Holiday Bazaars – Love them or Hate Them?

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Happy Saturday!  It is the first Saturday in November and the first of many weekends filled with Holiday Vendor events.  I LOVE doing vendor events well they used to be called craft shows.  I have about 30+ years experience in craft shows.  I am now an “Angel” crafter.  I love making angels – with bells, as ornaments, and in plastic canvas. This is just one of the styles…

angel ornament

Yes, I squirreled.  Today I am in Farmingdale sharing the gift of Thirty One:

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As a direct seller it is a great way to meet new people, expand your customer base, book a few parties and who knows maybe even recruit a new team member.  Did you notice that I didn’t say “sell some products”? I know it sounds crazy but the truth is that I never go to a vendor event with the thought of “selling”.  Thirty One – like most direct sales companies – is a party plan business. Yes, we love the retail orders.  Yes, we love to sell at events.  The truth is that “face to face” is “heart to heart”.  The more people we share our products with in the form of a party, the bigger our business will grow.

According to Lynn Bardowski, Million Dollar Party Girl, here are some basic questions to ask BEFORE you commit to doing a vendor event:

  1. Is this the first time you’re holding the event?  If not, how many attendees did you have last year?
  2. Who attends (Moms, families, etc…)? Note: Pets and children are big distractions.  If you decide to do one with children, have something for them – stickers, coloring sheets, etc.
  3. What kind of marketing are you doing for the event?
  4. Do you have a Facebook event page I can share and post my website link on?
  5. How many vendors total (be wary of too many vendors)?
  6. Will you provide a table? If yes, what size is it? 
  7. Is there a fee? Note: Most will ask for a table fee ($25 – $30 avg) or a % of sales, and  a $25 door prize donation. I prefer a % of sales because it only costs you money if you make money. Everything is negotiable. Ask if you can donate a % of sales instead of an upfront fee before you say yes.
  8. Are you going to have duplicate vendors (more than one of a product type or industry)? This is a no-no in must direct sales companies per their Policies and Procedures.
  9. Tell me about your school/group/charity…how many active members do you have? (The more active members, the more successful the vendor event will be.)
  10. Do you have access to electricity and/or wireless internet?

For me, the most important thing is foot traffic.  If there is foot traffic then I have an opportunity to share the gift of my business with everyone that walks by my table.  The truth is that when I changed my perspective from “getting sales” to “making contacts”, I found that I had sales.  Relationships are the key to every direct selling business.  You start building those relationships at the event and then continue them as you do follow-up.  Remember the “money is in the follow-up“.  If you don’t plan on following up with people, why are you taking their information, right?

Did you know that 70% of direct sellers will make 80% of their money during the holiday season?  Don’t get me wrong, that is GREAT but wouldn’t you like that business to carry throughout the year?  Use vendor events as a stepping stone to build relationships and your business so that you can make money all year long.

What is your best tip for a successful vendor event?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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