Many folks think of craft and vendor fairs as fall and pre-holiday events, but there are opportunites all year round to use this GREAT tool!
People come to these events LOOKING to buy.
How awesome is that for us? We go LOOKING to sell. It is a perfect match!
But there are some tips and tricks of the trade to make these events really profitable for you
1) Find GOOD Events
spend some time googling vendor fairs, craft fairs, wedding events, bazaars….find out as much as you can as to what is out there
One of my favorite tools is FaceBook. I can use the search function to find groups that advertise events in my area.
also, ask your customers!
The events that they attend are perfect to check out because you want more people just like them, right?
2) Reserve your Spot
Once you have narrowed down the field, it is time to pick the ones you think will be best for you.
how far is it?
how many people attend?
what is the cost of the booth?
Now think a little bit about timing….do you have time to get ready? Rushing to get ready can leave you frazzled and anxious. How well will you perform if you are in that mode?
So be realistic by not over extending yourself
3) What are you going to Sell?
first, what are the rules of your direct sales company? Follow them to the T
Can you sell current merchandise? That means anticipating inventory, ordering it, packing it, displaying it, etc
Can you sell retired items?
Are you going to make things to sell?
Are you selling kits, the hostess opportunity, classes, your starter kit?
It is important to know exactly what you hope to gain from the experience:
new club members?
What is your goal for the event?
Now make sure you are marketing to achieve that goal!
4) Generate some NEW Biz
Even if your goal is to get rid of some old merchandise and sell some cool stuff you made, we never want to let the chance to make new contacts slip away.
Have people enter for a drawing for free goodies
Have people sign up for your newsletter
Have people sign up for a class
Have people sign up to be part of a club
You can accomplish all these things with a simple door prize form
have a specific goal in mind: I want to add 25 people to my newsletter list
While they can do that via your awesome door prize form, I would also have a seperate, beautiful, blinged up clipboard to capture the people who are interested in MORE from you than just throwing their name in the fish bowl
5) Lay It All Out There
you will know the size of your booth and any restrictions when you sign up.
So now is the time to recreate that space at home so that when you get to the event to set up you know EXACTLY what you are doing.
And I highly recommend taking photos of your set up. It will help you remember and if you have someone helping you set up it is way easier for them if they have a pic to go by.
Keep these things in mind:
color/theme: it has to look pretty, no excuses
stacked/organization: you may need to use some shelving, baskets, etc to keep your items contained and visible
signage: make sure people know who you are and what you do
giveaways: little promo items that have your name, contact info, etc.
think height: by adding some height to the booth it will be more visually interesting
guestbook: when people buy, have them sign your special guest book
The worst thing you can do at your event is just sit behind your booth. BORING!
Bring a friend: it makes your booth look inviting if the two of you are already chatting
No pouncing: let your guests check it out without jumping on them right away
Engage: "I love your necklace", "Oh my, which booth did you get that cookie at"
Guide: have a 30 sec speech to let them know what you do and where they should start in your booth
7) Follow Up
This is by far the most important part of your event.
Every person who fills out a door prize form or buys from you needs to be recognized.
A follow up email, newsletter, thank you card, etc is critical to building relationships with these potential customers.
and it needs to be done immediately
If you wait 3 months to follow up, well, you are going to get the results you deserve
Craft and Vendor fairs can be AWESOME opportunities to build your customer base.
Change Your Little Corner of the World