|Retailers, brokers and developers set up booths at ICSC for |
the purpose of making deals. Commercial districts can benefit
from ICSC's tradeshow too.
So how do you prepare for ICSC? Planning starts early…
Our team has spent the past year preparing these sites to attend ICSC. The process began with market analysis, but certainly did not end there. We helped these groups develop a retail vision for their districts while simultaneously identifying opportunity sites by working with landlords and local brokers. We also developed district-wide leasing plans that pin-pointed retail categories that reflected three basic criteria – 1) retail categories could be supported by the market, 2) retail categories that matched the space available in the district, and finally 3) retail categories that complemented local community needs and wants. Finally, we prepared marketing material that conveyed the message of these leasing plans for distribution and use in retail prospecting.
Once all those elements were in place, preparing for ICSC included scouring the exhibitor and attendee lists to develop a hit-list of retailers (and brokers who represent those retailers) who reflected our priority retail categories. With district marketing material and sell-sheets for the available spaces in hand, we worked the floor methodically, approaching booths, grabbing business cards and site selection information. In some cases, we made appointments with the right people in advance. In others, we simply walked up to the booth and asked to speak with the rep for the region we were in. If we couldn’t talk to the representative at that moment, we grabbed a card and moved on.
...and doesn't end once the trade show is over!
As you can imagine, a lot of work happens after the trade show ends. Follow up is critical. The contacts made at ICSC are invaluable, not just in the short-term, but in the long-term. We will recommend that each district send regular e-mail blasts detailing their vacancies to their now growing list of brokers and retailers. These retailers may not need space right now, but you never know what their expansion plans will be in 6 months or even two years. It’s a slow-tedious process….but it works!