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Party Line: Onward to Halloween 2017

If it feels like you just got your leftover Halloween merchandise stored away in the stock room, it’s because you did barely two months ago. That means one thing — it’s time to start thinking about next Halloween.

Yes, Halloween is the most wonderful time of the year — Andy Williams sang about the wrong holiday, at least for those of us in this business. It’s never too early for planning and strategizing for October, which is what January is all about. I’m talking about trade show season and, specifically, the Halloween & Party Expo.

Retailers will trek to New Orleans the second weekend of January — which will be a welcome break from winter for those of us in the north — to see what new products the biggest costume and balloon distributors have to offer for 2017.

I’ve heard walking into a trade show for a retailer compared to a painter looking at a blank canvas. It’s more redecorating a room than starting from scratch, however. Sure, there is the freedom in having access to the latest and greatest merchandise, but you also have to keep in mind what you decide on still has to coordinate with the rest of the house.

So, while at the show, just remember…

No retailer thinks they have too much space, but trying to cram too many options into what space you have can be clutter to your customers’ eyes. Before you make any purchase, think about where and how you might display the product, as well as what displays you may have to move or get rid of altogether.

Make a list of things from the recent Halloween season of what that worked, what didn’t and what surprised or disappointed you as a reference. Vendors are good about having a pulse on the industry, just remember no one knows your business as well as you do.

One more thing, if you see me at HPE, stop and say “hello.” I never get tired of putting faces with names.

See you there!

Until next time,

Zeke Jennings, managing editor

Originally posted Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017

Tags: hpe, party line