10 tips for a successful VENDOR FAIR

Vendor Fairs are becoming more popular as the economy plunges by the minute. If you are a small business owner, hand-crafter, painter or a service provider, it’s important that you research events that will help you gain new customers and new exposure.

Example Vendor Fairs are as follows:

Bridal Fair; Health Fair; Holiday Village; Farmer’s Market; Beauty Event etc….

To be successful, here is a list of things you need to prepare or think about and options/ideas that might work for you:

  1. How will you collect new emails/contacts?
    1. Do a raffle and ask for emails on the raffle entry form.
    2. Buy a spinning wheel and have people fill out entry forms before they can spin the wheel.
  2. How will you attract people at your table?
    1. Giveaways are always attractive. There are plenty of online websites where you can order personalized giveaways: www.Branders.com; www.4imprint.com; www.GoUSA.com etc… compare prices and pick a good giveaway. Water bottles, T-shirts, lanyards, key chains, pins, pens, are the most popular.
    2. People seem to love spinning the wheel and the prices can be something simple: Candies, pens, water bottles, coupons etc.
    3. Host entertainment for kids: Face painting, arts and crafts, fake tattoos, etc. The parents will go where their kids can have fun.
  3. Purchase a professional table cloth especially if you’re planning to do vendor fairs more often. It helps to remember your company if you have a good presence. You can order a fitted table cloth for a 6ft table or 8ft table and get your logo embroidered. You can also order them online at http://www.michaelgroupinc.com; http://www.branders.com; etc…
  4. Purchase a 6 ft or 8 ft folding table for vendor fairs that will require for you to bring your own table.
  5. Optional: purchase a 10×10 tent with your logo printed on it. This will cost you around $1,000 but it’s worth it if you plan to do at least 4 outside vendor fairs per year. Here are some websites that sell tents: www.buyshade.com; www.canopymax.com; www.tradeshowplus.com etc… it will help you cut shipping cost if you find a local vendor.
  6. Buy branded T-shirts and print your logo, website, facebook page and twitter page. Make sure all your staff wears your shirts for more exposure.
  7. Prepare samples! People want to taste/try/smell your product before they buy it. If you’re a service provider, you can do 15-30 minutes consulting then make sure you give them your brochure and possibly a discount for first time clients.
  8. Give them a reason to come to your store. Give out coupons for their next visit to your store.
  9. Train your staff with excellent customer service skills. Stand outside of your booth. Sitting behind the table seems unfriendly and those that walk around and passing out samples/giveaways are more likely to win customers.
  10. Last but not the least, follow up –follow up – follow up!!! Email all the customers you met that day. If you know you’ll be too exhausted to do so afterwards, already assign a team that will make this happen for you.

If you follow these simple steps, I guarantee that you will make the most out of your event/vendor fair. Remember that customers will not approach you 75% of the time. You have to give them a reason to come to you or even talk to you.

About Sweeney Mae - Marketing and Events Expert

Sweeney Mae has organized over 600 events and has collaborated with over 100 organizations in the last 10 years of her career. She has worked with some of the great movers and shakers in the industry: Bill Walsh, America's Business Expert; Jarvee Hutcherson, Founder of Multicultural Motion Pictures Association; Max Amini, Actor and Comedian; Apl de Ap with the Black Eyed Peas and many more! Some of the organizations she's worked with includes: The American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, NBA All Stars and more! After having helped numerous business owners with their social media and marketing strategies, Sweeney Mae decided to turn her hobby into a business. She's passionate about helping start ups and small business owners in improving their marketing skills and strategy. Her motto is: Without marketing, there will be no sales and without sales there will be no profit, simple!

Posted on January 30, 2012, in Business, Marketing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Your tips are awsome, but i’m having my first booth experience coming up in 2 wks. and my product won’t be here in time. we PuSh ordering via our personal websites (company provided). Any tips on how to draw people to me at my table –laptop slideshow (PPt)?
    Poster display? (tri-fold) Balloons?? what give-aways are best? Drawings? Etc. HELP?1 Thanks, GB in NC

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