Recently I started signing up for vendor shows in and around my area. I started designing jewelry in April 2017. As I had been laid off from my job and wanted to find new ways of expressing my creative side. I opened a shop on Etsy, but no one came! I’ve tweeted, pinned, stumbled, shared to Facebook. I did EVERYTHING I could think of. In the mean time I also started selling Lipsense and Country Scents Candles. As I figured the people weren’t going to come to me, I needed to go to them! I joined many vendor groups and small business owner groups on Facebook and started signing up for vendor events. Some events I am just doing my jewelry, others my lipsense and yet others my candles. So, as a newbie to the vendor circuit, here are some vendor show tips that I’ve learned.
Display – You want some height, but not a lot to be overbearing. I asked my brother in law to build me a display stand for my earrings and they turned out great! I found the idea on Pinterest and sent the image to him with the dimensions. We didn’t do as big, but that was fine! What he came up with was perfect for me. Especially since he used wood and well, I’m a weakling and having to carry it by myself?
A mistake that I made was putting out too much. The two shows that I was in so far, were outdoors. And, oh my goodness! It was windy! As you know, jewelry is lightweight. I had them attached to my business cards and they were blowing all around! So I asked my brother in law if he could make me two more! I would put my earrings on the stands and my bracelets and wine charms on the table. Lesson learned!
Make the display pretty. I did mine on a budget. (Remember, laid off!) So at Walmart, they had those plastic crate like bins on sale. I grabbed two for .50 cents each and went into the fabric aisle and got an 18″ x 18″ piece of fabric to cover it. That was used for height as well. Unfortunately, with the wind the fabric kept blowing around showing the crates! Thankfully the rest of the shows are indoors! (I am in shows every week but two through Christmas!)
Use fun display ideas. I love wine, so I used wine bottles I purchased at Walmart to display some of my bracelets! Let your personality show and give your customers an insight to who you are.
Outdoor Tip – If you have a show that is outdoors. I strongly recommend finding a way to keep your tablecloth from blowing around! Mine was going crazy and when it blew up, it tipped my earrings over backwards. I spent more time than not, trying to right the earrings on the table. (See my comment of putting too much out and asking my brother in law for another stand!) At the last show I was in, there was a lady who sold Paparazzi next to me. Her husband had the idea of using binder clips to keep the tablecloth from moving. Totally stealing this idea for my next outdoor show!
I bought a canopy tent. Best move! Even if it’s sunny out, it’s good to have. It helps to distinguish you as being there and not just tables in a field. It gives you a “home” for lack of a better word. The rest of my shows are indoors I believe, so I only needed it for a couple of shows. But I’ll have it going into the spring and summer next year!
Interaction – I interacted with all of my possible customers. But I didn’t focus on just my product. I asked them about their day and how they were doing. I would see them looking at my Lava Stone jewelry and could tell they were wondering what the heck it was! So I explained my process. How I cleansed the lava beads with sage and laid them out the day before, the day of, and the day after a full moon to charge the beads.
They were surprised at everything I did for the process. I think I may bring sage to my next shows to let them see it. I won’t light it though! But definitely interact with your customer base. Don’t have a 20 minute conversation, but also, don’t let them feel you only want them there to look at your product, buy it and move on. Out of these vendor show tips? I think this one is the most key.
Visual – As you can see in my images, I unfortunately didn’t have a banner. The problem was, because I do SO many things? I couldn’t decide WHAT to put on it. May just stick with Handcrafted by Jacqui. I also will need to buy a banner for my Lipsense displays AND my candles. But, I do HIGHLY recommend getting a banner. Due to finances, mine will have to wait unfortunately.
Neighboring Vendors – Get to know them! From the two that I’ve done, my neighbors have been great. They help each other out. We helped put each other’s canopy’s up, and watched the tables if they had to go use the restroom. It’s nice getting to know new people as well! If they are veterans to vendor shows? They are a great resource for vendor show tips as well! Ask what they’ve learned and what they’ve changed up. And just fit it to meet your needs.
Have a Checklist – The final tip of my vendor show tips! Make sure to have a checklist for your events. This way you don’t forget anything and you are ready to enjoy the day. I’ve included a Vendor Show Checklist for you. Feel free to copy as many as you need!
What would you add to this list of vendor show tips for those who are new to the arena? It’s a great community! Let’s work together to lift one another up and help each other succeed.
Disclaimer: There are affiliate links within this post. If you purchase anything from clicking on those links, I may make a small commission. And in advance, my laid off self thanks you from the bottom of my heart :).
If you don’t have anything to do during your downtime, you can also enjoy a fun book! So, if you love a good YA Paranormal book, you should check out my book, Cavern Cove! Click the image to be taken to Amazon. It is also available at Barnes and Noble for your Nook and in Paperback! It’s also available on iBooks!