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.
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?
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.
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