Vendor Show Craziness

So glad it was the last of my three sets of shows. Now this is not to say I won’t do any more because I will. However, I will be different and refined about what shows I do, how I advertise them and what I do and when. I was literally beginning to feel psychotic. I mean it. Crazed.

People trying to get in last minute, people trying to send replacements, people still badmouthing me from another show, and the race to advertise and send out press releases knowing full well that no matter what you do, some, or all of your vendors are going to be unhappy with you.

I have come to terms with a few lessons for myself and some tips for myself and others I thought might be helpful:

Do what you love.

When you stop loving it, it becomes work. I was not in love with the shows I was doing and how I was doing them so I changed the plan. Instead of going to shows, I put on shows. Then, I hated that too. So, unless it is a show I will like, no matter what, I refuse to do it.

Enjoy the Show

Sound redundant I know but I promise you it is not. There is a Lenka song called Enjoy the Show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7AGAe3WzMc

The whole point is to stop complaining, stop griping and stop worrying, just Enjoy the Show. I apply this to my life as well as to the vendor shows. No matter what happens, I decided on this last one especially to just enjoy the show.

Make Love not War

Some of you might understand the reference. My point here is to be happy. Make friends. Make connections. Get leads. Get contacts. Get leads.  Be happy about whatever outcome you get. Be Happy.

Stand Up Get Up Stand Up for your Right

Stand up at shows. If you have to get a cushioned mat or double up a towel to stand on do it. Sitting down at a show says tot he consumer “I am not engaged in your business”. Stand up, greet them, share with them a deal you are having. It makes a big difference. Also get out from behind the booth. Sit on the side or make your booth so you can be in front.

Put Down the Cellphone and No One Gets Hurt

So many times, sadly most especially NEW vendors or young vendors sit at a booth on their cell phones or smart phones. Again, if a customer walks by you and sees you on the phone, you are telling them you don’t care. Besides, not using it will save your batteries for when you need to use it to make a sale. Turn off your apps. Clear messages out. Put the phone down. If you are bored, bring things to do, or take time to talk to the vendors around you. Look at their displays. Network.

Learn from other Vendors

I have changed my booth and displays more than I can count. I do so because I learn from others by looking around at how they are displaying something ask ask them about it. If I really like it, I ask if they mind if I did something like it. Generally, most people are willing and desirous to share. This is also why it is good to put your cellphone down and engage in those around you. It will help you all be more successful.

Talk about your Brand 

Develop your 3 minute spiel about your brand. Don’t make them feel like they can’t get away. Don’t talk for hours. Just give them a few tidbits.  Share a deal. Answer questions. Ask them about their day, Ask them about the show. Ask them if they are looking for anything imparticular. At least , TALK. Don’t just sit there or stand there like a mouse. They don’t’ know your brand. You do.

The System

I have devised a new plan I am going to start implementing at all my shows from now on. I am going to adhere a sticker to my card or have special cards made per show that say the name or the date of the show. Why? Because then when someone calls me and says “ I got your card somewhere.” I can ask “Does it have a sticker on it or did it come with a special card?” Then they can tell me the date or what the card said and I can start entering it into a tracking system. This way I can see  these thing in my new system

Vendor Show Name

Date(s) of the Show

Estimated # of people attended (came to my booth) ( if you make a certain # of items to give as mini gifts then you know how many stopped by the booth once those are gone)

Sales per show

Referral by someone at the show?

Response afterwards

By capturing this date, I then can tell which shows I get the most out of. I am even thinking of creating a Google Docs form that asks Show Survey. How did they hear about it? etc.

Last show I made 30 gifts. They were all gone. So I know at least 30 people came to the show. Then we had stragglers before AND after so I would say about 50 people probably stopped by. I wish it was more like 100 but hey, at least SOME people stopped in!!

Shows are for Leads, Sales are Nice

Most shows were created to get leads. Get info, get contacts. Share your brand. Get your cards out. If you get sales, that is great. It is like the dessert after a meal. This is why creating a Feedback or Survey even if only for yourself, is a good idea. Then you can see where those leads are coming from.

I hate it when others say “That show sucked, I didn’t make any money. I didn’t even get my booth rent back.” Well, honestly, how do you know that? Are you literally saying NO ONE took your card. No one will contact you for business? You didn’t book a aprty? You didn’t hand out your card? You didn’t talk to anyone? Unless you can answer those with NO’s, then you really dont know. Unless you are tracking results and you can see that nothing came in from that show. Then guess what….??? You did get SOMETHING out of it.

You got experience. You made connections. You also learned, Don’t do that show again. lol. Seriously. Or maybe you know about the location. You learned if a location of a show is good or bad.

GIVE FEEDBACK/ SUGGESTIONS

AS Vendor Planners, we DO appreciate feedback. Honestly. If you are unhappy or you have ideas how to make things better, contact us, tell us. We want to know. If you don’t tell us, how can we be better?

No Gossiping or Back Talking

Please just talk to the Vendor Planner. Don’t go talking smack about them. We will hear. I also have been bad about this to other planners. In an effort to help another planner be warned from a bad vendor, I perhaps have spoke too openly about it. I am not perfect and after it was brought to my attention, I realized that sharing my thoughts openly may not be taken the right way. It could potentially make ME look bad and that is not what I want of course. I am not perfect. But I can learn.

Family Emergency

Please use Family Emergency if it really IS a family Emergency. I had six people cancel on me last minute. Now either there was a major crisis this weekend, or some people used that as an excuse not a reason. Most vendor shows clearly state no refund. We are not going to change that because it is or isn’t a family emergency. You are a big kid. Just state. You will not be able to be there. Or tell the real reason if you must say anything. Either way you are not getting your money back, so why lie?

Check the Address BEFORE the Show

The planner should have sent out an email of all the info. The map or Google directions or the address. don’t rely on Social Media, use the info the planner sent you in the email. In a place like des moines, there is Des Moines, East Des Moines, South and West Des moines and many of the addresses sound alike.

Be on Time

If you checked the address, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting lost because you SHOULD know exactly where you are going. Thus, you should be on time. There should be a set up time (s) and you should be set up BY the time of the show. If you are gonna be late, please try to let the planner know. It is not the planners job to chase you down.

Get Confirmation, then Mark your Calendar 

It is up to YOU to make sure you have been confirmed for the show and mark your calendars. Hearing “I forgot” lately however did not make me happy. The vendor could have at least tried to still attend my event.

Don’t Book too far in Advance: Replacements Not allowed

With a lot of vendors NOT allowing replacements, it is better for you to book only a month or two in advance, not a year. You will be out money and a replacement WON”T be allowed to show up.

………………………………..

I know that was a lot of info to digest but I didn’t want to forget to tell you things.

Please comment, send feedback or any other suggestions or questions you might have.

Until Next Time,

XOXO Trisha Trixie

 

Market to Market: Oh Where Do I Market?

 

 

Many people want to know: To Market to Market, Where do I Market?

 

Well, here is a list of where I do some Marketing and Advertising and how to do them per their request. If you have any others to share not on this list, let me know.

Also remember many require an Actual Press Release so prepare that first. (and by the way I found out the hard way MailChimp Lists are NOTTTTTTT the way to go because then they unsubscribe AND they won’t post them or share if thye are not in Press Release format)

Remember some places require a Press Release. Prepare PR FIRST, then go down list What means required to contact Form or Email
Name of Place Link Email
Travel Iowa http://www.traveliowa.com/calendar
Catch DSM http://www.catchdesmoines.com/events/add-your-event/ Form
Info at Iowa Tourism info@iowatourism.com Email
DM Register http://submit.dmregister.com Form
Eat Play Love Des Moines http://eatplaylovedesmoines.com/contact Form
Downtown DSM http://www.downtowndesmoines.com/contact-us Form
Dish on DSM http://thedishondesmoines.com/submit-a-story
Weclome Home Des Moines calendar@welcomehomedesmoines.com calendar@welcomehomedesmoines.com
Life 107 http://life1071.com/events/myevents/add/ Form
KIOA http://kioa.com/submit-your-event/ Form
Iow aLiving http://www.iowalivingmagazines.com/submit-event/ Form
DSM Nite Out http://www.desmoinesnightout.com/submit-event Formn
Around DSM http://www.arounddesmoines.com/default-form/ Form
Craiglist http://www.craiglist.org FORM
MyAbc% http://www.myabc5.com/global/Story.asp?s=12646104 Submit Story Idea or News
DSM Mag/ BPC Bus Record dsmeditor@bpcdm.com dsmeditor@bpcdm.com
Juice Sarah Day Owen  sarahdayowen@dmjuice.com sarahdayowen@dmjuice.com
Ames Daily Tribune www.amestrib.com
Publisher Geoff Schumacher gschumacher@amestrib,com gschumacher@amestrib,com
Editor Alexandrea Hayne ahayne@amestrib.com ahayne@amestrib.com
Cedar Rapids Gazette-Des Moines Bureau http://www.thegazette.com Des Moines Bureau Chief Rod Boshart rod/boshart@sourcemedia.net
The Des Moines Register www.desmoinesregister.com
Editor Rick Green  rgreen@dmreg.com rgreen@dmreg.com
Senior News Director (investigative reporting) Randy Brubaker rbrubaker@dmreg.com
Senior News Director (politics/state reporting) Carol Hunter chunter@dmreg.com
Exec. Business Editor Lynn Hicks lshicks@dmreg.com
Senior News Director (digital/multimedia) Julia Thompson kelly@kellyrobertson.com
Metro Communities Editor (metro/iowa) Kathy Bolten kbolten@dmreg.com
Iowa Life Editor Tim Paluch tpaluch@dmreg.com
Exec. Sports Editor Bryce Miller brmiller@dmreg.com
Iowa State Daily www.iowastatedaily.com
Editor in Chief editor@iowastatedaily.com editor@iowastatedaily.com
The Times Delphic www.thetimesdelphic.com
Editor in Chief Lauren Horsch tdeditorinchief@gmail.com tdeditorinchief@gmail.com
Faculty Advisor Jill Van Wyke jill.vanwyke@drake.edu
Altoona Herald Index altoonaherald.desmoinesregister.com
Publisher  Amy Duncan aduncan@dmreg.com aduncan@dmreg.com
Editor Adam Wilson adwilson@dmreg.com adwilson@dmreg.com
Ankeny Register and Press Citizen www.desmoinesregister.com/section/COMM01/Ankeny
Publisher Amy Duncan  aduncan@dmreg.com
Editor Prggy Nichtals pnitchals@dmreg.com pnitchals@dmreg.com
Cityview www.dmcityview.com
Publisher/Editor Shane Goodman  shane@dmcityview.com shane@dmcityview.com
Dallas County News www.adelnews.com
Editor Allison McNeal amcneal@adelnews.com amcneal@adelnews.com
Des Moines Business Record www.businessrecord.com
Publisher Janette Larkin janettelarkin@bpcdm.com
Editor Chris Conetzkey chrisconetzkey@bpcdm.com chrisconetzkey@bpcdm.com
Sr. Staff Writer Joe Gandyasz  joegandyasz@bpcdm.com
Sr. Staff Writer  Kent Darr kentdarr@bpcdm.com
Staff Writer Kyle Oppenhuizen kyleoppenhuizen@bpcdm.com
Iowa Bystander iowabystanderarticles@yahoo.com iowabystanderarticles@yahoo.com
President, CEO, Publisher Jerald Brantley Sr.
Associate Publisher Gaynelle Narcisse
Record Herald and Indianola Tribune www.indainolarecordherald.com
Publisher Amy Duncan aduncan@dmreg.com
Editor Adam Wilson adwilson@dmreg.com
The Madisonian www.wintersetmadisonian.com
editor@i-rule.net editor@i-rule.net
(Norwalk) North Warren Town and County News Publisher Steve Klein  Editor Sally Huntoon
Assiociated Press www.apiowa.org
News Editor Scott McFetridge smcfetridge@ap.org smcfetridge@ap.org
Lee Enterprises News Bureau (Quad City Times, Mason City Globe-Gazette, Muscatine Journal, Sioux City Journal, Waterloo Courier) Bureau Chief   Mike Wiser mwiser@qctimes.com mwiser@qctimes.com
Radio Iowa www.radioiowa.com
News Director O. Kay Henderson khenderson@radioiowa.com khenderson@radioiowa.com
Catholic Mirror (Monthly) www.dmdiocese.org
Editor, Anne Marie Cox acox@dmdiocese.org
Central Iowa Business (Monthly) CEO Jim Slife jslife@pioneermagazines.com jslife@pioneermagazines.com
dsm  (Quarterly) Chairperson Connie Winer conniewiner@bpcdm.com  Editor Christine Riccell dsmeditor@bpcdm.com dsmeditor@bpcdm.com
Greater Des Moines Intro (September and March) Publisher Connie Winer conniewiner@bpcdm.com Editorial Director editor@bpcdm.com
Greater Des Moines Jewish Press  (bi-monthly) http://www.jewishdesmoines.org President Barb Hirsch Giller tom@dmjfed.org (only email I could find for them) tom@dmjfed.org
Iowa Gardening (Quarterly) http://www.iowagardeningmagazine.com
CEO  Jim Sife jsife@pioneermagazines.com      Managing Editor Beth Wilson bwilson@pioneermagazines.com bwilson@pioneermagazines.com
Iowa Golf Magazine (Seasonal) CEO Jim Slife  jslife@pioneermagazines.com
President/ Publisher Rick Thomas rthomas@pioneermagazines.com
The Iowan (Bi-Monthly) www.iowan.com
Editor Beth Wilson bwilson@iowan.com bwilson@iowan.com
DBStv Ch.16-46 Drake University http://www.drakebroadcasting.com
dbstv@drake.edu dbstv@drake.edu
KCCI Ch. 8 – CBS www.kcci.com
Assignment Editor Tom Torpy ttorpy@hearst.com
General Manager Paul Frederickssen pfrederickson@hearst.com
News Director Dave Busiek  dbusiek@hearst.com dbusiek@hearst.com
Asst. Program Director Sue Knudson sknudson@hearst.com
KCWI Ch. 23-CW www.kcwi23.com
General Manager Ted Stephens tstephens@kcwi23.com tstephens@kcwi23.com
KDIN Ch. 11 IPTV www.iptv.org
General Manager Daniel Miller dkm@iptv.org
Director of Administration Kristine Houston kris@iptv.org kris@iptv.org
KDSM Ch. 17 FOX www.kdsm17.com
General Manager Mike Wilson sales@kdsm17.com sales@kdsm17.com
KFPX Ch. 30-PAX http://ionline.tv
Business Manager Marsha Theis marshatheis@ionmedia.com marshatheis@ionmedia.com
WHO Ch. 13 – NBC www.whotv.com
General Manager Dale Woods  dale.woods@whotv.com
News Director Rob Peterson rob.peterson@whotv.com rob.peterson@whotv.com
ABC 5 (formally WOI tv 5) www.myabc5.com
Vice President and General Manager Russ Hamilton rhamilton@myabc5.com
News Director  Scott Frederick  sfrederick@myabc5.com sfrederick@myabc5.com
KASI 1430 AM (Talk Radio) www.1430kasi.com
General Manager Joel McCrea
News Director Trent Rice trentrice@1430kasi.com trentrice@1430kasi.com
KAZR Lazer 103.3 FM (Active Rock) www.lazer1033.com
Program Director Ryan Patrick ryan@lazer1033.com
News Director Kate Garner kgarner@desmoinesradiogroup.com kgarner@desmoinesradiogroup.com
KBGG 1700 AM (Spanish) Program Director RW Smith rwsmith@citcomm.com rwsmith@citcomm.com
KCCQ Channel Q 105.1 FM (Adult Alternative) www.kccq.com
Program Manager Greg Chance gregchance@1051channelq.com gregchance@1051channelq.com
KDFR 91.3 FM/89.1 FM Ames (Inspirational) www.familyradio.com
Operations Manager Larry Vavroch kdfr@familyradio.org kdfr@familyradio.org
KDRB The Bus 100.3 www.thebusfm.com
Program Manager Greg Chance, gregchance@clearchannel.com gregchance@clearchannel.com
KHKI  The Hawk 97.3 FM(Country) www.973thehawk.com
Operations Manager Jack O’Brien jackobrien@citcomm.com jackobrien@citcomm.com
KGGO 94.9 The Rock That Rocks (Classic Rock) www.kggo.com
Operations Manager Steve Brill stevebrill@kjjy.com stevebrill@kjjy.com
KIOA 93.3 FM (Oldies) www.kioa.com
Program Director Tim Fox programming@kioa.com
News Director Pam Dixon pam@kioa.com pam@kioa.com
DSM Planner Guide http://www.pageturnpro.com/Business-Publications/55777-Catch-Des-Moines-Planners-Guide-2014/index.html
KISS 107.3 FM (top 40) ww.kkdm.com
Program Director, Greg Chance gregchance@kiss1075.com gregchance@kiss1075.com
KJJY 92.5  (country) www.kjjy.com
Program Director Andy Elliot andy@kjjy.com andy@kjjy.com
KLTI  Lite 104.1 FM (Soft adult contemperary) www.lite1041.com
Operations Manager/Program Director Scott Allen scott@lite1041.com
News Director Kate Garner kgarner@desmoinesradiogroup.com kgarner@desmoinesradiogroup.com
KPSZ Praise 940 AM  (Christian) www.praise940.com
General Manager Jeff Delvaux jdelvaux@desmoinesradiogroup.com jdelvaux@desmoinesradiogroup.com
KUNI 101.7 FM www.iowapublicradio.org
Bureau Chief Jeneane Becl jeneane.beck@uni.edu
News Director Jonathan Ahl jahl@iowapublicradio.com jahl@iowapublicradio.com
KRNT 1350 AM (Nostalgia) http://www.1350krnt..com
Program Director Chris Chandler chrischandler@1350krnt.com chrischandler@1350krnt.com
KSTZ Star 102.5 FM (Hot Adult Contemporary) www.star1025.com
Operations Manager Program Director Scott Allen scott@lite1041.com scott@lite1041.com
KWKY New Life 1150 AM (Christian Talk) www.kwky.com
Executive Director Mike Peters mpeters@kwky.com mpeters@kwky.com
KXNO 1460 AM (Sports Talk) www.kxno.com
www.kxno.com
Program Director Van Harden vanharden@clearchannel.com vanharden@clearchannel.com
News Director Jim Boyd jimboyd@clearchannel.com
WHO 1040 AM (News Talk) www.whoradio.com
News Director Jim Boyd jimboyd@clearchannel.com
Program Director Van Harden vanharden@clearchannel.com vanharden@clearchannel.com
WOI 90.1  FM 640 AM (News Talk) www.iowapublicradio.com
News Director Jonathan Ahl  jahl@iowapublicradio.com
News Room news@iowapublicradio.com news@iowapublicradio.com
Iowa Politics (non partisan) www.iowapolitics.com
Business Cheif Lynn Campbell campbell@iowapolitics.com campbell@iowapolitics.com
Silicon Prarie News www.siliconprarienews.com editor@siliconprarienews.com
Editor editor@siliconprarienews.com
Fairs and Events http://www.fairsandfestivals.net/states/IA/

Group it Up: Facebook Groups

As a part of so many variety of ways I market myself, seek out vendors for my shows and advertise, I have had a number of people ask me for the information. This list is constantly growing and changing so in the future I will try to keep it up to date for you all but for now, I thought some of you might be interested in a sample in where I look for Vendor Shows to have a booth at, where I post about my upcoming shows and other Groups I am a part of for connections.

As a hint, if you keep in mind to search for the types of things you are selling or looking for, then you will get a great idea of groups to join and be a part of. These are only FB Groups today. I will share my Linked In and other groups I am a part of on another post.

Name of FB Page to share Event info Link for Fb Page
Vendor Shows For Consultants/Crafters/Vendors https://www.facebook.com/groups/569133136442864/
Mavens, Models , Moguls & More https://www.facebook.com/groups/348665345254715/
Vendor Shows for Iowa only https://www.facebook.com/groups/195528333913230/
Central Iowa Vendors https://www.facebook.com/groups/centraliowavendors/
Upcoming Gigs Shows https://www.facebook.com/groups/INTHEMOMENTENT/
The Referral Marketing Network https://www.facebook.com/groups/152891614779060/
Unprofessional Development https://www.facebook.com/groups/539930606070641/
DM Art Share https://www.facebook.com/groups/534760349897112/
Made by Hand Crafters https://www.facebook.com/groups/345351428815950/
Anime I Con https://www.facebook.com/groups/4120657746/
Iowa Music United https://www.facebook.com/groups/IOWAMUSICUNITED/
Handmade DSM https://www.facebook.com/groups/252601434868319/
DM Buy Sell Trade https://www.facebook.com/groups/278189078894997/
Craft/Vendor/Bridal Shows in the Midwest https://www.facebook.com/groups/201441339954362/
IA Vendors and Crafters Listing https://www.facebook.com/groups/150075625175063/?ref=notif&notif_t=group_added_to_group
Norwalk Buy/Sell/Trade Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/238394842919236/
Iowa Home Based Business Consultants Directory https://www.facebook.com/groups/218722131530674/
Illinois-Iowa-Missouri Direct Sales Opportunities https://www.facebook.com/groups/170439629760584/
Direct Sales https://www.facebook.com/groups/EliteDirectSales/
Direct Sales (DSNF) Promoting, Networking, Recruiting and Sharing https://www.facebook.com/groups/EliteDirectSales/
Promoting Direct Sales https://www.facebook.com/pages/Promoting-Direct-Sales/406299739489263
Des Moines Art Share https://www.facebook.com/groups/534760349897112/
I’m a VENDOR, I need a EVENT
Greater Des Moines Buy/Sell Trade Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/278189078894997/?ref=br_tf
Des Moines Ia Classifieds https://www.facebook.com/groups/northsidedsmclassifieds/
Strictly vendor events no advertising- Iowa https://www.facebook.com/groups/390955900993384/
Des Moines Business Mixer https://www.facebook.com/groups/tuesdaybusinessmixer/?ref=br_tf
Home Consultants & Small businesses of Iowa20+ https://www.facebook.com/groups/113079998782805/
DSM mom blog https://www.facebook.com/DesMoinesMomsBlog

Of course, as I said, these are jsut a few of the groups. Go into the Facebook Search area and Search

 

Vendor

Craft

Handmade

Direct Sales

MLM

Shows

(Then also look for groups with your local name in int)

De sMoines, Norwalk, etc..

 

Hoe these ideas help ya out!

If you have anything to add, let me know. I love to hear back from ya!

Until Next Time,

XOXO Trisha Trixie

Venues

Working with venues I have found to be of a challenging nature already. I am learning hard and fast lessons about it that I just had to share with you.

Every venue has their cost and I am learning that you get what you pay for.

Here are the first set of basics I think you have to ask yourself:

  • Understand first of all why you are doing this. Why are you planning your event? Why are going to go through all of this? If you understand that then it will make all the chaos afterward worth it. Fund raiser? Raise awareness? Bring talent together?
  • Who is going to come to these events? Who are the attendees?
  • Budget of the event? What are you willing to spend?
  • What are you trying to earn?
  • How to make the event different, Unique, not like all the rest, not like the others, not like the rest of your competition or the rest of the town
  • Who is going to be doing what? Are you doing it all? Are you going to have help? Are you delegating to others? Are you hiring out?
  • How are you going to promote it?

To me, these are my Make Sures: You know…make sure you….and other info…

  • Make sure you know what is included in the cost when looking for venues
  • Make sure you know if they are going to let you set up the night before
  • Make sure you know if even if you do get to set up the night before if your set up will be secure the night before as mine was ravaged and I had re set it back up anyway
  • Make sure electrical is covered in the cost and if not what is the cost per each vendor use
  • Check other events in the area to make sure you are not competing with other markets such as yours. This can be daunting since you could check and then right before your event someone could plan something you have no control over.
  • Make sure you do lots of advertising and marketing to promote for your event
  • Make sure to post lots of signs as the establishment may not have good sign age (as my establishment did not)
  • Make sure to set your pricing for the vendors so that you do more than break even. Divide the cost of the event venue by the cost of the table fee you are planning on charging. Then double that fee for cost or double that by tables. If you don’t you will do a lot of work for nothing.
  • Make sure to plan to have food at your event. Either have food vendors or have concessions. Some venues have concessions that you can have at the events but if they don’t have such things look for vendors who sell food.
  • If you are not planning food like this perhaps plan on having a few people bring some pot luck items in the kitchen so people are able to eat.
  • Make sure to check the wifi status of the venue when you get there to scope it out. Make sure you have it. Check the strength, etc. Nowadays with everyone having swipes and squares without WIFI having these shows is useless.
  • Make sure to Plan out a map of your event of where each vendor is located. This helps you as well as guests know where to place people. However, for me I had people all placed and then people canceled. Then people wanted to move and I neglected to check who they wanted to move across from and found as I was walking by that they were across from their competitors. Not good.
  • Make sure to Remember you can only do the best you can. Don’t beat yourself up.
  • Consider a theme and decorations. This will help bring everything together but it is not mandatory.
  • Plan your event a month at least ahead of time.
  • Go see the venue and check everything out.
  • Measure the spaces fit the venue.
  • Make sure there is enough tables, electrical outlets etc if that is needed. I made the mistake of taking the venues word for it only to find out two days ahead that there were not and then we were scrambling.
  • As well, the event venue thought I would show up on day of to do everything and if I had we would NOT have had enough tables or outlets as they had ripped all the outlets out.
  • Try to have fun raffles. Ask vendors to donate items to the raffle but make sure they understand it is Not mandatory. It cost each vendor to do these things so it is up to them. However it helps market their brand so it benefits them in the long run.
  • Have entertainment or something fun going on. This makes it more fun for the vendors and the attendees.
  • Try Not to plan everything yourself. Sure sage words if yo can do that. However, I am one business and one person. I would love to have help and ask many people with no response. I get annoyed and irritated if I keep asking and no one is willing to help. If you can get help, that is great. If you want to plan it yourself, if you think you can do it yourself go ahead. But be-warned, it is a LOT of work. At some point you WILL need help. In the end, I had helpers with the raffles, tables, chairs, set up and take down and a few various things here and there. For the future I am trying to offer rewards to those who bring in sales for future events.
  • Don’t assume your guests will enjoy the event and just love how you did everything. On the flip side actually. I figured the vendors hated how I arranged it, I figured the guests didn’t arrive because I did something wrong. I figured all the opposite. But then I told myself, I did my best because I did. In the end, that is all you can do.

for tools…

I found Google Docs and Google Drive and Google Forms to be the best tools to use.

I used and created a Google Form for everyone to fill out. I asked all the questions I needed and used this as my interest form AND contract. At the end they need to sign and Date it. Once they have done that it goes into a Google Database that is connected to my gmail. I set a notification that alerted me when anything was changed or updated so I could stay on top of it. This is also how I made sure I did not duplicate vendors. This went to Google Drive and saved it into a Google Spreadsheet. I created extra tabs for the three events I am hosting. I copied the information into those sheets so I knew who would be at each even and who needed tables, electrical, and who had an had not paid. I also kept track of who I had contacted, how many times and when I had given them a final warning. I highlighted their name in green and marked PAID when paid. I marked in RED once I had given final warning after three times and had not heard.

After I get their info I email them with info to my Square account info for a payment I created. They can pay me via Square and it is all secure. It send them a confirmation and then I also see it and sent them a separate confirmation. This is how I keep track.

In the Google Spreadsheet I also have separate tabs of Vendors, Venues, Performers, FB Groups I promote to, Other Places I promote to, and other leads. I can also share this with my team to help me keep track of everything.

In the end, no matter what you do, you can’t make people show up. You can be the best at advertising, marketing, and make sure everything is perfect and then the weather craps out on you and no one wants to go out or the weather is great and no one wants to shop. Either way it is up to the people. They are either going to come to your event or their not.

Do your best. Use what works for you. Enjoy it. If you hate it, I would say Event Planning is not for you. It can be stressful.It can be a delight. It can also make you want to never do it again.

My fiancée’ made me laugh this morning when he said, “Handling vendors for events is like handling kids. They either are happy or their not. You can’t please them all. You just have to do your best and someone is always going to yell that someone is touching them!” LOL