In about one week I will be participating in my very first event as a vendor with a booth. My business, Chain Four will be at The Maternity Fair at St. Joe East and that should be a great place to meet my target customers. Since I’m right in the middle of planning for this, I thought I’d share some helpful suggestions if you might be planning a similar event of the craft fair/trunk show variety:
- Take inventory of the products you are going to take with you.
- Give customers payment options. Use technology to your advantage! Sign up for Square or another credit/debit card payment option. People don’t always have cash on hand. Do a test run before the fair to make sure everything works like it should. Also, get a cash box. Don’t be the person taking money in Tupperware… (this is a note to myself!!)
- Thoughtfully plan your display. Think about your customer! If you were shopping at your booth, what would you like to see? (Because I offer products people wear, I need a mirror. There needs to be proper signage, and it has to be cute! The display needs to evoke the feel of my products-a mix of vintage and funky, etc…) It’s easy to get bogged down by all the possibilities here, but if it’s your first show, just do the best you can! You gotta start somewhere! It’s much better to have excellent products and sub-par display than the other way around, in my opinion.
- Offer appropriate packaging for customers. Have bags, tissue paper, scissors, tape–whatever you may need–ready and available.
- Plan your outfit. Plan to be cute and comfortable whatever the formality of the event.
- Take care of business. Make sure you have all the licenses and numbers that you need to do proper legal business–business license, EIN number, etc… Do you need a bank account for your business?
- Offer a freebie. Although your booth may be adorable and fabulous and perfect, give a little something away for free. I’m just having a cute basket full of lifesavers. Candy isn’t much, but who doesn’t want some free candy?! It might just be enough to entice someone to take a business card, or browse for a minute!
- Offer different ways to connect with you. Make it easy for potential customers to find you and connect with you online after the event is over. Of course, business cards are a must, but there are other ways to help customers connect more easily. Have a QR code linked to your website available for people to scan. Maybe offer an email sign-up list. Give coupons away.
As a shopper or vendor yourself, do you have any other suggestions? Am I forgetting anything? Please share your ideas in the comments!