Woo Hoo you booked a vendor event. You have your inventory, a tent, tables, company banners…you’re all set, excited and ready to go and then…crickets.
Vendor events…Ever been so excited to get there, get your booth all set up, table laid out just so and have little to no one attend the event? I’m talking plenty of vendors and food trucks and maybe 4 customers the entire day. Well I have and it can be a downer. Luckily it hasn’t happened too often…but if you find yourself at an uneventful event I have some tips to make your downtime very productive.
Basically you have three choices:
- Sit behind your table playing words with friends.
- Text friends telling them how bored you are and figure out what you’ll be drinking and eating when you can finally pack up.
- Or you can take advantage of the time and network the event in a way that you can’t when it’s non-stop customers coming to your booth.
Rethink all those vendor events that no one showed up to and use these ideas to generate sales, leads and parties should you find yourself in another uneventful situation.
- Network: Get to know the other vendors: Just because they are also vendors doesn’t mean they can’t be your ideal customers. If you’re working your booth with a teammate, take turns and walk around to the other tables. Introduce yourself and bring samples of your product and some business cards. In my business, Color Street, we demo our product by applying nail polish strips on people. So I put a few samples in my pocket and apply them on the other vendors while I’m asking about their products and we’re getting to know each other. If you like their products ask if you can have some business cards to give your friends and they will probably do the same in return. Who knows… if you have complimentary products you could talk about doing a combo party together.
- Find out what other events are out there: While you’re networking with the other vendors, take advantage of the time to talk about events. I don’t mean complaining about how slow the current one is but sharing those that have been successful and upcoming ones that may be of interest to one another.
- Influence and mentor your team: Slower vendor events are a great time to show newer direct sales team members how they work. Send out a message to teammates who live nearby and see who wants to come out and get some training on how to work a vendor event. Use the time to mentor the newbies. Show ‘em the ropes, including how to set up a vendor table display, follow up with leads and turn a slow day into a network opportunity.
- Hop on your phone and share a Facebook Live: Most vendor events create an event page on Facebook so you can share your offers, promote your products and help spread the word about the event. Whether it’s a slow event or not you should always go live the day of the event and broadcast right on the event page. This way people who weren’t able to attend will still be able to shop…virtually. You should a share the live in your customer VIP group. Say hello and tell them about the event. Share the location and the other vendors that are out there. Encourage your local VIPs to stop by.
Every day and every situation can become an opportunity to share your business with people. If you are a vendor at an event that has less than desired traffic, don’t waste time on your phone chatting with friends. Use these tips and spend the time to mentoring and networking!