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Have you ever been to vendor events and noticed that a lot of vendors simply lay their products on a table and sit behind it? They may have great products, but the booth set up just doesn’t catch your attention and welcome you in. Now, have you seen a both that made you say, “Wow!” That’s probably one booth you want to visit again.
One. Consider your product.
What is your product and main focus? Small items that need to sit on tables? Clothes that need to hang on racks? Food that must be individually wrapped and/or kept warm? Craft demos that require space to work? This will dictate what fixtures you need and how to set them up.
Two. Choose your fixtures.
If you need tables, find out if the venue supplies them, or if you need to and then make sure you have enough. For hanging clothes, you can buy or make racks to hold your clothes, but make sure you have some mannequins to style some outfits and grab the attention of the potential customers walking by your booth. For small items or food, you’ll need tables of course, but baskets and pretty boxes to hold items will keep your display from being boring. If you will be giving demos or will have customers doing “make and takes,” make sure you have enough chairs, and that those chairs are not horribly uncomfortable.
Three. Remember that details matter.
Vendor events are like a collection of mini boutiques. This is the feeling you want to give potential customers when they’re walking by, so pay attention to the details.
Put some thought into your decorations and color scheme. Don’t just throw any old tablecloths on your tables. Make sure they’re clean (of course), and that they coordinate with the booth decor and/or your branding. Tablecloths should also be long enough to cover anything you have stashed under the tables as well as ugly legs (table legs, not people legs). Branding on your tablecloths is also a good idea.
Place your items on your tables in groupings and at different heights. You can place wooden blocks or packing boxes under your table cloth as risers to set your items on. Or you can use scarves, quilts, burlap or some other fabric pieces to lay over the risers. Just ensure everything is coordinated and presents a unified picture.
Style your mannequins with a complete outfit by including jewelry and other accessories if possible. Use scarves or fabric pieces to drape over the ends of racks, and find ways to hang items separately from the racks in order to catch the customer’s eye.
Wrap your food items in pretty coordinating packaging, such as cute branded bags or boxes. Make sure any samples are distributed in a way that keeps fingers off of the remainder of the product, but also make sure those containers are pretty and pleasing to the eye.
Four. Don’t forget your signage.
Use cute wooden chalk signs to announce sales, designate sizes, or identify flavors or colors, or print your signs on card stock in a pretty font and laminate them. Make sure that you’re consistent in the presentation by using all the same style, colors and fonts.
Five. Where’s the cash register?
Many people at vendor events put their cash register, or check out area if you don’t have a register, at the back of the booth. This is perfectly fine, but then you’re stuck at the back if you have several people. If you’re working the booth alone, who is watching the front and thus ensuring any questions can be quickly answered? You can also place your register at the front to one side of the booth. This allows you to keep an eye on the booth, and answer questions even when you are checking out customers.
Six. Follow the rules.
Many vendor events have specific rules regarding sales, signage, how the booth must be set up or even how to handle theft. Be sure that you know the rules and follow them to the letter. You certainly want to be invited back in the future, and being a good vendor who follows the rules is a good way to ensure you will be.
Seven. Vendor events are a lot of work, but can be lots of fun too.
There is a ton of work that goes into preparing for, setting up, and working vendor events. However, it can be a fun and profitable experience.
Contact me or leave a comment if you have any other tips for vendor events you’d like to share.
Check out my Pinterest boards for lots of ideas.