Events: The Inspired Home Show
The Inspired Home Show is an annual home and housewares trade show for retail buyers. Based in Chicago, industry professionals from all over the world flock to the event to discover new products, innovation and suppliers. Annette Lees gave us the lowdown on this year’s show...
Why are events like these so important?
After so many events being cancelled and postponed due to COVID restrictions, the Inspired Home Show was a great opportunity for suppliers and buyers to finally meet in person.
'These events are great for suppliers who need distributors (such as 2tech) who can launch their brands into new territories on their behalf - easily and successfully.'
It's important for suppliers to think creatively in an age where buyers are no longer keen on being contacted directly and buyer-supplier relationships rarely exist. Whether this is due to buyers coming from a generation more digitally inclined and less used to face to face or phone contact is debatable – but the fact remains that brands need to show innovation, now more than ever before.
What went well?
As usual there was lots to see - a few big brands didn’t turn up, so I was able to focus on the brands that were present and spend more time with them. I was able to get around the whole show in a few days, which never happens! I made some great connections and interesting discoveries. Despite there being fewer stands, there were plenty of exciting new products to discover and some really great people launching them at the show.
What could be better?
I signed up for the show 5 months ago - I did all the paperwork, took all the info with me and STILL had to spend hours standing in a queue to be let into the expo. I have better things to do than queue after travelling halfway around the world for the event. Must. Do. Better.
Good conversations, brands, leads?
Yes loads...but I won't be telling until they’re locked down contractually. :-)
Anything of note that happened during the event?
I love to meet fun people pitching their brands/products and I really love to communicate with passionate and driven individuals - it's infectious! I also like to check out the pantone colour predictions and see what colour my home accessories and clothes are gonna be next year.
Top tips for those attending next time:
· Get the paperwork and travel done early
· Plan your show – it's massive and hard to get around in 3 or 4 days, especially if you're meeting buyers, suppliers and product hunting effectively
· Pack warm clothes – it’s minus 10 degrees (usually at this time of the year) in Chicago. It's also a very cool city to explore if you have a few hours to spare
· Leave room in your suitcase for samples and delicious goodies from Trader Joes!
- Kiesha Meikle