The Made in Montana Tradeshow for Food and Gifts this March resulted in more sales for program members who exhibited at the show.
The Made in Montana program surveyed exhibitors about wholesale orders placed during the show. More than half of the exhibitors responded to the survey and reported more than $500,000 in orders from the event. This is a 60 percent increase in order value from the 2018 show.
“The Made in Montana Tradeshow is an opportunity for members to reach new audiences through interaction with wholesale buyers,” said Commerce Director Tara Rice. “The increase in wholesale orders this year indicates a strong interest in Made in Montana products on the shelves of stores across the state and even in neighboring states.”
The Made in Montana Tradeshow happens every spring. The show is an ideal place for Made in Montana producers and wholesale buyers to connect before the busy tourist season.
Buyers represent a variety of retail stores in Montana, including gift shops for museums and national parks, lodging properties, and food and beverage vendors. Retailers shopping for jewelry, accessories, food, beverages, books and stationery were the largest percentage of buyers.
For many exhibitors, the annual tradeshow is an essential piece of their businesses each year and a chance to connect in person with buyers they communicated with prior to the show.
“We more than doubled our wholesaler list this year,” said Sylvia Love, co-owner of Buckskin Jim, a company that makes handmade leather products in Great Falls. “The show provided a face-to-face experience for buyers. They got to see the product and feel it. That aspect of seeing, feeling and smelling is ultimately what sold our products and allowed us to fill orders.”
The 2020 show will take place March 13–14 at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds in Helena. More information will be available closer to the event.