I came up with the idea for my first trunk show when a rep insisted on showing me graphic design books with the hope that I would add multiples of each title to the order. (I wasn’t the inventory manager, but he knew my weakness.) Rather than tie up cash on books that have a definite shelf-life, I said, “Why don’t you send me a few samples and some extra catalogs. Let’s borrow from the fashion industry and have a trunk show.
That’s exactly what happened. I reached out to the membership of our local chapter of American Institute of Graphic Artists in addition to friends from my days at advertising agencies. A discount was offered on all orders placed at the show, and the designers knew they were getting the latest titles.
Trunk shows can have various themes or they can be tied to a specific publisher. One that would be easy to implement with items already in house would be the Book Club Trunk Show. Here’s how to tackle it: