You will also see members of the press there who are looking for designer/makers or products to feature. I will try to cover all aspects of what you will need to exhibit and explain what I did last year and how I used what I learnt to exhibit this year. OK so things to think about:: stand layout/theme, press packs, press release, price lists (trade and retail), business cards, stock that you will be exhibiting, pro-formas and whether you are willing to sell 'sale or return', will you have anyone else on your stand with you, questions you may be asked by buyers.
Stand layout/theme :: think about your products and the audience that your products are aimed at so if you sell children's toys make your stand fun and colourful, or if you sell glass or ceramics maybe it needs to look sleek and sophisticated?? Try to use as much of your exhibiting space as you can, I have found that it keeps buyers at your stand longer as they are looking at all the products you have on show. As my bags/accessories are colourful I try to keep the stand as neutral as possible to make the bags 'pop' so to speak. This wasn't a planned strategy last year as I've said before I had no experience of this but it worked so I carried this theme through to this year adding bits and bobs here and there.
Press packs/press release :: its not compulsory but I would recommend writing a press release. Last year my press packs were very simple: typed copy of press release, CD including a few images of my work and a business card. These were just put into a A5 envelope with 'bagladee - press release' on the front.
I would advise not spending too much money on exhibiting in your first year, even though newcomers get a discount it is still a substantial amount of money and until you find out how the buyers/market receive your product I think its best to keep it to a budget. This year knowing what I had learnt the year before, my press packs were still a typed copy of press release, CD including images but I popped them in a little gift bag and added a few extra goodies. As you can see from the picture above (press pack) I fastened a business card on the front and embellished it with a felt flower. I always struggle to write a press release but as always there is a minefield of information on the Internet, Google "How to write a press release" you will find lots of sites that tell you how the layout should look and what content you should include.