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Expert John Mauck Shares Secrets for a Successful Show Season

As pulse checks of the retail industry, tradeshows provide a platform for retailers to purchase the latest and greatest products, connect with existing and potential vendors, and gain a competitive edge in an always-evolving market.


DM is fortunate to have our very own tradeshow expert, John Mauck, to explain the ins and outs of industry shows. As a seasoned tradeshow veteran, John offers insight into everything from the importance of tradeshows for retailers to essential tips and tricks for making the most out of your experience.

How long have you been attending tradeshows with DM? How many do you attend per year?


JM: I’ve been attending tradeshows with DM since I started at the company over 20 years ago. I typically work around 10-15 a year, while DM participates in over 60 annually.


What benefits do tradeshows present to retailers?


JM: Tradeshows are great for retailers all-around. They give retailers the opportunity to see new products, trends, styles, you name it. Going to tradeshows is a great way to see what’s hot, what’s going out of style and what your store needs to have right now. And they’re also great for networking! Retailers can meet with other retailers, existing vendors and new ones. Some shows also have workshops and meetings for continuing education.


What advice would you give to retailers attending a show for the first time this season?


JM: My biggest piece of advice for first timers is time management. Give yourself plenty of time each day to meet with vendors and budget time to explore new ones. However, do make appointments with your must-sees and regulars, and see them first.


It’s also a good idea to stay hydrated all day. You’ll be doing A LOT of walking and talking. Also! Bring business cards, even in our digital world. 


Which DM product or brand are you most excited about for spring and summer?


JM: I’m very excited about HydroSport FITKICKS®. They’re a land-to-water shoe like our traditional FITKICKS, but with a thick, flexible sole for higher-intensity activities. The quality of stitching and attention to detail in all the features are going to win over both retailers and consumers. Plus, the complimentary floor display packs a strong punch and doesn’t take up too much space on a store floor.


What industry trends have you noticed emerging for 2024?


JM: Travel and wellness are very strong in all demographics. They’re great items for both gifting and self-purchase, so we’re expecting to see even more of a demand for these categories. Aside from products, I’ve noticed that retail inventories are starting to level out, so it’s been fun to help stores restock their shelves to offer customers something new and exciting. Plus, there’s a positive trending outlook on the economy, and customer spending is currently looking strong. 


John’s Top Ten Tips




  1. Pack light with universal outfits. Think basics that can be worn a few different ways.
  2. Dress the part. Nothing too formal, but nothing too casual, either. Business casual or smart casual is always a good way to go.
  3. Comfortable, yet appropriate shoes. Remember, you’ll be walking quite a bit!
  4. Stay near the venue. Walking distance is what I prefer, but I’ve used shuttle services provided by hotels, too. I like to check to see if a shuttle is available before I book my hotels.
  5.  Check the weather! Always look at the forecast and plan accordingly.
  6.  I like to eat a big breakfast packed with tons of protein, and then a sensible dinner. I don’t like to eat lunch, as it makes me tired and wastes a good chunk of time. I also keep on-the-go snacks for throughout the day.
  7. Avoid large handle bags or roller bags. They always get in the way, and it’s hard enough to be agile within the venue without one. A big bag is also something to lose track of if you set it down – trust me!
  8. Breath mints are always a good choice. Never gum.
  9. Be safe. You’re in a different town or place that you may not be familiar with. Pre-plan and do a little research on the areas you’ll be in. There’s nothing to worry about at the venue, but I’ve found that this gives me a little peace of mind.
  10. Have fun! Is that too cheesy to say? At any rate, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at a tradeshow, especially if it’s your first time attending. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself.

See you at the shows! Click here to find a DM event near you.


Choosing DM as a vendor means choosing a retail partner that’s with you every step of the way. Our signature brands are carefully developed and retail-proven to boost your business. From conception to final sale, we develop our products to be emotionally appealing, affordable and shelf-ready with built-in merchandising. That’s the DM Difference. So, what are you waiting for? Contact your DM Sales Representative at 1-800-548-6784 or create an online account at www.247DM.com to start shopping The Goods!