Things To Consider For A Successful Vendor Event
One of my favorite things to do in direct sales is to work a vendor event. It can be the most difficult job, however, if you are not well prepared. Whether you are brand new to sales and events or a seasoned veteran, here are some useful things to consider for a successful vendor event.
Indoors or outdoors?
Whether you are indoors or out, 10’ x10’ is the most common (tent size), so be sure to confirm your space size. Ask if will be acceptable to have a table or your product just outside of your space. Some venues tend to be very strict about this and you definitely don't want to encroach on your neighbor.
Most vendors prefer indoors, mainly so you don't have to deal with weather issues (rain and wind are the worst!). BUT, indoors is not always the best location. Consider if your event is during a season where most (if not all) people will be outside and whether most will want to come in to cool down (or warm up~) and do a little shopping.
Do you get to choose your location? If indoors, being in the middle an room can be ideal, but you may have more space for storage if you are up against a wall. It's easier to hide empty boxes/extra inventory behind you, because you won't be encroaching on someone else space.
Also, being near the door can be a bonus, as people will likely pass you twice, once when they enter, once when they leave.
Does your business require electricity to display or view your product? If indoors, it is much more likely that you will have access, but sometimes it comes at a cost. If the venue is outside, you are less likely to have electricity, but if you do, it’s great to have some extra lighting, a fan/space heater, or place to charge your phone or other devices. Don’t forget your extension cord and multi-plugger!
If your event is indoors, your space will likely have flat/level ground. If you are outdoors, you definitely need to know the terrain. For example, if you are in grass at a park, can you work with gopher holes? Or maybe if you’re near a tree, can you work around an exposed root system? Are you out on the street? Most street fairs have you literally in the street gutter. It sounds bad, but it logistically makes sense. However, can you work in area that a sharp dip in the front or back?
Whether indoors our out, will you need a tent? If you do, I beg of you, get one that has perpendicular legs, not those that flair out. Otherwise your neighboring vendors may give you stink eye!
Number of years running
Seasoned events tend to do better, simply because the community is familiar with them. But don’t entirely discount newer and/or first year events. Consider the clientele and decide it if is a good fit for your business.
No matter if your event is indoors or out, you will still need to get your product there. Will you be able to park close enough to offload your product without any problems? Will you need to make several trips with a dolly and or wagon? After you unload product can park close or do you have to jog back from four miles away?
If you don't already have insurance, you may wish to consider getting it. Your regular homeowners, renters and car insurances typically do not cover your business. Some of the larger venues require additional insurance which you will need to purchase through your current business insurance carrier. Your business insurance carrier will generally do it for a small fee, and sometimes the vendor organizer will offer it to you, usually at a much steeper price.
Number of attendees
It is great when events that we do have tons of people, but the reality is that is not always the case. That is ok, but be aware and consider all things, not just the numbers.
Check your community calendars to see what else might be going on the day of your event. When vendor organizers have gone all out with advertising, that is a huge bonus, but if everyone else is at the other, more popular event, you may want to consider doing the other event!
Everyone has to eat and virtually everyone loves a food truck! Food vendors almost always do quite well, so if your event has some, it can be great to be near them so that as people are waiting in line they are looking at your booth. And who doesn't love fair food?
Hopefully I gave you some good food for thought. Click here to learn more!