Does Your African Fashion Business Need Buyers? A Trade Show Could Be The Solution

If you have ever attended a fashion trade show before, you are familiar with the feeling of being inside a large convention center filled with tons of brands, ready to do business over the next few days. The excitement and adrenaline rush is real.

Exhibiting at a fashion trade show is one of the best ways to boost brand awareness and get your brand in front of retailers, your potential customers.

If you are not familiar with trade shows, no worries – Trade shows are exhibitions where businesses in a specific industry come together for an opportunity to promote their brands, products, or services.

Not only are trade shows considered a massive opportunity to show your product to a large audience, but they also provide a chance for you to create a lasting impression of yourself and your brand.

Whether you are attending as a guest or exhibiting as a brand, being at a trade show has tons of benefits. Stay tuned below for a list of fashion trade shows you must attend.

Asikere Afana

Asikere Afana

Here are some benefits of attending a fashion trade show:

  • Visibility- Exhibiting at a trade show comes with lots of perks, including increasing your visibility as a brand. There are lots of marketing and advertising opportunities that come with signing up for a trade show as a brand. Get involved as much as you can pre-show and see what marketing opportunities are being offered. Trade shows are always looking to highlight new brands at each show to retailers whether its through their social platforms, blogs, newsletters, emails, etc. This will help boost your success at the trade show, because retailers will know ahead of time who they plan to shop and see at the shows.


  • Creating brand awareness– Attending a trade show is an opportunity to gain brand exposure. Having a presence at a trade show can go a long way. Obviously, being successful at a trade show in terms of sales can take time, but being present around other players in the industry can have a big effect as a trade show provides the opportunity to educate people about your brand, whether its through your booth set up, imagery, brand story, etc. Being at your first trade show as a brand is a huge step towards success and brand awareness, as that will be everyone’s first impression of your brand. It may come as a surprise, but as much as you are looking to meet and connect with retailers, they are looking to do the same, so don’t lose hope and put yourself out there. Being at a trade show is your chance to capture the attention of others who hold key roles your industry.


  • Networking time– Going to a trade show means there is great potential to create new relationships with retailers and other brands. It is an opportunity to connect with the rest of the industry and make business connections. Also, it is a learning opportunity for you to gain knowledge about the industry and your business. Some trade shows offer seminars and discussions, which could be beneficial for you to listen in, if you are looking to grow your business. Being at a trade show gives you access to tons of buyers in one place, which mean lots of potential leads for your brand.


  • Increase sales– Trade shows are perfect to test out a product, so stay on the look out for events where your potential clients will likely attend. They are the perfect testing grounds to see how the market will react to your product.

So, what now?

Visit a fashion trade show. Have your eye on a specific trade show but still unsure about exhibiting? Ask for guest badges so you can walk the show and really get a feel for the show and if it makes sense for you.

Do your research. Go online and do some research about which trade shows are happening near you. Keep up with which trade shows other brands/competitors are exhibiting at. Decide which retail stores you would want your brand to be carried in and attend those shows where those retailers are attending. Research about which markets you want to get into (local, international, etc)



Exhibit. Sign up for that show you’ve had your eye on and prepare for a learning experience. Check if it fits your budget and plan accordingly. If larger trade shows are out of your budget, or you’re not ready yet as a brand, look for local events and fairs that are on a smaller scale and won’t cost as much, where you can still share your brand story and get your brand in front of consumers and retailers.

And remember- Trade shows are an investment towards your business.

Here are a few fashion trade shows to check out:




Cabana NY/Cabana Miami

LA Market

AmericasMart Atlanta

Piti Oumo

Pure London

South African Menswear Week

Lagos Fashion Exhibition

Cairo Fashion & Textile

Morocco Style

African Fashion Week New York

Cape Town Fashion Week


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