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Kenyan SMES prepare for success at MAGIC trade show

Published on December 22, 2016


On December 14, the Hub collaborated with the Kenya Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives and the Export Processing Zones Authority to hold an information session for potential MAGIC Show 2017 Kenyan exhibitors. MAGIC is the premier apparel trade show in the U.S. The MAGIC exhibition halls are vast and U.S. buyers can be demanding. Exhibitors need to be prepared. The Hub’s U.S.-based apparel consultant, Ms. Mary Marino, outlined what to expect at MAGIC and provided tips for making productive business linkages.

"I didn’t go to business school. Today’s meeting enabled me to learn more about the industry,” said Goodies Interiors and Gifts Director Goodie Odhiambo.

A few of Marino’s tips:

  • Run a focused product review of what samples you’ll take to Magic, ensuring it represents your best execution and full capabilities that are market-ready for the U.S.
  • Look at the competition and learn how to market your product. How can you differentiate yourself?
  • Prepare yourself for the buyers who may walk through. Look at the websites of Macys, Target, and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
  • Have business cards and be ready with talking points about your products.
  • Properly mark booth items with reference numbers. Help buyers take notes on your products

“This is a great initiative and the information given today is quite an eye opener to enable me export to the U.S,” said Jane Miriti.

The Hub is collaborating with the USAID Trade Hubs in West and southern Africa to host the largest presence of African exhibitors in MAGIC’s history. Companies from East Africa will represent the lion’s share of exhibitors, including Kenya which has been dubbed a "focus country" by the show organizers.