Summers are just crawling with lots of awesome local vendor table opportunities.
People are out and about and you can really take advantage of the inexpensive, outdoor vendor tables at fairs, community festivals, art shows, wine festivals, carnivals and more!
I have been to more than my fair share of events over the last 10 years and I’m STUNNED at the vendor table set ups many times. It’s like people just decided that morning, “Hey! I think I will go set up a booth today!” They’re messy, overcrowded displays that honestly look like yard sale tables! Let’s talk about 3 important steps when it comes to planning for a booth event!
1. Design with Purpose:
When you are talking about your booth layout, you need to design with purpose.
How much space do you have?
What do you want to have happen in that space?
Do you want a U-shape where customer physically “enters” your booth space?
Or do you want to have one single table out front?
Chairs or no chairs?
How many people can be in/at your booth at one time?
Where will you take orders?
Where does the excess stock and the carrying tubs go?
You need to think this all through long before you are at the event. I have been so many vendor events before where I completely skip over a booth because how they have it set up does not work, it is not welcoming and it is just awkwardly set up. Draw it out in advance or better yet, set it up in advance in your basement or office so you can get a good look at it and what you are thinking, sometimes you just need to “try it on” and see if it fits, kinda like that outfit you thought was amazing until you actually tried it on in the dressing room. What you think looks good in your head doesn’t always look good once you try it, right? Take the time to make this right!
2. Decorate with Intention:
People are attracted to your vendor table by what they see when they first glance at the table. People will judge and decide whether they will approach your table in the first 3 seconds of seeing it. You need to really UP your decor game. Spend some time researching tablescapes because that is basically what you are building here.
Every inch of your tablescape (and your booth as a whole) needs to work together and be visually stimulating. Pick a theme for your table. For example, this summer you could do a Fun in the Sun theme and feature a large beach towel as your tablecloth, sand buckets to hold catalogs, etc. Think outside of the box, stroll down the summer aisle at the Dollar Store and get creative!
3. Dress for Success!
Anyone who knows me know that I am not a dress up girl! I like to be totally comfortable, you will never catch me at a vendor event in a dress or even in professional dress because it is not in my personality, but you will always find me dressed for success. I ALWAYS wear logowear like it is a uniform when I do my events. I want people to know what company I am with as soon as they see me, whether they are coming to my booth, or if they see me out and about at the event.
Just like people judge your table before they approach it, trust me, they are pre-judging you too. Fix your hair, put on a little make up and be ready to meet and greet everyone you see! And let’s be honest, it’s not just them judging us, we tend to pre-judge them to, we all do it!! Make sure you’re dressed for success and you’re approachable and smiling! It seems sad that I even have to write about this part, but like I said, I have been a part of many, many vendor events and I have seen more bedheads and just-slept-in-this outfits than I care to admit.
This blog post was inspired by a recent vendor event where the entire event felt very bland and boring, and I got the impression that the guests at the event felt the same way. People were just kinda wandering around, glancing at booths. I was the most popular booth at the event, which is great for me, but it made me sad to see so many guests just buzz by the other tables without really stopping.
Have FOOD at your booth. Whether it’s a bowl of candy, cookies, popcorn, I don’t care. Have something that will attract people. And KIDS. How hard would it be to print out some coloring sheets and throw a box of crayons in a bowl for kiddos?
And don’t be boring. If you’re doing a theme (cause you should be), relate it to the theme. Do you want to be remembered for boring mints? Or do you want to be remembered for handing out Pop Rocks with a sticker that says “(insert business) ROCKS”. Your coloring sheets for the kids, relate it to your theme. Do something to stand out from the crowd. Crazy sells.
Next vendor event I have, I bringing a megaphone. And anyone who shouts “I love (insert business) gets $5 off their order that day. Why? Because it’s INSANE. And HILARIOUS. And the fun people will DO IT! And when they do, guess what? Everyone will turn around and LOOK at my booth to figure out what the fuss is all about. They’ll wonder why we’re over there having fun and laughing. And they’ll be next.
Have a great week everyone! What is YOUR favorite thing to do at a vendor event? Tell us below!
Melissa Fietsam @DirectlySocial
So … you know how I have mentioned my business BFF, Melanie Moore, a few times here on the blog? Well, she has been after me to blog about this topic for a long time because she believes it is a resource that every direct seller needs, whether you have been in the business 10 days or 10 years. I will be honest, I kept pushing back on her about writing about this because it is totally out of my norm for this blog, it is something I am not an expert in, and truthfully it is a little depressing talking about insurance and accidents … but here comes a #truthbomb – “sometimes bad stuff happens to good people”! I want nothing more than to share an awesome resource that could help you should any of that bad stuff happen to you, something that will protect the well-being of your family & your personal family finances!
So here we are, I am going to do it!
We are going to talk about getting BUSINESS INSURANCE for your direct sales business!
YES, such a thing does exist!
YES, you can get it quickly and easily!
YES, you need it!
Why You Need Business Insurance:
Times have changed, my friends, and if you do not have insurance coverage for your business, you should! You are entering people’s private homes, what if you knock over the Hostess’s prize possession with your bag? Or you are carrying-pulling-dragging products, tables, garment racks, and shelving units into vendor events, what if you take out another vendor’s table or worse, hit a child with one of your poles as you blindly walk in carrying more than you should because you are trying to minimize your trips in and out to the car? And with the Spring vendor event season upon us, I have noticed more and more venues requiring “proof of insurance” in order to participate. Do you have proof of insurance for your business? Most home owner’s policies DO NOT cover your business.
I know, I get it, “but that would never happen to me”. But that’s just it, it DOES happen to people like us every day. You need to think proactively for your business and be prepared for the “what if”, just like you do for your home, your health and your cars. Insurance exists to cover the unknown and the accidents.
I am sure you can connect with your own local insurance provider and get quotes, but I went with an insurance company that was referred to me. Just so you know, I do not get any kick backs for this, I just want to provide you with information and a valuable resource that I have found to get you & your family protected!
This insurance company specifically caters to direct sellers and understands our language, that is what I like about them. For only $75 a year, you get $2 million in general liability insurance for your business (including property and bodily injury), plus $3,000 for property coverage (including products and samples). I have looked into other options and for me, this is the best deal.
Printable Insurance Certificates for Events:
But here is what I love the most about this company, the printable event insurance certificates! I can download and print them myself anytime I need to provide them for an event (I just bring it with me to each event). Other companies require you to request a certificate and then you wait until they send it, some charge you extra to print a certificate, but with this company, I can just go print it on my own whenever I need it. They have been a Direct Sales Association Supplier for 27 years, which is quite impressive. And I know that they offer health insurance for Independent Contractors too, but I have not looked into that yet myself, you can check it out on their website.
When you apply for coverage from them, you will have to choose your company from the dropdown menu, they cover A LOT of companies, but not every company out there. A quote from their FAQ page says, “Because we must look at the nature of the product being sold, we must qualify all direct selling companies. When you enroll you need to select from the approved list of companies the one you represent. If your company does not show up on our list then our insurance carrier has not approved issuing a policy to cover your activities on their behalf. We cannot write policies unless your company is on the approved list of companies. Remember coverage will only be for you as a sale representative for the company you register for as an authorized representative.”
Do Your Own Research:
I invite you to check out getting insurance specifically for your business, the truth is …. when you are working with tons of people, taking credits cards and cash, carrying things in and out of locations … you just never know what is going to happen. I am not claiming to know everything about everything when it comes to business insurance, but I can tell you for certain that for $75 a year, it gives me enormous peace of mind that my family is protected from loss. You will need to do your own due diligence and research what is best for your family.
Here is the company we are referring to in this article: http://www.independentdirectsellers.org/