We’ve all passed up those vendors sitting behind their boring booths with an unhappy look on their face. They’ve been stuck in the same routine for far too long and barely flinch when a single sale comes through. Here are a handful of great tips to ensure you don’t be come one of these sellers…

Set Up Contracts

Most likely, the best way to expand your customer base is by going through another customer base. Your purchasers are already out there in existing venues, consistent events, and even at the booths next to yours. Don’t re-invent the wheel when it comes to marketing, instead, try to establish connections with trusted venue owners, promoters, and sellers that you could have a symbiotic relationship with. For example, if you sell food, set up a contract with a venue that doesn’t yet offer meals. The venue owner won’t need to take any additional risks and will be able to provide a new experience.

Sponsorships

Sponsoring doesn’t mean sacrificing. In fact, it usually means great promotion. For example, if you sell t-shirts at a concert, try and contact artists on the lineup beforehand and offer them free items in exchange for some Facebook shout-outs. On the day of the concert, make sure that they wear your shirt before going on stage and you’ll have free promotion from the hired photographers. Even throwing shirts out into a crowd at a charity show is bound to start a buzz. Eventually, you’ll have so many people wanting to be sponsored you’ll need application requirements.

Encourage Interaction

Let’s face it, most people who stop by at your booth won’t stay for more than a few minutes. In that short time, be sure to hand them a business card, sticker, or catalog to look at so they have to interact with you. If you can do more for them than just take their money, it will set you apart from most lazy vendors. Feedback cards offering free lunch raffles make customers feel like they are being listened to.

Show Off

Don’t just set up a regular table or tent, be creative! If people are blown away from your presentation, they’ll tell their friends (and even strangers at the event). For summer art festivals, I’ve tried giant speakers playing low-volume music and a few spray bottles with fans- the result was being the center of attention during a hot day. Even if people weren’t buying anything, more potential customers stopped by. Giant signs and funny costumes work great as well, just make sure to appear approachable.

Price Appropriately

Walk around and look at what other sellers are pricing their goods at. If you’re selling posters at $25 and there is an artist selling prints of their originals for $15, you’ll need to lower your price to compete. Also, consider having different prices for different times. You might not be able to sell your posters at the beginning of a festival (no one wants to carry those around), but do a 50% markdown at the end when people are walking out and a lot of them will reconsider.

Know Your Market

Do you research on what festivals and shows you are paying to sell at. Being surrounded by too many of the wrong people can end in bad exposure. I once had a friend who paid to get a booth to sell “I Fu*kin’ Love Dubstep” stickers at an all-trance event. Sure, it was close to the genre (EDM), but the audience didn’t take too kindly to the brashness and he didn’t sell a single one. If what you are selling is considered controversial, take a look at who else is vending beforehand.

Iman

Iman Peera is an EDM promoter, event coordinator, and intern at WorkExchangeTeam and WRAS 88.5 in Atlanta, GA. He is also a webmaster and blogger part-time while striving for his BBA in Marketing at Georgia State University.
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