Do you have any special requests? If so, please tell me NOW, not the day of or right before the event. Thank you. *
If you need to be in a corner or against a wall, please tell me now. If you need against a wall, please tell me now. If you need other special request, please tell me now. ANY OTHER SPECIAL REQUESTS TELL ME NOW
Then they submit it. The responses go into my response folder. Under TOOLS, on the responses you can edit notifications. So then whenever someone submits a form, you get notified right then, or daily.
I like this because then I don’t have to keep watch on it or have the risk of forgetting to look. It will tell me. On the Form part, you can also change the destination teh responses go to, in the event you want them added to a set of documents or sheets you already have. The responses come through like an excel spreadsheet so it is VERY easy to manage.
I also use Google Sheets. Once I have the form responses, in that workbook, I make another tab called Leads, where I ass any leads I have like Business name or Person name, Name of business, category, email and phone number. My other tab is called Marketing. In it I have all the media places I need to send out my Press releases to or sites I need to fill out forms about my show. The third tab is called Venue Locations and this is where I keep all the info about Venues I have looked up. The date, Name of Venue, POC (Point of Contact) , Space (Sq Feet) VEndor allotment (How much can each vendor have for each location, Touchbase, the date I called or touchbased with them, and any misc info needed for that venue. I have a GROUPS tab, with all the Fb groups for Vendor leads and promotions I have in that one tab so I don’t have to go searching for it on Facebook.
Vendor Maps are done on Google Drawing. I generally go into the venue once decided and get actual pictures of the site. I take a tape measure and masking tape and mark the areas where each vendor will be. Then I take pictures of that. Then pull up tape and go to Google Drawing. First I make a drawing of the area as it is now. Just in case it is in a cafe or something where you might have to put everything back they way you found it. If you take pictures and draw up a map, it makes the next part much easier. Then I save that drawing. Copy it, then Rename it to Vendor Map (and the name of the location) Then map out your vendors. Once you have everything mapped out, send it to your vendors with a little note about it and leave room for it to be subject to change. Some vendors will see it and ask you if they can move. Believe me, it is better if they tell you that before the day of. Makes is much less of a headache.
The other thing I like about Google Drive is the fact that you can also make folders. I have more than one business so this is nice to keep it separated. Plus anything that is under the folders anyone you are sharing the folder with, can see and view the files under it. Make it again, much less of a hassle.
I write up Press Release to send out to the media and try to get that out no more than two weeks out before the event. Too early and they won’t post it, too late is not enough time. You might research how to write press releases if you don’t know. Media outlets are VERY specific about this and want it done a certain way. They don’t just want emails. They want an email with a press release.
Two weeks out also give them time to decide if they want you to come talk on TV or on radio about your event. If you don’t like to talk, you might hire or get an unpaid intern from a college to be your PR person.
So far I have only talked about prep. Before the show kind of things.
Day of show is about getting in early, Putting up road signs (dont forget to make GOOD LOOKING road signs on poster board and markers….name of location, VEndor Show, time and address) , setting up the tables, putting up decorations( if you have any), setting out gift bags for vendors (if you want to do that) having each vendors name on the tables they are going to, or everyone has a map at the door and then they set up. Make sure in one of your original emails to the vendors to not bring more than they can put up or take down in one hour. I have had times I stand there for hours waiting for someone to pack ALL their things. You have to stay until the last vendor leaves. Then clean up your area and put things away. Say goodbye to the venue contact, then go have a drink or whatever you need to relax because after a vendor show, you will want to kick your feet up.
I am sure I am missing something and there is SO much more I could tell you. But as I said before, it all depends. It depends on a set of variables that you have to define to hold a great show.
Most of all, no matter what smile, be professional about anything or any drama that may happen. You don’t want to burn bridges if you can help it. Don’t piss off vendors. I tell my vendors they cannot leave early unless they discuss it with me, in my emails. Then if a vendor starts packing up I ask them to stay, but some are just determined to go. There is nothing you can do about that.
Remind them also in emails, success of a show is not just what amount you have sold or make that day of the show. Have cards with a label for each show to track when someone calls back, which show they got your card or info from. They can track all that in Excel or other data so then they can add sales of show, with callback sales. Sometimes shows are just about getting leads and you won’t make or get to make any sales. But what leads you get out of it, may be worth more in the long run. It is jsut a fact that sometimes people have to think about a purchase before they buy. They take your card and call you later. It happens to Direct Sales, MLM and even crafter and Designers.
As I said, I am sure I am missing something. I am always willing to help answer any questions and make this a more cohesive list and info for you.
Being a Vendor Planner is a love hate relationship.
I love the money I make. I love having a unique and different show for other vendors. I love the Press and Media things I get to do because of it. But, I hate it because vendors ca get snarky, venue locations aren’t always up front, and things often go wrong no matter how hard you try.
But all in all, it can be very rewarding and worth it.
Try your hand at it only if you are thick skinned, have a strong will, don’t let people walk all over you, and you enjoy chaos and stress. 🙂
Or if you just want to try it out. Just be ready and be prepared.
Hopefully the links I have added with help you out…
Until next time,
XOXO Trisha Trixie