Thursday, March 27, 2014

A First Timer's Perspective of the ISS Trade Show

I recently had the pleasure of representing Rothco at the Imprinted Sportswear Show in Atlantic City. The ISS trade show is dedicated to the decorated apparel industry and showcases a wide range of vendors exhibiting their printing supplies and equipment.

It was my first trade show as well as my first time in Atlantic City. When I arrived at the convention center Thursday morning, I walked into nothing more than a concrete warehouse full of boxes, machines, and people in no particular order. I proceeded to set up the Rothco booth with our display of mostly our Canvas Bag Collection & Camouflage Apparel until everything was picture perfect (see perfect picture).

When I walked into the show the next morning, I was surprised to see that the concrete floors had been carpeted, the random assortment of boxes had been constructed into vibrant displays, and the silent machines had transformed into a muffled orchestra of printing equipment. I spent the remainder of the day discussing product, fielding questions regarding price and availability, and speaking with current & prospective dealers about Rothco.

The second day was much of the same, but much busier. So many people stopped by, I didn't even get a chance to break for lunch. I was surprised to find that, although the vast majority of people were new to Rothco, dozens of current dealers stopped by the booth. Most of our dealers just came by to say hello, pass along praise, and see what new products were available.

Some of our dealers went as far as to discuss how much they enjoy dealing with Rothco with other attendees; praising our efficient shipping methods, friendly customer service, and high in-stock rates. It was a pleasure to meet dealers who appreciate the relationship between their company and ours beyond just the dollars and cents.

On the final day, I arrived early so that I could wander around and peek at some of the other exhibits. It was the slowest of the three days but it allowed me to engage in more lengthy conversation with my visitors which was nice. After the show, I bid my neighboring exhibitors farewell, packed up my booth and headed on my way.

I had a great time over the course of the weekend and not just because I won money playing blackjack at Caesar's Palace (and no, Caesar does not actually live there). I most enjoyed having the opportunity to meet some of our current dealers face-to-face. I am considerably new at Rothco but our dealers welcomed me, and spoke to me about their business and Rothco as if I were joining part of a family. It is nice to be a part of a company that garners that type of reaction from its customers. I was honored to be chosen to represent Rothco at the ISS Show and I look forward to my next undertaking.

Matthew J Leone

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