The concept of a virtual trade show was introduced to the retail community at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 as a powerful alternative to traditional wholesale markets. Since then, virtual trade shows have become an important addition to Faire’s online wholesale marketplace. Buyers can attend these seasonal online events to shop from thousands of wholesale brands and enjoy flexible payment terms that allow them to discover new lines.
Today, virtual trade shows continue to be a popular option for retailers looking to stock their shelves and make new connections from the safety and comfort of their homes. We’ve been inspired by the retail community’s ability to adapt to this new way of buying and selling over the past years, and we expect to see the digital trade show format evolve even further and remain an important facet of the wholesale industry for years to come. Read on for all the ways that virtual trade shows can benefit your business—and don’t forget to check out our next Faire Market, taking place July 18 to 20, with early access for Insiders on July 17. Visit our markets page to stay up to date on the latest Faire virtual markets.
1. Fewer overhead costs
In-person trade shows can be expensive. The cost of travel and accommodation when attending trade shows contributes to the overhead of your retail business. Instead, use the budget that’s typically earmarked for travel on stocking your shelves with the products your customers will love.
It’s free for retailers to create an account with Faire, and it’s also free for both brands and retailers to attend our virtual trade show events. Skip the travel and shop from home.
2. More buying, less hassle
On top of the cost, traveling to trade shows on a seasonal basis to stock up on merchandise can be a hassle and take you away from the important day-to-day operations of your business. With virtual trade show platforms, all you need is an internet connection to do your buying. You can do your wholesale buying anytime, anywhere. Browse from thousands of brands without having to leave your shop or home.
3. The best deals and discounts
At Faire’s virtual markets, brands offer exclusive promotions like discounts and free shipping. In addition, we match discounts on thousands of products, giving retailers access to exclusive pricing and allowing brands to offer steeper discounts and no additional cost. Our past events have helped retailers save over $12 million.
4. Connect with new brands from around the world
Virtual trade shows allow you to expand your network significantly, giving you the ability to connect with brands around the world. The global nature of online trade shows allows you to form new and lasting relationships with brands you might otherwise miss.
At last year’s Faire Summer Market, more than 112,000 new business relationships between brands and retailers were formed.
5. Data-driven product discovery
At virtual trade shows, you can browse thousands of brands at your leisure online. Discovering new products is simple and powered by smart, easy-to-use technology. Search for products using a variety of criteria and values—like eco-friendly, premium contemporary, and handmade—to find your next bestseller.
Faire’s powerful data-driven algorithm surfaces products based on known bestsellers as well as your personal preferences as a retailer. The product recommendations you receive are tailored based on what you browse and buy on Faire, ensuring you a custom experience.
6. Seamless relationship management
Forget about keeping track of business cards—you can easily contact a brand on Faire if you have questions about products, or if you need to follow up on an order. Plus, you can reference all of your orders and download invoices from the same portal online.
7. Plan your buying ahead of time
Virtual markets allow retailers to get a glimpse of the attending brands prior to the event so you can start planning your shopping early. Rather than being overwhelmed with hundreds of booths to visit in a short span of time, virtual trade shows take away the stress and allow you to browse products from new brands ahead of time.
8. Seasonal and year-round purchasing
Many virtual trade show platforms also offer marketplace shopping year-round.
Faire is the industry-leading platform that offers both seasonal online trade shows and 24/7 wholesale buying. Discover your new favorite brands at Faire virtual markets and then continue ordering from them year-round—anywhere, anytime.
9. Safe, distanced buying
Virtual trade shows allow brands and retailers to connect from a safe distance, and video tools provide retailers the opportunity to view firsthand how products look and work if they can’t see them in person. These tools will continue to redefine how businesses can connect with customers.
10. Exclusive early access for Faire Insiders
At Faire virtual trade shows, members of Insider—Faire’s membership program—are often offered one day of exclusive early access to market specials. At our upcoming Faire Market, Insiders will be able to exclusively shop market specials starting on July 17, 2023.
Learn more about Insider for US retailers in the Help Center.
Our next Faire Market takes place July 18 to 20, with exclusive early access for Faire Insiders on July 17. Stay tuned to access our Market Directory, where you’ll be able to browse all participating brands ahead of the market, launching later this June