How to find events.
- Check Craigslist Events, use searches with the examples above. Do one keyword at a time
- Facebook, search for the keywords above + put in the cities you are willing to travel to
- Ask on local sales sites if anyone knows of events coming up. Offer a referral bonus to the person who referred you if you decide to take the event.
- Newspaper- You might find some hidden gems in there
- Search the internet with the keywords above + the cities you are willing to travel to
- Ask your friends, family and customers. Offer a referral bonus to the person who referred you if you decide to take the event.
After you found a vendor event:
Congratulations on finding an event! Vendor events are truly so much fun! I enjoy meeting new people. Keep in mind that your time is valuable. Don't waste your time doing events that have an insanely high fee to have a booth, have a LOT of the same products, not advertised well or have low attendance in the past. Remember it is okay to interview the event organizer/coordinator and say No if you feel the event is not for you.
Questions you should ask before saying "Yes" to the event:
- Is this the first year for your event? If not, how many attendees did you have last year?
- What kind of advertising/marketing are you doing for the event?
- Is there a FaceBook event set up for your event? I would love to share my website on there. Also, I would love to share the event with my friends, family and customers.
- Do you provide tables? If yes, what is the cost? What is the table size?
- Is there a fee? Most events do have a fee. Usually $10 and up. Some ask for a percent of sales, and a raffle donation. I never do events that want a booth fee, percent of sales and a donation. It ends up costing you more than you will make. You want to make your fees back when you do an event. I I prefer a percent of sales or a low fee under $40. Why I prefer to pay a percent of my sales then it only costs if I make money. Remember everything is negotiable. It does not hurt to ask if you can donate a percent of your sales instead of the upfront cost. The worst they can say is No.
- Are you allowing duplicate vendors? (Vendors that same the same thing as you or even the same company as you) If yes ask, How can I be exclusive?
- If the event is for a school, dance studio, church, animal shelter, etc ask them how many active members they have?
- Do you offer wireless internet? Electricity?
- When is set up time? Time of the event? Break down time?
You said "YES". Now what?
Plan your Booth Décor:
Keep it simple. I cannot stress that enough. You want the focus to be your product, not an elaborate display. Have your display match your company branding. That way people walking by close and from afar know it is your company before they ever approach your booth. You can read about the Origami Owl® Branding here. Have your product out for your customers to play with. When someone can touch a product they build a personal connection to it. I never suggest putting your product in cases that do now allow the customers to touch it. Usually that discourages them from wanting the product. Create height on your table. You can use clear acrylic risers, boxes from your company that are clean and have fun sayings, you can take boxes wrap them in wrapping paper that matches your company colors.
Engage those walking by.
Offer a drawing or raffle. Be excited, greet those that walk by. Share your passion for your product. You only get one first impression. Leave them with an amazing one so they come back asking for you. Don't spend the whole day sitting. Stand in your booth, greet guests. Show them you want to talk to them, answer their questions.
I think this is truly a vital piece of a successful booth. Don’t rely on your brochures, catalogs or handouts. Customers will not read them until they are home, if they even make it home with the customer. You want them to ask you questions while they are at your booth. You want to engage and build report. Sometimes your best points can be phrased in the form of a question. View the customer as one who needs to be educated because she has never seen the product before. Most customers don’t know what they want or need. They need to be taught the difference in each company. I love big banners or posters in my booth. It attracts people in when they see bright sign with a catchy saying on it.
I cannot stress this enough.... KEEP it simple.
Marketing Material Must haves:
- Business cards
- Catalogs (TOMS)
- Rack Card/ Post Card
I always have Rack Cards in my hand. I am always talking to people as they walk by and handing them a rack card.
Never leave your booth unattended. That is the fastest way to lose customers. It also unprofessional. Bring friends, family, or team members to help you run your event. That way when you take a lunch break your booth is covered.
If you have any questions please feel free to email me.
As Always Dream Big,