When I did Vendor Planning years ago the market was such a different market. For one we did not have Facebook that people would expect to message you on and reach out to you. Honestly I wish I could turn off FB Messenger just for that reason. It is not a viable way or means of reaching out to someone as not everyone uses it and some people never look at it.
Also, back then everything was handwritten contracts and checks. Now I am happy that the internet allows us to use Paypal and Square to make that more seamless as I can’t even tell you how many bounced checks I would get or how many people would show up saying they would pay me on that day and then never would.
But still, even with those issues, I would rather be back in that time of Event Planning. I used to plan Weddings, Birthday Parties, Office Parties, Launch Parties and Vendor Parties. It was so different then. The people were different, the expectations we different, and for vendor events, the vendors were different.
Nowadays we have the younger generation of vendors who have entitlement issues expecting that they just show up, paly on the phone and people should WANT to stop by their booth and buy from them. This is not the case. You need to be proactive. Just showing up does nothing. Stand up. Greet your customer. Look ready to do business with them. If you are playing on your phone you are not prepared to meet or greet them and they often will just walk by you. The person next to you who IS engaged and proactive will end up then getting that business. That is not the vendor next to you’s fault that you don’t know how to get a customer or a sale.
Every vendor show I have recently done has allowed me to learn a new set of rules, ideas and thoughts abotu teh shows tht I want to share with you because I feel honestly, maybe people just don’t know these things.
None of these are a personal attack on anyone, it is merely lessons I learned and things for you to take note on.
Vendor Kids and Babies:
Having your child stop by, having them sit with you for the first hour, or the last, this I understand. Vendor kidlets need to stay home otherwise. If your child is old enough to have their own mini booth or help you do sales, that is a different issue. I used to go to the Swap Meet at 8 years old and help my grandpops. Children get ancy, babies cry, these are all human nature for their age. I understand about them being children. However, a vendor show is not the right venue to bring them because it stifles that child in them. Even a 4 hour show is a LONG time for a child to have to try and be quiet, most especially a baby.
I understand there are issues and reasons why you can’t, but professional courtesy is to tell the planner your situation if you really have no one else or if the husband is away. It makes it easier for the planner to combat off remarks from guests or vendors.
Replacement Vendors: Even if you have everything covered with the planner, it is up to each new vendor to reach out and connect. Not only is it professional it assures you and the planner that you and they have everything ready for you and there are no surprises with tables not being there for you. Another planner I spoke with this week said she doesn’t even allow replacements. I think this rule is something I need to adopt as well. This last show I had THREE replacements and one didn’t even tell me it was going to be someone else until they showed up. As a planner, make it clear what you allow because this can get sticky. Believe me, I know. I have had to deal with the aftermath of this situation since this last show because of it.
Toil Trouble or should I say Toilet: If you are at an event, don’t use wads of TP. Also, don’t use a vendors toilet for your Teet from the Seat time or (sorry to be so blunt) use it to take the dump of a lifetime. And if you clog it up, be mature enough to say so. A floor full of water and an out of order toilet doesn’t help the rest of the vendors, or the guests who are trying to enjoy the show. Guests have to go home to or someone else to facilitiate themselves, they walk out with the business they were going to give you. 😦
Be Prepared: Not every vendor or craft show has tables and chairs. It is up to you to have those items for yourself. Always bring them with you EVEN IF the vendor says they have one for you. Then in case there is a mishap, one doesn’t get held for you, or there is a miscommunication, you are covered. Also make sure you have your tablecloths, swipe card and a back up if wifi isn’t working or if they don’t have it. Have receipt books, or use the new Offline Mode. It is up to YOU to make sure you have all the things you need for business.
Vendor Space: Abide to your vendor space. If you pay for one spot, don’t bring a load of stuff and push your way into another space. If you need to bring a drill and two men to set it up for you, then you might have too large a space for a small event. That style of setup is more geared for an EXPO not a small Craft or Vendor Show. Also, if you have to move things around so you can fit, please be respectful and put things back they way you found or at least let the vendor planner know. I spent a lot of extra time putting things back because vendors moved them around. Your booth should be able to set up and take down in one hour. Planners often have to pay for the extra time for set up and tear down and often that cost is nto relayed to you. If it was your $25 booth would have been, $50 or $100. Please be respectful of their time and respectufl of other vendors space as well.
Spot Reservations Special Needs or Issues: If you have a tall banner, a tall back drop, are allergic to scents, or need or desire any special access, please make sure to tell the planner of that ahead of time. Showing up the day of and asking to be moved creates hardships. It is better to know beforehand.
Not happy with your surroundings? If you say nothing then you are not allowing the planner to help alleviate the problem. Please be open with the planner and talk to them about your issues. If you feel like you are not being heard, SAY SO! Say “I feel like I am not being heard” Then we or I would at least say ” What may I do to help you feel you ARE being heard?” and then we can try to alleviate it. Please don’t drone on complaining. Complaining for the sake of complaining gets no resolution accomplished. No one ends up learning anything and then both parties feel frustrated and harsh words can be said on either side.
Also, please go directly to the person you have an issue with. do not go to your upline and complain. Go to the planner. If you are mature enough to have a booth and sell at a show, you should be mature enough to handle the situation on your own. If not, do me a favor, don’t come to my shows. Seriously. I expect vendors to be mature and respectful. I expect them to be able to handle their own battles. I expect them to get their own sales. It is not my job to sell their product for them. That is on them.
Lessons, Classes, Training: I realize some people don’t know how to sell, are just starting out, don’t know things like standing up at your booth looks better than sitting down, I get it. You may be uneducated when it come to how to run a great booth. I will try and have some suggestions and such on my blog, but also consider there are MANY resources at our disposal now and MANY for free. Google things, research, take E-Courses, learn from Kat Rocketship at Make/Break classes, or look on You Tube. go to networking or local seminars where they teach you those things. It will make a difference in not only how you present yourself, the brand you are representing or your own brand, but it will also change the amount and value of your sales.
I apologize if this post in any way seems snarky. I have tried to re-edit it as many times as possible. This last show wore on me so much that I seriously am thinking about getting out of the Vendor Market after my next upcoming show. The positive I got out it was the lessons I learned that I am trying to share with you. Perhaps I am not coming across the best in this post because it was quite frustrating to me. I am not trying to offend anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings. I feel these things need to be relayed and said so others can learn from them too.
I wish you all well and hope these things are helpful to you in any way possible.
Until Next Time,
XoXo Trisha Trixie