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Show Extra: Behind the scenes at H&P Expo 2021

With less than one week to go before the virtual doors open for this year’s Halloween & Party Expo, PartyWorldwide.net spoke to the show’s marketing director Samantha Grimaldi to find out more about how the digital show will work.

Tell us what’s in store for retailers attending this year’s H&P Expo Virtual Experience?

“We’re bringing all the valuable aspects of an in-person event direct to your computer, offering the opportunity to see new products and keep ahead of trends, discover new exhibitors and connect with existing suppliers, attend meetings, place orders and take advantage of show specials.

The daily event schedule includes a number of product demos where exhibitors will be showcasing products via video and retailers can attend live to ask questions. Daily retailer roundtables will also be taking place, as will on-demand education sessions by Retail Minded and merchandise credit giveaways.”

What are the benefits of holding the show virtually?

“For the first time ever, retailers will be able to attend the Halloween & Party Expo Virtual Experience from virtually anywhere – at home, from their store, on the go… and of course at zero cost!

During a pandemic this allows exhibitors and attendees to continue their business, but crucially it also makes joining in easier for those who may not normally attend due to travel costs or time out of the office. We have exhibitors and buyers from several countries and across all time zones.

The platform itself is fully interactive and easy to use. It’s more than just a website with a list of exhibitorsyou receive personal recommendations based on your product interests, can create a short list of things you’re interested in and you can chat and schedule video meetings right in the platform in addition to attending events.”

How will the show work, in practice? What is a ‘virtual showroom’?

“After registering, buyers will be able to login to the virtual platform from this Friday, 15 January. Once there, they can begin to build their schedules for the event and preview products.

Each exhibitor also has a virtual showroom which is basically a landing page for each brand, featuring information, product descriptions, show specials, videos, contacts, price points and more. Visitors can view all of these items, start one-on-one chats and set up a video meeting.

Between 19 and 21 January there will also be daily events, with meeting rooms open from 10am-6pm (EST), allowing buyers and exhibitors to have conversations and write orders.”

Will there still be education opportunities? And how can visitors get involved in them? 

“Yes! We are offering daily roundtables and on-demand retail education everyday hosted by Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, founder and publisher of RetailMinded.com.

A new session will be released each morning that buyers can watch on demand at a time convenient to them. Sessions are bite-sized, so are easy to watch and can also be paused and resumed if needed.

Virtual Retail Roundtables will also be taking place virtually over Zoom where buyers can join in to ask questions, contribute and learn more about what their fellow retailers are doing.”

How will the product demos work? Do visitors have to watch them live?

“There will be a number of exhibitors presenting their products and lines live on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 January*. These 20-minute product demos will allow attendees to view the products, ask questions in real time and even take advantage of exclusive discounts. They will be recorded and available to watch on demand throughout the event.”

Is there anything else you’d like to let visitors know about?

​​​”We know that this will be a different year for everyone, but we have been working hard to ensure that the show offers the best possible experience for exhibitors and attendees alike.

We have created a full suite of resources and how-to guides to help everyone get the best out of this virtual experience, so please come and join in!

Register for free here. Registration gives access to both the Halloween & Party Expo and the virtually co-located HAuNTcon event.

See the H&P Expo 2021 exhibitor list here and the full event schedule here.

*Exhibitors presenting live demos include: Party Supplies Group, D. M. Merchandising, Dreamgirl, KBW Global Corp., Kryolan Professional Make-up, Trick or Treat Studios, Ellie Shoes, Wolfe FX Make-up, Ghoulish Productions, Box 1903 Solutions, MOM – My Other Me Costume Co., Tinsley Transfers, Elope.

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