Have your first vendor event? Here’s some tips!

direct sales planning side hustle success vendor events Jan 21, 2020

There’s something totally intimidating after you’ve just signed up for your first vendor event, craft show, etc. and now you’ve paid and you’re like…”Now, what?” Here are some quick tips to help you plan for your day in advance so it goes smoothly and you make your vendor fee back in profit…and then some! The linked items below are affiliate links but I only link items I really love and use! Thanks for supporting this website by clicking through the links. Now on to the tips.

Solicit help

Unless it’s a very small vendor event, you’re going to want to have a back up person with you to help. It’s especially nice to have someone with you to help unload and reload your supplies which I’ll list below. Additionally, it’s nice to be able to run to the bathroom or grab a quick bite to eat without worrying about leaving your tables unattended. As an added bonus, when your booth gets really busy, having a helper who knows your products or who can at least ring people out is extremely helpful!

Have plenty of inventory

I’m not saying go in debt buying or making all your products, but you want to bring with you more than you think you’ll need. As a general rule, the more you have, the more you’ll sell. People like choices and to not feel like everything is “picked over.” Worst case, make sure you have some brochures and a way people can order on hand, but I’ve found cash and carry items sell the best.

General Supplies

Obviously these supplies will vary based on the product you are selling. I’ll list here what I bought for my Color Street vendor events, and share some things my sister uses for her jewelry events for her Bellabling business.

Collapsable tables- We have both a four-foot one for checking people out and a six-foot one for displaying inventory. We could probably do a couple more six-foot tables.

Black Tablecloth– Black just looks classy I think and you can always add a design with your Circut if you want!

Folding Chairs– Take however many you need for you and helpers

Tabletop Pocket Charts for your products (This is what I use for my nail polish strips)

Money Box– with PLENTY of change in it. Don’t forget this!

Baskets for raffles/inventory. Print out some customer lead slips ahead of time.

Tote to carry inventory and money easily. We use a 31 tote we got on clearance and then this with wheels. You’ll thank me for the wheels!

Picture frames to put print outs of pricing/explanations in (Check your local Dollar Tree for these too)

Pens to collect info/raffle cards- You want to collect info for LEADS and to FOLLOW UP. So important!

Bags to put products in when they sell (and stick your business card in that bag too!)

Business Cards

Samples (for Color Street we have two-finger accent nail samples)

Your phone or device with the Square app loaded (You get $1000 in free processing with this link). Also request your card reader in advance too (at least a month) to avoid an extra fee for typing the card in.

Apron with pockets so you can keep the things you need the most right on you

Scissors because you never know

Small trash bag because you will have more trash than you know

Masking Tape just in case

People buy YOU, not the products

Okay, yes they are buying your product. But why do they buy it from you? Because you are personable, you smile at them, and you connect with them. You are not ignoring them and you go out of your way to say hello! For Color Street, I smile to everyone and say, “Hi! Have you ever heard of Color Street?” Responses I get are either, “Yes! I love it!”, or “No, I haven’t yet. What is it?” BOOM! There you go. So smile, reach out to people walking by and at least say hello, and let people know you’re there to help them shop. A little hospitality and customer service goes a long way. If you need extra coffee that morning, then maybe add that to your supplies list as well!

I hope your vendor event goes well and you meet lots of amazing new people! Have fun with it. Your day will be what you make of it, so enjoy and bring a book to read if it gets slow. One last tip: go early and network with other vendors. Lots of my best customers for life have come from this time. Don’t arrive rushed and late and miss this time to be calm, poised, and ready for your day! Most of all, believe in yourself. You got this, girl!



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