Vendor events are a popular and effective way to help you grow your business through a variety of means. First, it can inform you of educational opportunities like business seminars and training events you can attend, because as you know – if you aren’t growing, then neither is your business.
Another reason to consider a vendor event is to visit as an attendee (prior to participating as a vendor) so you can be more aware of the kind of results to expect. This will also allow you to see who your competitors are, as well as learn more about those who could turn into a synergistic referral partner.
After attending as a participant, you can then better decide if it will be worth your while to participate as a vendor. Once you make that decision, you will put a lot of time, effort and resources into that vendor event, so how can you make sure you get the best return on your investment? The KEY is in the PREPARATION!
Whether you are hosting a vendor booth at an event, attending a conference, a professional networking group, or any other type of professional event, here’s a quick list for you to review that covers some of the basic preparation you will need to do in order to experience the best results possible:
What is your Goal – What are you looking to accomplish? Pick ONE of the following goals and focus your efforts on accomplishing that ONE goal:
- Recruits, new clients, new referral partners
- Sell products
- Build your prospect list / email list / or social media presence
- Grow relationships by setting one-on-one appointments
If the event you are attending is a vendor event and you are hosting a booth, here are some key questions to ask and elements to prepare for far in advance.
Signage / Branding:
- What are the vendor requirements for signage? What types of signs are permitted? Do you need floor signs, table signs, hanging signs, and/or flyers? What dimensions do the signs need to be? What tools are supplied to hang them, or are you responsible for that?
- Will you have electronic signs or a video presentation? If so, is there an electrical outlet provided for you? If not, you will need to ensure you have enough battery power or rethink your booth’s concept.
- Who will make your signs, and how much time is needed to order them? What format does the sign company need the digital signs in order to print?
- Can you create ‘evergreen’ signs that you can use for multiple functions?
- How will your booth be branded? What kind of tables and/or table cloths will be provided (if any)? If they provide those elements, does it match your branding? What will you need to bring to ensure your table / booth has a good flow, is well-branded, and reflects what you want to communicate?
- Do you have marketing products to give away like pens, bags, buttons, certificates, magnets, journals, water bottles, chocolates, etc.? Do you have enough? Do you need to order more or create new ones?
- What are the demographics of those attending the event?
- What are their overall needs and challenges, and how can your products or services help solve a problem for them?
- Does your marketing / branding / messaging come across clear to someone just walking by your booth? Without even asking, will they be able to figure out what you do? (It is not a good strategy to be mysterious so people come and ask you what you do. The majority of people will walk away. Confusion and questions do not entice people to engage.)
- How are you going to collect information for follow-up?
- Are you going to offer a door prize in exchange for people’s information? If so, is it clearly marked with signage to draw people in?
- Do you have giveaways or downloads you can send to everyone who gives you their information?
- Have you implemented a clear follow-up strategy to ensure no one falls through the cracks, enabling you to connect with everyone who came by your booth?
Whether you are in Network Marketing, a corporate executive, or an entrepreneur looking to grow your business, the most important part of every event (and educational seminar) you participate in is the Follow-Up! That is the only way you can be sure to exceed even your own expectations for event results. Remember – your success depends on YOU!
(If you have not yet developed your own follow-up strategy, be sure to check out Soar 2 Success: It’s Not Stalking, It’s Follow Up – 47 Tips to Growing Your Business with a Proven Follow-Up System.)
As Featured in the following Soar 2 Success Tip Books:
Authored by Elizabeth McCormick