How to Rock Your Vendor Event
So since we are hosting annual Mommy and Baby Fairs I thought I would chime in with some tips on putting on a good vendor event.
Sign up early
If you can sign up for events early. Some events offer a price discount for those who sign up and pay early. You are more likely to get priority for special requests such as lighting or electricity, if you are signed up for the event early. If you have the choice of where you booth will be located being an early sign up for the event gives you a better choice of where you get to set up camp. Try picking a location with high traffic such as next to concessions or main isles.
Gather Supplies Early and Be Extra Prepared
It can be rather frustration to get to an event and realize there was something that you needed and now you don’t have it. Make sure to prepare and gather supplies for the event early. It may also help to set up a mock display prior to arriving at the event to make sure things look like you want them to. Think about what products you want to feature, what activities you may want to have and always have proper displays/signs. Here is a list of helpful items to remember to have other than those strictly related to your business:
Have eye catching media
You have to think about what is going to make people come your way. Make sure your displays and signs are clear and simple. Having at least one large banner is a good rule of thumb. It should clearly state your business name and what you are promoting. Be sure to keep the words to a minimum. People will not be inclined to do a lot of reading at these kinds of events. Some tips to consider are having your sign above the crowd height or having big photos of good looking people. These kinds of things catch peoples eye and they stop to look at the photos.
It is also important to have eye catching business cards. It says a lot about you and can be a vital part of your business to have interesting business cards that peak people’s attention.
Keep Track of Your Costs
This may sound simple but sometimes it can be easy to forget all the costs involved in participating in an event. It is something you will want to keep track of so you can compare it with your turn out and apply it for future events. Time is sometimes a hard one to factor into an event. Your time is precious and should be compensated properly.
Get People into Your Booth
There are those who tend to take a step back approach while at events and I do not recommend this. While you may not want to look like “that pushy sales person” you also want to engage with your audience. They are far more likely to step into your booth and check out what you have to offer if you get them to come into your booth rather than just letting them browse your items on their own. Some people may suggest that you take something with you to do while at an event. This is not something that I suggest to do either. From my experience working at a booth is like working at a job. You wouldn’t bring a crossword to do while at work and expect the job to get done on its own. I take the same stand point when working a booth. The products/services/information is not going to get to the audience properly on its own. It needs you to be the facilitator and get people engaged. Here are a few tips on how you can do this:
Make eye contact, be professional, smile, and be friendly. Engage in small inviting speech by asking one of the following simple things:
If someone says “no, thank you,” say something like:
*Talking Points brought to you via Calacanis
Good marketing techniques dive deep into the psychological aspects of the human mind and can then be used as persuasive techniques. Giving something away to someone (raffle/candy) uses the reciprocity theory of psychology, where if you do something for someone they feel the need to return the favor. Give them some candy or a chance to win something and they will listen to your product presentation or drop their information in for your raffle. Another big theory is that of scarcity. People tend to be more interested in things that they won’t have the chance to get again. Using terms like “limited time” or “limited quantity” peaks people interest.
Make sure you have a Demo of Your Product/Service
Be sure to have a quick simple presentation on what your company is and what they have to offer. Keep it short and simple. Try something like:
Have a raffle
People like FREE stuff. Have a simple prize for people to win. Have them fill out a small form with name, number, email or let them drop in a business card. Your raffle prize also does not have to be one of your products. If you choose something that is hot in the market today like an iPhone than you may have a line for your booth just to put in for your raffle.
Be sure to follow up with those who put in for your raffle even if they didn’t win. Email them with a thank you for participating your raffle. Be courteous when letting them know they did not win but then offer them something else (invitation to a presentation, an opportunity to save % on an order, a consolation prize like a download or bumper sticker). It shouldn’t include “hard sales tactics” but something of value that the customers will care about.
Dress for Success
It is something that we have all heard of but seldom think about on a day to day basis. A sad fact of life is that humans are judgmental. When selecting what you will be wearing for the day you should have two things in mind; professional and comfort. Sometimes it is hard to put these two together but they are equally important when you are going to be standing at a booth all day. You will want to take the weather into account and keep in mind that indoor shows tend to get quiet hot. Be prepared to shed some layers if needed. You may also want to wear a name tag. A professional one looks better than one of those Hello My Name Is, but any name tag is better than none. Shoes is also something that you may want to pay close attention to. While those heels or dress shoes may look good, will you be able to stand in them comfortably for 4,6, or 8 hours?
Keep your Booth Neat and Clean
It is human nature to be attracted to things of beauty and symmetry. When hosting a booth make sure that it is pleasing to the eye. Try to have a multi-level table rather than having everything laid flat. Make sure items that are not part of the booth (your jacket, storage boxes, extra products, ect) stay well hidden. During the event make sure to pick up any garbage that may be left around. After the event, always make sure that you have cleaned up after yourself and left the space just the way you received it.
Over all have FUN!! Make it something memorable.
About the Author
As a seasoned birth worker and business major I wanted to take my two passions and combine them into one. Over the last seven years I continue to push myself to learn more and give more to those around me.