to have a story to go along with it.” This is something that I constantly do in each of my line showings with retailers, but when it comes to the press – I am still a little green in the area. Our PR Director for Marmot, Jordan Campbell, always encourages me to get in front of the press and talk about my experiences with our products. So with his support I did a little story telling about the new Women’s Cheeky Pant.
What do I love about the Cheeky Pant? It is a solid three-layer Gore-Tex shell pant that is great for backcountry skiing. I used a product sample last season while touring in the Tetons and it is a great looking pant that comes in lively colors, relaxed silhouette, feature rich – including cross-leg ventilation and removable insulated short. That’s right an insulated short. You might ask, why would you need this? But if you are like me riding chair lifts can be freakishly cold – especially on a freezing winter day in Jackson, Wyoming. It’s nice to have the insulated short, so that points of contact with the chair lift keep you extra warm!
I proceeded to tell the editors all about my day testing these last season and how the shorts could also serve as the perfect end of the season outfit for Jortski at Snowbird. I could see Jordan, just smiling on the inside when I laid this comment on the editors. But in all seriousness, when I am talking about one of our products to the press or doing a line showing, I always try to bring in a personal experience to the conversation. With that said, here are a few tips I use when speaking to the press at trade show:
1) Do: Keep it short! Unless you have an appointment, try to keep the conversation to less than three minutes. The editors are trying to see everything they possibly can and you need to be respectable of their time.
2) Don’t: Overload the editors with a ton of styles that they won’t remember. Stick to your top 3 hits. Is it – New for the season? Award winner? Booked well? At the end of the day, make sure that there is a story behind it.
3) Don’t: Make things up. You need to make sure you know what you are talking about and if you don’t know something about the product, be honest. I have seen it happen before and 9 times out of 10 – if you fudge the facts on something — it will get printed.
4) Do: Send a thank you email. Thank these folks for spending their time with you and showing your brand some love. Remember my post on “The Power of a Thank you Note”?
I had a great show and I am so grateful for the team at Ski Magazine for giving me the opportunity to discuss Marmot’s new snow sports collection. Looking forward to taking turns this winter and coming up with more stories to tell in my Cheeky Pants!