HERE’S HOW TO SEE YOUR RETURN ON INVESTMENT PER SHOW/VENUE      

A great way to track this is to either give something out for each show with a sticker or label that says what show it is for and then when they call, you can ask which show by looking at the item. This is called a lead.

Another great way is to get address labels and print about 25 at least for each show with the SHOW NAME on the label. Put them on your business cards and then the same thing applies. When they say they have your card, you can ask “What does the label on your card say?”. Then let’s say you did this for the Designer show it would say “Designer”. Then you could track how many sales you got from that event, venue or etc. You can label them however you want, per venue, per event it’s up to you. My business mentor has me do this so I know which venue and show to spend money on in the coming months and years. If you can track success per venues or shows, then you know which ones to attend over and over and which ones to steer clear from.

You can also get leads by having a drawing etc. On the drawing slips, put the labels on the slips to track your leads per show or venue that way! When you get home, you can add everyone into Excel or other system for future leads.

If you see no sales or leads from a venue or show a few times, then you know not to do that show the next time. Versus if you see great sales or leads, then you can see “Well, I didn’t get any sales, but look at all the leads I got” then you can see how it balances out.

Sales “DAY OF” a show are not a god estimation for every brand. Some people have to think about spending $100 on an apron or a blanket or purse or even jewelry before they buy.

According to Ed Jones, president of Constellation Communications, there is far more gained through marketing than just adding new leads to the sales pipeline

Four components to [VENDORS] return on investment and revenue impact:

  1. New revenue development (near or long term); (Sales Day Of a Show vs Sales Long Term)
  2. Customer and partner relationship management; (Did you network with other vendors, learn new tricks, tips and trades, did you meet new people who will buy from you again)
  3. Retention and growth of current revenue, which includes profitability improvement and cost savings achieved through event-related activities; (Did any of your regular customers come see you, did you make new long term customers, did the event bring in more sales and leads for you?)
  4. Promotion value, accomplished through event activity. (Did you do things to help promote you at the show, like drawings, giveaways, engagement?)
  5. (I would like to add one here)- Engagement- As in standing up, talking to each customer, telling them about you, your brand and your sales? Were you able to engage with each and every person who came by your booth?

I added that last one as a reminder to us all that to have a truly successful show we MUST engage with the show attendees. You might have a hoarse voice at the end of the night, and may sound like a broken record, but I can tell you from experience, it really DOES make a difference to STAND UP, not hide behind the booth, and engage and talk to each and every person as much as you did the FIRST person who walks up to your booth.

I hope this helps you all out and I look forward to working with you in the future on other shows.

Hosting Your Own Vendor Show

I could go on and on and tell you all the many ways to run a show. I could tell you how I run a show. But the reality is, I don’t think anyone can truly tell you. You have to read up, get a booklet or word document and write down thoughts and ideas from things you read, videos you watch and other event planners. Eventually, you get into your own drift and mode of how YOU handle each show. Plus, there are so many ins and outs depending on what type of show you are planning.

Planning an Expo, go one way. Planning a craft show, go another and so on. Each show has it’s OWN needs, has it’s own TICKS, so it is hard to say

“Plan a show this way”

That doesn’t really work.

You have to do the work.

You have to search things out. You have to see what others are doing. You may have to watch videos. You may have to help someone else do a show to fully understand, and even then, there will be things that you still don’t know, questions you may ned to ask and so on.

All I can do is tell you a few things I do and maybe it will help you along in the right direction. From there I have found some links for you to look at. This way, I have don “some” of the legwork for you and you can click on the links and see what each of these websites have to say. I would get a notebook or have Word opened on another screen or tab and take notes as you go along.

My Vendor Shows are Showcases. I have them themed, I always have entertainment, and I generally give a little gift to each vendor. These things set me apart from the rest.

The first and foremost thing I can say is getting everything in writing or digitally signed at least. For you, for the venues, for your vendors etc. Pay your venue fee up front, so you are not hit with a blammo miscommunication like I just did on my last show. I was expecting $50 for the whole day only to find AFTER the show it was $50 an hour.

#LessonsLearned

For the TOOLS:

I use Google Drive. I love it’s functionality and how it helps me keep everything organized

 https://www.google.com/drive/

I mostly use Google Forms, to put my Vendor Application Online and I tell them right away it is an interest form AND a contract. Then I have them date and sign it digitally. Then forms has a response sheet they supply once people fill out the forms. I keep track of each vendor that applied on this form. This way I can see who filled out the form, what their business is, what category their business is.

Here is what I put on my form:

2015 Vendor Form

Please understand this IS an Interest form AND a Contract! Make sure to check your SPAM or JUNK Mail folder for a reply email from me within 24 hours of filling out this form. I check emails and payments every morning BEFORE NOON. I will not email you again for info or payment. If you do not fill out items on this form, I will assume you meant it to be blank. After payment, you have 24 hours to pay once I send you the link.. If you miss it because it was in your JUNK/SPAM email, then you missed out. IT IS UP TO YOU TO CHECK THOSE FOLDERS.
Once you sign and date it below you are agreeing and confirming of your interest and contract to the shows you state. You understand it is as much YOUR responsibility to SHARE the event, Invite others and PROMOTE the event as much as it is mine! It takes a village to raise a child and a village to produce a successful show!Another email will follow with payment information via Square for your CC. No checks. No Paypal. Some Debit Cards can be used as CC.

If for an upcoming show – Payment is due IMMEDIATELY for any shows you are interested in. If you are not prepared to make payment NOW, please wait to fill out the form until that time. No spots are held on word. Spots are held on payment.

DO NOT FILL OUT IF YOU ARE NOT READY TO PAY “RIGHT NOW” FOR UPCOMING SHOW

If you are filling this form out as Interest ONLY, please state INTEREST IN FUTURE SHOWS and no payment will be required until notified about that show.

NO SPOTS ARE CONFIRMED OR HELD UNTIL PAYMENT HAS BEEN GIVEN AND RECEIVED. IT IS IMPERATIVE TO YOU TO PAY AS SOON AS YOU ARE GIVEN PAYMENT LINK. IF YOU DO NOT DO SO IN 24 HOURS, YOUR SPOT WILL BE GIVEN TO THE NEXT REPRESENTATIVE OR FOR ANOTHER VENDOR.

The information requested on this form not only helps me, but is designed to help promote YOU as well. If you do not fill out your WEB LINK, FACEBOOK PAGE, ETSY LINK OR OTHER WEB LINK, I have nothing to promote you with except your name. If that does not matter to you, then leave blank. HOWEVER, those who DO leave that information will be promoted on the EVENT page. If you leave something not filled out, I will assume you meant it to be that way.

* Required
What is your Business Name or What Brand are you Representing? *
If you own your own business list here or tell me what you are selling?
What Category is your brand? *
Please list what type of items these are or service: Makeup, Jewelery, Performer, etc..
What is YOUR name? *
Enter your First and Last Name
Contact Email where you can be reached? *
Enter your email
Contact Phone # you can be reached? *
Enter a valid phone number
What is your website url? *
Please enter the Link of your website, Etsy Link, or other link you choose?
If you have a Facebook Page, please enter link here *
Enter FB Link or none
Do you agree you are authorized representative of the exhibiting company and understand there is no refund or exchanges and agree to the terms of this form, understanding it is a contract and agree and you further understand that by signing this contract you also understand once payment has been made no refunds or retrurns are given? *
  • Yes
  • No
Which Show is this for? or is this INTEREST ONLY? *
Please state which Show you are filling this form out for so we can best get back to you
Please Type your Full Name Below and Date confirming your agreement to this Contract *
Sign Below NAME AND DATE ON SAME LINE
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

 http://www.handmadeology.com/the-ultimate-craft-show-preparation-link-list/

Tips for Organizing a Successful Small Vendor Show –http://cobwebcornerblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/tips-for-organizinging-successful-small.html

http://cobwebcornerblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/so-you-want-to-do-show-part-1.htm

The Complete Guide To Vendor Event Success for Direct Sellers and Small Biz Owners http://milliondollarpartygirl.com/10/how-to-get-better-results-at-vendor-events/ 

From WAHM http://www.wahm.com/forum/party-plans-50/173591-hosting-your-own-vendor-fair.html 

6 Basic Principles for Organizing an Art and Craft Event http://meylah.com/meylah/6-basic-principles-for-organizing-an-art-and-craft-event

Successful Vendor Event?

http://www.ptotoday.com/boards/17-fundraising/153824-successful-vendor-event

How to Organize a Craft Show https://blog.etsy.com/en/2010/how-to-organize-a-craft-show-with-handmademn/

How can I organize a successful vendor/craft fair with 0 experience? https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120718172710AAdoxIX

how to organize a craft fair? http://community.babycenter.com/post/a40832302/how_to_organize_a_craft_fair

Help! I’m organizing a vendor fair…

http://www.chefsuccess.com/threads/help-im-organizing-a-vendor-fair.61352/

Organizing a Fair, Festival or Event http://festivalsandevents.com/festival-planning/Organizing.shtml

Here are some EVent Checklist that also may help you out

https://www.chass.ncsu.edu/documents/CHASSEventChecklist.pdf

Generic Event Planning Checklist http://www.smu.edu/~/media/Site/StudentAffairs/StudentActivities/OrganizationsResources/Generic%20Event%20Planning%20Checklist.ashx

Event Planning Checklist http://www.fundlist.info/images/3-13event_planning.pdf

Event Planning Checklist http://clarkson.edu/campus_life/clubs/student_life/docs/eventplanningchecklist.pdf

Items to give to your vendors

Printable Craft Show Checklist

http://www.funkyfinds.com/events/craft-show-tips.html

https://brittanysbest.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Craft-Show-Checklist.pdf

Printable Craft Show Checklist