People are always asking me how I seem to know where all the business shows, expos, trade shows, fairs, bizaars, craft shows, etc are being held. So I thought I’d tell you. Over the years, I’ve done alot of shows and now I seem to be invited to shows before they even open spots to the general public.
I always pay on time as requested. Include your business card with your check so the organizer has all your pertinent info. I don’t hassle the organizer with silly questions, annoying requests, or multiple emails or phone calls. I am polite, helpful, and network with the organizer and other businesses at the shows. I collect the business cards of the other business owners. Be someone they want to invite back.
When I book I make sure there is no other Mary Kay or ViSalus business already booked (if there is don’t go) and I request if they have another MK/ViSalus consultant call, they are welcome to give my contact info to them. Sometimes I need help at larger shows and welcome the assistance. Do NOT feel obligated to include someone who calls you if you can handle the show alone or your own team members/downline are intersted in helping.
I never need hydro so that’s simple, but if you do make sure you ask for hydro when you book and bring your own extension cord to the show. Find out if they are supplying tables or do you need to bring your own. Are they supplying tablecloths or do you need to bring your own (usually that’s up to you)? If you are sensitive to candles or perfumes, let them know. Verify the size of your space. What time is setup and tear down? Do you need to provide them with a door prize or donate a portion of your sales in addition to your table fee? If you are going to do a door prize at your own table, make sure that’s OK. I always do a prize and went to one show to help another consultant who had done the booking, only to be told we couldn’t have attendees fill out ballots to gather contact information. If we’d known we would never had gone to that show.
I take time a couple times a week to look for events online and I keep my eyes open for places that might allow me to promote my business. You never know until you ask! Watch for chatter on Facebook or LinkedIn. Visit www.kijiji.ca and go to Community Events. Check friend’s events on Facebook and LinkedIn. If I am unavailable, I pass along the info to my team and other business people I know and they now do the same for me.
Get involved with a networking group. Sometimes they list events on their website or blog.
At shows, go around and chat with the other businesses and ask if they have other events they are attending in the near future.
When I get invited to a show OR I book a show, I always ask if they are also in need of some other businesses. Do they need someone from Epicure, Stampin’ Up!, Pampered Chef, or a photographer? That’s my cousin, my sister in law’s sister & her husband, and my sister in law. Often the organizer will mention some other spots she is trying to fill so I hook her up with other people I know. I also email the information to my HBBA member list.
I read the local newspaper. Look at the Coming Events section and call right away. If you procrastinate, someone else with the same business will get the spot or the whole show might be full. It amazes me the number of business people who call the week of a show to see if they can still get a spot! Good for them to be proactive and sometimes it pays off, but as soon as you hear about an opportunity, BOOK IT! Remember only payment received secures your spot.
Does your town or nearby towns have festivals or fairs? Normally they have a spot for vendors that you could setup at. I have been doing the 3 local Fall Fairs (Rodney, Glencoe, Wallacetown) for years now and people expect me to be there each year.
Do you belong to a church and could you setup at their craft show or bizaar? Sometimes they only want handmade items at these events, but it never hurts to ask. I got a group to organize a home business show because they put on a craft show and had so many direct sales people call for tables they decided to do a separate event.
In your calendar, on the date of the event, write all the information. Setup time, show times, tear down time, size of spot, cost, name & contact info of the organize, address, o you need to donate a portion of your sale or a door prize and other pertinent things you need to know. If you had to fill out a form to send in, make a copy of it and staple it in your datebook. If there is a flyer or newspaper ad, staple that in as well.
After the show, email or leave a wall comment on Facebook for the organizer, with positive compliments and thanks. Having organized shows, a thank you afterwards means alot. Let them know how your response was from attendees.
If you have any other tips, leave a comment.